Last week I had the chance to attend an energy conservation luncheon at the Presidio Social Club, in San Francisco, CA. I was invited by Mom Central Consulting. The luncheon was put on by PG&E and Opower. PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric), provides energy services to over 15 million people in Northern & Central California. They are based in San Francisco. Opower works with PG&E, and more than 70 other utility clients, to help engage customers with their home energy management software platform.
I had never been to an energy conservation luncheon before, and I was excited to attend. I went with my food blogging buddy, Kara. It was a somewhat dreary, chilly day in San Francisco, but we didn't let that deter us.
The luncheon consisted of a small group of bloggers. I liked the intimate setting. I also liked my soup! Spiced Butternut Squash…I thought it was fantastic & really hit the spot on a nippy day. Here it is:
We listened to presentations by Darleen DeRosa, of PG&E and Abbie McBride, of Opower. I found it interesting to hear that neighbors try to outdo each other in the energy conservation department. If one neighbor gets solar panels, for instance, other neighbors will usually follow suit. Talk about keeping up with the Joneses! Abbie McBride told us about various different programs that are available to help us track our energy usage. One is the home energy report. This is a report that is mailed to your home and it details all of your energy consumption. Here's an example of one such report:
I really like the idea of receiving a report and being able to see what months, days of the week, and times that we use the most energy. Abbie shared with us how one report showed an enormous amount of energy usage that the home owner thought was just not right. Turns out the home owner's pool pump was broken and was constantly running, instead of cycling like it should. Without the energy report, it may have been months before they found out about their broken pool pump.
Our family tries to conserve energy, but I admit, we could be doing more to save. I'm looking forward to receiving my report and sharing it with the family. Together, we will try to come up with ways to be more energy efficient.
Abbie also shared a few apps with us. These were super cool for tech nerds… like myself! You can actually get online, join a site and have your friends join too… then you all compete and see who can save the most energy from month to month. How cool is that?! You can also compete with your neighbors, or do a search for homes in your neighborhood and see what others are spending each month on their electric/gas bills. Heres the app, check it out and tell me what you think about it. Here's Abbie explaining the app to us:
PG&E shared quite a few energy saving tips with us. One is the Winter Gas Savings Program. This program provides customers with information & tips to help meet goals, highlights progress between bills and actions taken to reduce energy usage. To help get kids involved, you can go here. It's the page for teachers & kids. Getting the kids involved will help you save more money! Customers can also sign up for energy alerts, which can be received via email, text or phone call. The energy alert lets you know when you’re moving into higher-priced electric tiers.
I learned a lot at this luncheon and I am looking forward to putting all my newfound knowledge to good use this winter. I would like to thank Mom Central Consulting, PG&E, and Opower for a very informative meeting. I would also like to wish Abbie good luck on the upcoming birth of her little bundle of joy! I have one more pic to share with you all…
German Chocolate Cake, it was delicious!
How are you going to help conserve energy and save your family money this winter? I'd love to hear your ideas.