Winter is Here: Energy Savings Tips


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
  • 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



Your heating system uses more than half of the energy in your home. A few changes in your habits can put more money in your pocket each month. Here are a few tips:

  • During the cold season, set your thermostat between 68 to 70 degrees, when you’re at home.  68 is great!
  • Use a programmable thermostat. Set it at a lower temperature while you’re away. Then, program it to be at a comfortable temperature when you return. Consider one of our energy-saving options (link to Thermostats page)
  • Check your air filter every month and be sure to replace it when it’s dirty.
  • Have your HVAC inspected and cleaned twice a year by a licensed professional.
  • Plan for the next warm season and consider replacing your air conditioner, if it is 10 years or older. Consider a new, more efficient model. Take advantage of CPS Energy’s HVAC Rebates. When buying a new central air unit, remember that proper sizing and quality installation are critical. Learn more
  • Repair leaks in your air duct system.
  • Reduce air leaks and prevent unnecessary air infiltration around the house. Add caulk around window frames and weather-stripping around door frames.
  • Use ceiling fans or portable fans to circulate air. Make sure ceiling fans are running in a counter clockwise direction during the winter.  Don’t forget to turn off fans when you leave the room!
  • Check the insulation in your attic. The recommended level for an attic in South Texas is R-30 to R-60 (the higher the R-value, the better your attic resists the heat and cold). Take advantage of CPS Energy’s Attic Insulation Rebates. Learn more
  • Replace old windows with ENERGY STAR® windows. This may cut your energy bill as much as 15 percent.
  • Plant trees and shrubs around your home to protect your home from the cold wind. Take advantage of our Green Shade tree rebates.
  • Install inexpensive foam gaskets behind the face plates of all electric sockets and light switches.



Long, hot showers not only run up your water bill, but your energy bill as well. Therefore, think conservation for certain daily tasks and not only save water, but save electricity as well.

  • Take short showers or shallow baths.
  • Use cold water as much as possible when using a dishwasher or washing machine.
  • Buy a high-efficiency washing machine when you need a new washer.
  • Check the setting on your water heater. The recommended setting for our area is 120 degrees. Also check the unit for possible leaks.
  • Wrap an old water heater with an insulation jacket to decrease its heat loss. Insulating the water pipes also can help.
  • Don't leave hot water running when shaving or rinsing dishes. This will reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the water and save on your water expenses as well.
  • Wait to wash dishes and clothes until you have a full load.
  • Install a low-flow showerhead or faucet aerator to not only save water, but reduce water heating costs.
  • Try a natural gas water heater for greater efficiency. Take advantage of our Natural Gas Rebates.
  • Consider a tankless water heater system. Tankless units heat water directly, without the use of a storage tank -- saving energy and water, reducing both of your utility bills.



Outdoor lighting displays are a wonderful part of the holiday season. But they can be expensive. This year, replace your strings of incandescent holiday lights with energy-saving LED decorative lights. LEDs are up to 90 percent more energy efficient and last up to 10 times longer than standard light sets.

They also are:

  • More durable and shock resistant than traditional light strings
  • Emit less heat than incandescent lights
  • Offer long-term cost savings

Here is a little insight that should help you keep the color in your light displays while managing the costs.

  • Those traditional ceramic bulbs that have been used for decades? They are C7 and C9 bulbs.
    • If you have a string of C7s plugged in for an average of five hours per day, it will use about 19 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. A string of C9 lights will use about 26 kWh.
    • At a rate 10 cents per kWh, a display that uses 10 strings of C7 lights would cost an estimated $19 per month, while a similar display using C9 bulbs may cost up to $26 per month.
  • The average miniature light uses 0.4 watts per bulb. One string of 100 miniature bulbs only uses 6 kWh per month. Ten sets of these lights operating at 10 cents per kWh would cost just $6 per month.
  • The newer, LED holiday lights use only 0.04 watts per bulb, or 1/10 the amount of miniature bulbs. Ten sets of 100 LED bulbs would cost only 60 cents per month to operate. Yes, LED lights are more expensive to purchase––up to three times as much as miniature lights––but they are more durable and have a longer lifespan. LED bulbs pay for themselves over a few years.

Here are some other easy ways to cut holiday energy costs, and to cut costs all year long:

  • Use timers for light displays.
  • Don’t leave lights on all day.
  • Look for holiday displays that have the ENERGY STAR label.
  • Use ENERGY STAR appliances for holiday festivities.
  • Buy gifts that are ENERGY STAR-rated.
  • Use your programmable thermostat to lower the heat when you’re away from home.
  • Make a New Year’s resolution to be more energy efficient.



Appliances and electronics may consume more than 20 percent of the energy you use. Here are some tips to ensure you use these devices as efficiently as possible.

  • Wash and dry only full loads of clothes.
  • Use cold water, if possible, when washing clothes.
  • Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every load.
  • Dry loads back-to-back to take advantage of the heat build-up in the dryer.
  • Use dryer balls to lift and separate laundry items, allowing hot air to circulate more effectively and reducing drying time.
  • Consider a natural gas dryer for greater heating efficiency. Take advantage of our Natural Gas Rebates.
  • Don't open the refrigerator door repeatedly and don’t leave it open for extended periods. Every time your refrigerator opens, cool air escapes and must be replaced.
  • Replace your old fridge with an energy-efficient model.  
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on any new appliance. Check the yellow Energy Guide label when making a purchase.



Here are some ways you can reduce the cost of lighting your home:

  • Consider energy-saving LED or CFL light bulbs. Try our Lighting Calculator.
  • Turn off overhead lights and lamps when you leave a room.
  • Open blinds and curtains on energy-efficient, north-facing and south-facing windows to let in sunlight.
  • Use a timer to turn lights on and off, especially outside security lights, at pre-determined times.
  • Consider an ENERGY STAR-qualified outdoor fixture for outside security lights and porch lamps.
  • Try motion-detector lighting for outside lights.