Tips to conserve energy during the scorching Valley summer

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tom Jones has lived in Fresno for 40 sweltering summers - that reflect on his monthly energy bill.

Not only do energy bills get pricier but there's always the looming chance of a blackout when too many people crank up their air conditioning and appliances at once.

"You never know when the power is going to go out on the really hot days," he says.

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This year, he's considering a new approach to power the AC - solar panels.

For those who rely on energy providers for power, it's best to run appliances and use energy during non-peak hours when it costs less and puts less of a strain on the state's power grid.

But some solar experts actually recommend that solar customers run appliances like the dishwasher and laundry machines during the sunniest parts of the day in order to directly use the energy their panels are producing.

Matthew Brady with Sunrun says this is good advice if you aren't using more than you produce.

"If you know you have a buffer and want to help out your neighbors and use power at peak hours, go ahead and do it. But make sure you know," he says.

But he warns to keep a close eye on usage to avoid paying a premium for power during peak hours.

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If ou are considering making the switch to solar, you might be able to get panels on your roof before the last summer sunset.

"Your saving would be at the end of August, September, and if we are still hot, October."

Brady says whether you have solar or not, avoid turning the AC on and off to try and save money. It actually isn't cost-effective.

"Try to keep the house cool. It costs more to cool the house from 85 than to just keep it at the temperature that you want it to be," he says.

With a heat wave around the corner, Californians can sign up for Flex Alert notifications to keep tabs on when it's time to conserve and when your area could be at risk of rolling blackouts.

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