Record high temperatures have everyone’s energy bills climbing, since the number one cause of high bills is weather. May and June saw high temperatures that were 10% higher than those same months in 2017, and the hotter it gets, the harder your air conditioner has to work to maintain your preferred temperature in the house.
An AC unit is basically a heat transfer system that captures heat from inside your house and sends it to the outdoors, while also rejecting heat energy from outside air. On hotter days, that makes your unit work extra hard, as there’s more heat coming into your home and more heat outside that it must reject.
In fact, on Wednesday, July 18 the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages 90% of the state’s electric load, reported a new all-time system-wide peak demand record, reaching 71,438 megawatts between 3 and 4 p.m. The new record was immediately broken again between 4 and 5 p.m. when demand reached 72,192 megawatts, only to be broken once again on Thursday, July 19 with demand reaching 73,259 megawatts. The prior record of 71,110 megawatts was set on Aug. 11, 2016. ERCOT maintains more than 6,000 megawatts of reserve power, 1,360 megawatts of which comes from CPS Energy.
But not to worry, there are a number of things you can do to combat the hot temperatures and keep your bill from rising higher.
- Move the temperature of your AC up a few degrees. You can save 7-10% with every degree you bump up. 78° is great when you are at home.
- Use fans. They make a room feel 4° to 6° cooler.
- Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away.
- Keep your fridge and freezer full. A full fridge uses less energy.
- Don’t keep a refrigerator in a non-air conditioned space because it will have to work harder to keep cool.
- Save money by letting the Texas heat dry your clothes. Use a clothesline or drying rack instead of the dryer.
- Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher. The heat-dry setting uses more energy and heats up your home, requiring more air conditioning.
Electronics and Lighting
- Turn off lights and unplug TVs and other equipment when you leave a room.
- 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.
- Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), halogen incandescents and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Looking for more ways to save? Small changes make a big difference. Visit our Simple Summer Savings page to see additional tips as well as information on other savings strategies that we offer, including smart thermostats and our handy energy calculators. You can also read up on our Customer Assistance Programs to see what options are available to help you pay your bill.
Customers who have a Manage My Account (MMA) profile can see their energy consumption online through our My Energy Portal. Through this portal, customers can access additional energy savings tips and see how changes in the weather impact their energy use.