California Climate Credit- Savings on Your April 2022 Utility Bill!

It’s that time again! On your April California Utility Bill (Which includes PG&E, SCE, SDG&E, Bear Valley, Liberty, and Pacific Power), you will receive a California Climate Credit. For SDG&E customers, the amount is $43.06.

The California Climate Credit is part of California’s efforts to fight climate change. This credit is from a state program that requires power plants, natural gas providers, and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits. The credit on your bill is your share of the payments from the State’s program.

Rather than receiving your electricity credits in April and October as in years past, the electricity credits have been moved to August and September for 2020 – 2022.

Please know you will still get your climate credits as they will be reflected in your utility bills this year. In fact, in April* your utility bill will include a gas credit identified as the “California Climate Credit.”

Changing the distribution months will not change the total value of the climate credits you receive in a year. The shift will provide bill relief for customers and reduce bill volatility.

 

And if you are looking for more ways to save energy and money, check out Ohm Connect! We’ve been using Ohm Connect for 5+ years and we’ve saved thousands of dollars on our power bill, and earned thousands of dollars in gift cards and cash via paypal!

Utility Rates Going Up: Tips to Save

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 1.26.41 PM.pngFor those of us in San Diego County- you’ve probably read or heard by now, we have the highest utility prices in the ENTIRE COUNTRY. Not something to be too proud of.

I’ve been researching ways for us all to save money on our bills, and I promise that none of them are too kooky. No turning off your hot water heater, sitting in the dark, or wearing dirty clothes. Some of the things I found in my research were… sketchy.

We’re going to hit up all the areas of your home, And yes, we do all of these things in my home.

The Thermostat: The memes about parents controlling the thermostat are real. For Serious.

  • Turn your thermostat to 72-75 degrees, or better yet, turn it off. For most of us in Southern California, it’s usually flip-flop weather or sweater weather. We only turn on the heat when we know it’s going to be cold (like 55 or below), or turn the AC on when it’s going to be 90 or above.
  • Install a smart thermostat. We have an Ecobee, and there is an app for our phones to control the thermostat, so if I know it’s going to be hot or cold, I can set the thermostat to keep the house comfortable upon our return from time away.
  • This brings me to my next point- Utilize Ceiling fans and box fans to circulate the air in your home. Did you know there is a setting on your ceiling fan for summer, and the opposite direction is for winter? The counterclockwise rotation of the fan pulls warm air up and forces cool air down, perfect for the summer!
  • Is it going to be cold? Close your windows, but leave your drapes/blinds open. The sun will shine through the windows and heat up your home (A little, not like a sauna). You may still need socks, a sweater, and pants. These two tips may keep you from having to turn on your heater.
  • Is it going to be hot? Close the drapes/blinds early in the day before the weather heats up. Use fans to circulate to cool air. If it’s going to be dangerously hot and you have to be at home, close the windows and get the thermostat to 72-75. 75 degrees doesn’t sound cool, but when it’s 90+ degrees outside, it feels amazing.

Water Heater:

  • Your water heater does not need to be turned all the way up. Gen X-er’s will remember this PSA from Tweety Bird. Turn down the temperature on your water heater.
  • Make sure that your water is in good repair, that the closet or area in which it is housed is clean and free of debris or anything flammable. In California, the water heater needs to be up off the ground and braced with earthquake bracing straps.

Laundry:

  • Only run full loads of laundry.
  • Utilize the various cycles on your washer to make sure an appropriate amount of water (and the correct temp) are being used.
  • Use the correct amount of soap/detergent (more is NOT better). If your clothes are not getting clean the first time, that is also a waste of electricity/gas.
  • Line or hang dry clothes if the weather permits. We live in a 2nd-floor condo that does not permit external drying lines, but we have a retractable laundry line in the laundry closet where we can hang up clothes that are labeled tumble dry low or hang dry. It was very easy to install.
  • Lacking space? We also have a collapsible drying rack too.  We use it for pants mostly. It folds up and lives in the laundry closet when not in use. When we are using it, it is in the bathtub (mostly to keep the cat from messing with it).

All over the house:

  • Keep the lights off during the daytime. Open the drapes/blinds and take advantage of the natural light.
  • Going into a room with no natural light (like the bathroom or kitchen)? Turn the lights on when entering, and flip them off when you leave the room.
  • Unplug devices/appliances when not in use. Obviously, I’m not talking about your fridge, washer, or dryer. Toaster ovens, microwaves, and unplugging the cellphone and other device chargers when not in use. Most devices still draw power when not in use but remain plugged in. If you don’t want to go around plugging and unplugging, you can invest in smart plugs, like these. We have these on our Toaster Oven, microwave, printer, TV, Nordic Track, and PS4.

