An El Nino weather pattern is expected to settle in over South Texas this summer, potentially bringing warmer than normal temperatures to the area. The anticipated warming pattern could combine with gas prices that remain higher than normal following the harsh winter to impact summer energy bills. Although customers use less gas during the summer, CPS Energy uses natural gas to produce power.
The average residential customer is expected to buy 1,572 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per month from June through September, resulting in a bill of $174.37. That is a potential difference of about $21 from the previous summer.
Several CPS Energy programs, including new ones that work with window units as well as central air conditioning systems, give customers the power to decrease the amount of energy they buy.
CPS Energy is hosting six events over the coming weeks to showcase new and existing programs for customers. The Energy Savings & Tech Tour kicks off this evening at Miller’s Pond Community Center, 6175 Old Pearsall Rd., on the city’s southside from 5:30 to 8 p.m. For a list of all tour stops, visit cpsenergy.com.
“Get out and see what best suits your needs. We have everything from an average of $5,000 of free weatherization improvements to a kit that helps manage window AC units or the Nest Learning Thermostat™,” Executive Vice President Jelynne LeBlanc Burley encouraged.
“There is a strong need for energy conservation so we’re doing everything possible to help our customers lower the amount of energy they’re buying. It gives them a smaller bill and reduces demand on the state grid,” she added.
Customers can decrease the total energy they buy through a number of energy efficient options, including:
• Casa Verde weatherization program (free) – average of $5,000 in improvements decreases average bill by $27
• Friedrich’s Kühl Window AC unit – programmable unit to manage temperature settings
• Nest Learning Thermostat™ – learns temperature preferences and programs itself allowing customer to manage temperature with a smartphone or computer
• Home Manager (free) – saves an average of 10 percent by allowing customer to manage central AC, electric water heater and pool pump with a computer, smart phone or tablet
• Smart Thermostat (free) – Honeywell programmable thermostat allows customer to manage temperature using computer or laptop
• Cool Energy Program smartAC kit (free) – wireless smart plug for existing window AC allows customer to manage temperature with a smartphone or computer
Most of the programs listed are part of CPS Energy’s Demand Response program, which gives residential and commercial customers an opportunity to save on the energy they buy while also providing greater reliability for the state grid. Customers receive a bill credit following the end of the season, which goes through September.
Customers also can take advantage of rebates for air duct systems, refrigerators, AC units, solar systems and more by visiting cpsenergysavers.com. Energy efficiency tips such as setting a thermostat between 78 – 80 degrees and raising the temperature 7 degrees when leaving a home for several hours are more ways to save.
Families experiencing financial hardships and military veterans burned during service can get bill assistance through a variety of programs. CPS Energy commits a minimum of $1 million annually to the Residential Energy Assistance Program (REAP). Last year, customers partnering with their energy provider contributed more than $200,000 to assist local neighbors in need.