Just found this on the Southern California Edison's website. They will give you a $5 Target Gift Card for taking this 15 minute survey. You need to be a Southern California Edison customer to participate and have your account number handy. The survey will ask you questions regarding your household and your energy use. At the end they will give you customized energy tips to help you cut back on energy usage that you can download and save in PDF format.
Also, you can save 20% off of your electric bill if you reduce your energy consumption during the summer months by 20% compared to the previous year with the 20/20 Summer Savings Program.
Not to fear my non-Edison readers. Here are some energy tips that you can all enjoy (from Edison's website):
The recommended temperature for your refrigerator should be between 10°F and 42°F, while the recommended temperature for the freezer is between 0°F and 5°F.
Don't let the frost in your refrigerator get more than 1/4" thick. Frost acts as an insulator and forces your fridge or freezer to work harder. Auto-defrost refrigerators take care of this problem for you but use more energy.
Turn Power Save to OFF and set the Humidity Control to DRY. (These switches control a heater that prevents sweating or condensation around the refrigerator door in humid geographic areas.)
Make sure your refrigerator and freezer doors seal airtight. Close a dollar bill or piece of paper in the door. If it pulls out easily, your refrigerator may need a door hinge adjustment or a new gasket.
Vacuum the refrigerator coils twice a year (or more if you have long-haired pets). Dirty coils make the refrigerator work harder and use more energy.
Run your dishwasher only when full.
Use your dishwasher's automatic energy-saving cool-dry cycle. If your machine doesn't have this feature, turn it off manually after the final rinse and let the dishes air dry. Air-drying your dishes reduces your dishwasher's energy usage by 40%.
When purchasing a new dishwasher, use the EnergyGuide labels to compare the annual operating costs of similar models. Also look for these energy-saving features:
Short cycle selection for lightly soiled dishes.
Less hot water usage.
Automatic air-dry cycle.
Ovens and Stoves
Get a pan ready to go and place it on the burner before you turn on the heat. And don't forget to turn the heat off when you're through using it.
Use the right pan for the job. Foods will cook faster and at a lower temperature if you use pots and pans with flat bottoms and tight-fitting lids. Oversized and undersized pans waste energy.
Don't pre-heat the oven unless you need to. Preheat only for baked foods that require precise temperatures, such as cakes, cookies, and breads. Casseroles, roasts, broiled foods, and other dishes don't need to go into a warm oven.
Follow the recipe and use the oven light as your guide for timing. Every time you open the oven to check on your dish, about 25 degrees of heat escape.
Turn your oven off about five minutes before the allotted cooking time is up. Leave the door closed to retain heat.
Microwave ovens use approximately half the energy of conventional ovens.
More to come later!