Programs to save money:

  • SDG&E has several programs to help you save money on your bills. CARE and FERA are programs that can save you 18-30% on your bills. More information and how to apply can be found here.
  • If you are a senior and have qualifying medical equipment in your home, you may qualify for a medical baseline discount from SDG&E. More information and how to apply can be found here.
  • Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 5.02.27 PM We use OHM Connect to save additional money on our SDG&E bill. Once you sign up, you will be alerted when the demand for energy increases. If you cut down on power usage during those peak times, you will not only reduce your power bill but also receive points from OHM Connect that can be redeemed for cash back via PayPal or gift cards (I usually get Target Gift cards). Ohm Connect is available in CA, Texas, and New York!

 

BitMo: Shop New Brands and Earn Points!

Bitmo is an app that I don’t use too often, but when I do, I save money and it makes me feel good!

It’s an app that you can use to send and receive gift cards.

After you download the app, you connect your frequently used cards to your account. When you spend money at their supported retailers in-store, you earn points (similar to how Dosh works).

You can also earn rewards when you shop through the app at specific retailers, like a lot of other apps (Dosh and Ibotta to name a few).

And one other thing that Bitmo does is it donates 2% of your gifting spend (that’s how much you spend on gift cards for others) to a charity- there are currently eight, including the San Diego Zoo, Rady’s Children’s Hospital, Feeding America, and The Salvation Army.

Bitmo has added more stores where you can earn money when you shop in-store. Some of the new stores include Autozone, Big5 Sporting Goods, Circle K, Cub Foods, Dickey’s BBQ pit Dutch Bros. Coffee, El Pollo Loco, Flying J, Giant Food Stores, Shop Rite, Meijers, Piggly Wiggly, Jackin in the Box, and Joann’s Fabrics. Some of my favorite existing stores include Target, Starbucks, CVS, and Sprouts.

 

If you are new to Bitmo, you can earn  10,000 bonus points (that’s a $10 gift card) when you join, connects a card, and does a transaction. Bitmo runs referral bonuses a few times a year, but it’s usually for a $2-$5 Dunkin’ gift card or something small.

They are a San Diego, CA area business too. It’s cool to support local businesses, especially right now when a lot of small, local businesses could use the help.

California Climate Credit- It’s Back for August and September!

What is the California Climate Credit? This August* your utility bill will include an electric credit identified as the “California Climate Credit.” Your household and millions of others throughout the state will receive this credit on your utility bills.

In the past years, the electric credit was applied in April and October, and the gas credit was applied in April. For 2020 and 2021, the California Public Utilities Commission authorized SDG&E to temporarily shift the electric credit to be applied in August and September.

If you have any of the following utilities: PG&E, SDG&E, SCE Pacific Power, and Liberty Utilities, your August and September bills will have a credit.

Changing the distribution months will not change the total value of the climate credits you receive in a year. The shift will provide bill relief for customers – during the typically hottest months of the year – and reduce bill volatility.

The gas credit will continue to be applied in April. In 2022, the climate credit will be distributed back to its original timing of April and October unless the Commission directs otherwise. The California Climate Credit is part of California’s efforts to fight climate change. This credit is from a state program that requires power plants, natural gas providers, and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases, to buy carbon pollution permits.

The credit on your bill is your share of the payments from the State’s program. The Climate Credit is one of many programs resulting from landmark legislation called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

The California Climate Credit is one way Californians are working towards a zero-carbon state. Find other ideas for energy and money-saving upgrades for your home while reducing your carbon footprint at energyupgradeca.org/the-movement.

And if you are looking for more ways to save energy and money, check out Ohm Connect! We’ve been using Ohm Connect for 5+ years and we’ve saved thousands of dollars on our power bill, and earned thousands of dollars in gift cards and cash via paypal!

I cashed out some of our points for a $25 Amazon Gift card last week, and we almost have enough for another $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Save and Earn Money for College with Upromise!

I’ve had a Upromise account for 15+ years. It’s a great way to earn and save money for college. I used my earnings/savings to pay for my college textbooks and parking pass when I finished my AA’s a few years ago.

The Upromise savings tools and automatic transfers let you set goals and transfer your earned rewards into college savings plans.

Receive a $5.29 bonus when you sign up for a free Upromise account.

Receive a $30 Welcome Bonus when linked to a 529 account. A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education costs.

Upromise® Mastercard® – Cardmembers earn 1.529% cash back rewards on purchases when their Upromise Program account is linked to an eligible College Savings Plan, or 1.25% cash back rewards on purchases if their Upromise Program account is not linked. Apply today at upromisemastercard.com

There are a lot of ways to earn money with Upromise: Shop online through their portal or add their Chrome Shopping extension to earn extra money. Upromise also has a Dining program, where you can earn cash back for dining at specific restaurants and paying with linked cards.

