Tips To Keep Electric Bill Down In Summer Months

June 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

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Updated: Tuesday, June 25 2013, 12:13 PM CDT

The summer’s first wave of triple-digit temperatures can bring high electric bills, and this week Austin Energy is reminding customers on ways to reduce energy use through the summer months to lower electricity bills and increase reliability of the statewide electric grid.

Small measures by both residents and businesses such as turning off unneeded lights and raising the thermostat temperature a couple of degrees add up to big savings and ensure adequate power supplies.

Austin Energy recommends these 10 simple and free or low-cost measures to reduce energy use:

     -Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you increase your bill by 3 to 4 percent.

     -Purchase a smart thermostat that is Internet-capable and can be programmed through your smart phone and computer. Austin Energy provides an $85 rebate when you purchase an eligible smart thermostat and agree to have your thermostat settings raised a few degrees when electricity use on the grid is high.

     -Use fans in combination with your air conditioning. Fans don’t make the room cooler but they make your skin feel 4 degrees cooler. Turn off the fan when you leave the room.

     -Replace or clean your air conditioning filters once a month. Clogged filters cause your air conditioner to work harder and run longer.

     -Get a $29 air conditioner check up from an Austin Energy participating air conditioning company to assess whether it is running properly. Austin Energy is providing a $70 rebate to air conditioning companies to reduce the $99 check up cost to $29.

     -Close curtains and blinds on windows hit by direct sunlight to avoid bringing heat into the home. Austin Energy provides rebates for installing solar screens on south, east and west facing windows.

     -Avoid washing dishes, washing and drying clothes, using the oven and stove, and other activities that bring heat into your home during the hottest part of the day between 3 and 7 p.m. and make your air conditioner run longer. Perform those activities in the early morning or late evening hours.

     -Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs). Incandescent bulbs produce 90 percent heat and only 10 percent light. CFLs and LEDs are more energy efficient and produce very little heat.

     -Turn off lights that are not needed.

     -Unplug electronics when not in use such as TVs, cell phone chargers, computers and other devices. Electronics continue to draw power even when turned off and can account for as much as 10 percent of your energy use. Connect the devices to power strips that automatically cut off the power when not in use or that allow you to turn the power strip off.

Tips To Keep Electric Bill Down In Summer Months

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