Higher Summer Bills & Energy Saving Tips

 

Record high temps are expected this summer

 

This year, the months of May and June have seen hotter temperatures than last year. And it's being forecasted that we will see record high temperatures this summer. To see this difference in temperatures, we compared them to the same time last year, to the previous month, and also looked at a historical average for this billing period.

Compared to the same time last year:

  • The average high temp was 10% higher 
  • The average low temp was 7% higher 
  • The average median temp was 9% higher 

Compared to the previous month:

  • The average high temp was 15% higher
  • The average low temp was 21% higher
  • The average median temp was 17% higher

Compared to the historical average for this billing period (May - June)

  • The average high temp was 7% higher
  • The average low temp was 5% higher
  • The average median temp was 6% higher
 

Ways to manage your energy

 

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

  • Simple Summer Savings - 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.