 

 

 

Earn $100 in Gift Cards from Bitmo Perks!

Wow. this is a great deal, and pretty easy! I’ve written about Bitmo before, and while I don’t use it as much as other cashback/money-saving apps, I still feel like it’s a good app. One thing I love is that there isn’t much you need to do besides signing up, link your bank card/credit card and start shopping. You can use other cashback apps at the same time too. I frequently double dip with Dosh, Drop, and/or Ibotta with Bitmo.

I am all about double-dipping to save money and score deals!

Speaking of deals, Right now Bitmo is offering bonus points when you refer new friends. 20,000 bonus points (that’s a $20 gift card) for everyone that joins, connects a card, and does a transaction within 14 days of sign up.

You can repeat this offer 5 times. That’s $100 in gift cards in your pocket.

Oh, and your friends get a little something for signing up too!

Bitmo Perks: Now Earn Points at Costco & Sam’s Club

This is a great deal! I’ve written about Bitmo before, and while I don’t use it as much as other cashback/money-saving apps, I still feel like it’s a good app. Any way you can save money (legally) is a good idea in my book.

Now through the Bitmo App, any time you shop at Costco or Sam’s Club and pay with the linked debit or credit card, you’ll earn points that you can redeem for gift cards.

I earned a $5 Bath and Body Works Gift Card last month, just by doing my usual shopping. I used the gift card in conjunction with a deal available in the BBW app, and I saved $30 and earned a free product!

I am all about double-dipping to save money and score deals!

Speaking of deals, Right now they are offering bonus points when you refer new friends. 20,000 bonus points (that’s a $20 gift card) for everyone that joins, connects a card, and does a transaction within 14 days of sign up. It’s quick and easy!

$20 Referral bonuses from BitmoPerks!

Bitmo is an app that I don’t use too often, but when I do, I save money and it makes me feel good!

It’s an app that you can use to send and receive gift cards.

You can also earn rewards when you shop through the app at specific retailers, like a lot of other apps (Dosh and Ibotta to name a few).

And one other thing that Bitmo does is it donates 2% of your gifting spend (that’s how much you spend on gift cards for others) to a charity- there are currently eight, including the San Diego Zoo, Rady’s Children’s Hospital, Feeding America, and The Salvation Army.

Right now they are offering bonus points when you refer new friends. 20,000 bonus points (that’s a $20 gift card) for everyone that joins, connects a card, and does a transaction. THey run referral bonuses a few times a year, but it’s usually for a $2-$5 Dunkin’ gift card or something small- Never a $20 bonus! And as far as I can tell, there is no limit on how many bonuses you can earn!

They are a San Diego, CA area business too. It’s cool to support local businesses, especially right now when a lot of small, local businesses could use the help.

 

Important information about SavingStar

Hey Gang- I opened my email to discover this news: SavingStar is closing it’s doors November 30, 2020. I don’t use Savingstar much to be honest. It’s mostly for stuff that I don’t buy or at stores I don’t shop at too often.

But, it’s not all bad news, check this out, since Savingstar is owned by Coupons.com, you can download the Coupons.com app and continue to save on basically the same items as before!

With the new Coupons.com app, you can save on all your favorites with cash back offers — these are much like the rebates you’re used to, but better:

  • Use them at ANY retailer that provides itemized receipts.
  • Skip the receipts and link your store loyalty cards for automatic cash back (1,000s of stores to choose from).
  • Get cashback with NO minimum balance — your money will go straight to PayPal, and you can grab it whenever you need it.

I downloaded the app this morning, and it’s nothing too spectacular, but if you really liked Savingstar, the coupons.com app will be a good fit. It’s basically the same offers, but at any store that offers an  itemized receipt (good for those of us who shop at store like Grocery Outlet and 99 Cents Only).

You can find the Coupons.com app wherever you get your apps.

 

Talk Back: Which app is your favorite for earning money?

Bitmo: Score a Free $2 Dunkin Donuts Gift Card and More!

Bitmo is an app that I haven’t written about before, but it’s been around for a while. It’s an app that you can use to send and receive gift cards.

You can also earn rewards when you shop through the app at specific retailers, like a lot of other apps (Dosh and Ibotta to name a few).

And one other thing that Bitmo does is it donates 2% of your gifting spend (that’s how much you spend on gift cards for others) to a charity- there are currently eight, including the San Diego Zoo, Rady’s Children’s Hospital, Feeding America, and The Salvation Army.

Well right now, current Bitmo members can gift $2 Dunkin Donuts gift cards through Bitmo to those folks who are not Bitmo members.

It’s easy. And if you are interested, shoot me an email at hewesfamilyfun@gmail.com with your cell phone number. Terms and Conditions for the offer are here- I’m pretty sure it’s US only.

And for those who already have Bitmo- Check your email for details, or open your Bitmo App!