Energy Saving Tips

 
Energy Saving Tips & Tools
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Record high temps are happening this summer

 

The summer of 2018 has been a summer full of records.  Heat waves & droughts have been the main headlines so far. Looking back to the start of the summer here in Texas, record-setting heat began in the month of May.  These facts and statements from the National Centers for Environmental Monitoring show just how extreme this summer’s weather has been.

May:

  • May of 2018 was the 3rd hottest May on record with an average maximum temperature of 91°.
  • The hottest May on record was May 1996 with an average maximum temperature of 94°.
  • The average temperature for the month of May is 87°.

June:

  • June of 2018 was the 3rd hottest June on record since the June of 2009 with an average maximum temperature of 97°.
  • The 2nd hottest June was in 2011 with an average maximum temperature of 99°.
  • The average temperature for the month of June is 91.6° based on a 100-year interval between 1915 & 2015.

July:

  • July of 2018 was the 3rd hottest July on record since July of 2011.
  • The average maximum temperature was 97° compared to 99° that occurred back in 2011.
  • The average maximum temperature for July is 94.2° based on a 100-year interval between 1900 - 2000.
  • July 2018 saw a stretch of days where we didn’t receive any precipitation. This stretch of days started on July 11 and lasted 29 days until July 30. 
  • This was the 7th longest span of days without precipitation.
  • The longest span of days without precipitation was April 17th, 1993 - July 21st, 1993 which lasted 62 days.
 

Ways to manage your energy

 

Utilize the following to help take control of your energy use.

  • Savings Programs - Go here to use energy calculators, find an upcoming event close to you, and more
  • Login to Manage My Account where you can view your energy use, past bills and more
  • Schedule a callback to speak with an energy advisor who can go over your usage and answer your questions
  • SaveNow through our energy saving and rebate programs
  • Check out the tips below to help make your home more energy efficient
 

Simple and inexpensive actions to start saving in your home

 

AIR CONDITIONING

  • Move the temperature on your air conditioner up a few degrees. 78° is great when you are at home.
  • Install a smart thermostat and program your desired temperature settings by day of week and time of day.
  • Use fans. They make a room feel 4° to 6° cooler.
  • Run your ceiling fan blades in a counter-clockwise direction (as you look up at the fan). Use a high speed to blow air straight down and get the best effect. 
  • Keep out the sun and hot air by making sure your windows and doors are closed tightly. Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight. Shade your outside AC units or condensers.
  • Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away. Set or program your air conditioning to be 5° warmer when you’re gone for more than 4 hours.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you do turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home down any faster and it wastes energy.
  • Set the AC to cool down after 7p.m. Aim for 1° or 2° warmer than the final evening outdoor temperature.
  • Limit your use of the vent fans above your stove and in your bathroom because they pull in hot outside air, making your AC work harder.
  • Check and/or replace your air filters every two weeks, May through October.
  • Have your system inspected by a licensed and bonded professional at least twice a year, spring and fall.


REFRIGERATOR & FREEZER

  • Keep your fridge & freezer full, even if you just use bottles of water. A full fridge uses less energy.
  • Set refrigerator temperature between 37° & 40° degrees Fahrenheit. Set the freezer between 0° & 5°.
  • Make sure the seal around the door is airtight & keep the refrigerator coils clean from lint and dust.
  • Don’t keep a refrigerator in a non-air conditioned space because it will have to work harder to keep cool.


WASHER, DRYER & DISHWASHER

  • Save money by letting the Texas heat dry your clothes. Use a clothesline or drying rack instead of the dryer. If your clothes dry a little stiff, use your dryer’s “fluff” cycle (before 3p.m. or after 7p.m.)
  • Run your washer, dryer & dishwasher only when they are fully loaded.
  • Wash your laundry with cold water.
  • Don’t overfill your dryer. Dry your laundry loads back-to-back & clean the lint filter between loads. This way the dryer is still hot from the previous load, saving energy.
  • Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher. The heat-dry setting uses more energy & heats up your home, requiring more air conditioning.


ELECTRONICS

  • Turn off lights, and unplug televisions and other equipment when you leave a room. Use power strips to make this quick and easy.
  • All electrical devices use some power and can generate heat when they are turned off but still plugged in. Turn off and unplug lights, appliances and cable boxes when not in use.
  • Unplug your phone charger and similar devices when charging is complete.
  • Video game consoles can be big energy consumers. Avoid watching DVDs & blu rays on your game console because it consumes five (5) times the energy of a regular DVD player.


LIGHTING

  • Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs that use a lot of energy to produce light, generate heat and are no longer manufactured. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), halogen incandescents and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) may initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs but save you money during their lifetime because they use less energy.
  • Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms. 
  • Using a small light when reading is more efficient than brightly lighting an entire room. Also, keep your light bulbs clean & free from dust.
  • CFLs and LEDs are great for use in outdoor lighting fixtures that are sometimes left on for a long time and may be exposed to weather.


WATER HEATING

  • Insulate the first 12 inches of both the hot & cold water pipes to reduce heat loss.
  • Maintain the hot water temperature at 120°.


PEAK ENERGY DAYS

  • Pay attention to messaging from ERCOT requesting you to reduce energy demand during certain hours; usually between 3p.m. and 7p.m. on very hot days.
  • Set thermostats 2° to 3° higher from 3p.m. to 7p.m. Set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home.
  • If home, use fans to feel 4° to 6° cooler.
  • Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight & shut off from 4p.m. to 6p.m.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e. ovens, washing machines, etc.), especially during peak demand hours or the hours specified in the conservation appeal.
  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
  • Review the energy-saving tips for air conditioning, refrigerator & freezer, washer, dryer & dishwasher, electronics and lighting.