San Francisco Department of the Environment

How can I make my home more energy efficient?

Does your home feel cold and drafty in certain rooms? Is your utility bill higher than you expected? Here are a couple of tips to make your home more comfortable and reduce your energy bill:

  • Set thermostat to a reasonable temperature (68oF); turn it off when you're going out.
  • Switch old light blubs to LED 
  • Unplug appliances that aren’t used frequently. Put cords to appliances on a power strip so you can turn them off at once. 
  • Only use the gas and electricity you need.
  • Keep warm air in. Close windows and doors when heat is on. Curtains can keep warm air in, as well as prevent air gaps. Alternatively in the winter months, open drapes to let the sun warm up your space. 

Additional ways to make your home more comfortable:

  • Set your fridge temperature to 35oF. Not only will this optimum temperature prevent you from freezing half the stuff at the back of your fridge, it will reduce your electrical consumption. The same goes for the freezer: set it at 0oF – no one likes freezer-burned ice cream.
  • Set your hot water heater to 120oF. Consult the owner’s manual for your hot water heater for proper instructions. A temperature of 120 degrees will optimize gas consumption while keeping your showers warm.
  • Find drafts, leaks and gaps where your heat is escaping. Once you identify the source of a draft, look online for tutorials on how to weather strip windows and doors, add caulking and removable weather stripping. If you are renting, consider talking to your landlord to see if they are willing to install weather stripping in the identified areas. Easily removable weather stripping products can be found at most local hardware stores. 

If you need assistance, contact SF Environment’s Energy Efficiency team at 415.355.3700.

Related Content
Energy Efficiency rebates and financing

Additional Resources
Energy Efficiency Tips for Homes (SF Public Utilities Commission)
Esimate Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use (
Energy Saver Guide (

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