Clovis, Calif. (KMPH News) — When the Peck family moved to the Central Valley from the South, one thing they say they were ready for was the triple digit heat. What they didn't prepare for was the energy bill that came with it.
The cool air coming through their AC unit is costing the Clovis family about eighty cents an hour. Last summer it added up to more than $700 in one month.
"We were shocked because this is an apartment," Cathy Peck said. "It's not even half the size of the house we were living in and everyone just said welcome to California."
Pacific Gas & Electric Energy Training Supervisor Gary Girardi says there's a reason for the outrageous bill.
"The air conditioner was broken, that's where the spike was," Girardi said. "Well, it wasn't broken the Freon charge was wrong."
PG&E says having the wrong amount of Freon was causing the Peck's AC to run–non stop. Seven months later their energy bill is lower by about $300.
"Because of getting that high energy bill we have been really energy conscious around this house for the last year, watching lights, watching what we do, we've kept our bill much, much lower," Peck said.
Mrs. Peck is hoping to reduce her bill even more. Wednesday she scheduled an appointment with PG&E. Right away, Girardi found three things sucking up energy.
"Oops! Here's part of your problem."
The air filter needs to be replaced. And in the kitchen Girardi says their outdated refrigerator is using more energy than any other appliance in the three bedroom apartment, about $43 dollars a month.
Peck's fish tank and full spectrum light for her exotic bird is using nearly as much energy as the fridge, about $40 a month.
"The biggest shock that I didn't know was what he called the phantom draw how much power is being drawn by the game and TV and the cable box that are just sitting there doing nothing," Peck said.
Their entire system, plugged in and not being used is pulling as much energy as the fish pumps, Girardi said.
"They are costing me," Peck said. "I don't know, we will have to negotiate that with my husband with how much his game system him versus how much my fish are costing me."
For now, Mrs. Peck plans to save money in at least one way. She's considering a new energy efficient refrigerator. Making the switch, PG&E says could save the Clovis family more than $300 a year.
What's wasting energy in your home? Go to www.pge.com, and click on "Energy Solutions for My Home."
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