It’s Texas. It’s gonna be hot.
With potentially the hottest summer on record, our electric bills are sure to take a beating. Energy companies have already been asking us to scale back our energy usage to avoid rolling blackouts, and we’re only halfway through the heat wave. Here are some tips to help you conserve energy and lower your electric bill this summer.
- Disconnect unused appliances and electronics: Yes…it’s convenient to keep everything plugged in continuously, but unplugging devices that are not in use can save you several hundred dollars annually. This will also protect your electronics from potential damage during power surges that can happen during rolling blackouts.
- Upgrade to a smart thermostat: Studies vary, but on average, a smart thermostat can save you about 15% on cooling costs. These smart devices use scheduling, geofencing, and motion sensing to determine when to adjust the temperature and optimize energy usage. A programmable thermostat can also help save money by allowing you to set it and forget it.
- Adjust the temperature when no one is home: The U.S. Energy Department suggests setting your thermostat to the 80s. If that’s too warm for your Texas home, consider raising the thermostat by seven to 10 degrees for eight hours each day. This should be easy is nobody is home during the day. This simple adjustment can save you up to 10% on your annual energy bill.
- Reduce hot water consumption: This should be easier during summer months. Your water heater accounts for about 18% of your home’s energy consumption. Take shorter or cooler showers and wash your clothes in cold water whenever possible.
- Optimize lighting and switch to LED bulbs: Keep lights and fans turned off in unoccupied rooms and replace all your lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. This switch will significantly contribute to energy conservation throughout your home.
Remember, if we all do our part to save energy during peak times, we will decrease the likelihood of rolling blackouts in Texas this summer and possibly save ourselves some money.