Tips for a Lower Summer Energy Bill

This week’s heat was just a preview of what’s to come in July and August. Houstonians aren’t strangers to triple-digit, summer heat. So when it happens, we sometimes forget that temperatures that high can be expensive, destructive and downright dangerous.

Exercisers refuse to skip their evening runs–even if it’s still in the high 90s at 8 p.m.–and hit the heat wall after a mile. Traffic is slower than usual due to cars overheating on the freeway. The rest of us lower the A/C a few degrees and kick back on the couch.

But those few degrees can significantly drive up your monthly electric bill and put a tremendous strain on energy resources in the state. (Rolling blackouts, anyone?) Here are a few tips for conserving costs and resources during the dog days of summer:

– Shop for a new energy provider. If you are no longer under contract with your electricity supplier, you may want to look around for a better rate. Houstonians have lots of options when it comes to energy – one of the beautiful things about deregulation.

– Use your fans. Contemporary homes in Texas have ceiling fans in most rooms. If your house or apartment does not, you can buy inexpensive, plug-in fans at hardware and housewares stores. Turn on the fan and your house will feel cooler without lowering the temperature on your air conditioner.

– Close the drapes. By closing your blinds or curtains, your house will stay cooler and maintain temperatures more easily. Close them during the day while you’re at work and turn up the A/C a few degrees for extra savings.

– Reduce your usage during the day. Run high-usage appliances, like the dishwasher, stove and washing machine in the evening or early morning.

– Flip the switch and unplug. This may seem obvious, but don’t forget to turn off lights and appliances when you’re not using them. If possible, unplug any appliance in your home when it’s not in use.

Check this article for even more energy-saving ideas to stay cool and safe and save money this summer.


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