Nvidia-smi and nvidia power level help (battery life)

My laptop battery has always been great on windows, usually 6 hours plus. On any Linux distro I am lucky to get more than 2 hours. I have narrowed down the culprit to my 960m being on level 3 in powermizer(in nvidia control panel) pretty much all the time. If I just scroll it goes into high performance(level 3) and I simply dont need and cant have it working like this. i know how to lock it at a specific level but i need to be able to change it on the fly because i do play games on my laptop.

Im looking for input from other people taming there nvidia GPUs to work like they should as my efforts have been un-fruitful.