The importance of energy conservation & helpful tips

You may recall in a July 7 blog post, we mentioned that we would have three asks of our community. The first was to share information on how customers who are behind on their bills can get help as we shared in that July 7 blog.  Now with the hottest temperatures of the month expected this week, we are making our second ask to be good stewards of our community’s resources and conserve energy.

Now more than ever, the word “conservation” is becoming a regular part of our vocabulary. We have always stressed the importance of energy conservation.

So what is energy conservation?

Energy conservation is behavioral and calls for a change in what may be a daily routine, such as using the clothes dryer less often, turning off unneeded lights or bumping up the thermostat in the summer. It is the concept of reducing energy consumption through doing less activities that use energy.

Minimizing energy use by conserving has numerous benefits. As we saw with Winter Storm Uri, when there is a strain on the Texas grid, conserving energy helps grid reliability by ensuring there is enough supply to meet demand. When households and businesses effectively conserve energy, the need for more extreme measures can be avoided. To be clear, there is no risk of demand outstripping supply this week so there’s nothing to worry about.

Along with protecting the grid to ensure all customers have reliable power, the biggest benefit of energy conservation is it saves you money through buying less energy. You can try some of these easy conservation tips in and around your home.

  • Set thermostats 2 to 3 degrees higher, from 2 -7 p.m. Set thermostats higher when not at home.
    • Programmable thermostats can be scheduled to help you conserve. Get an $85 rebate when you enroll in our WiFi Thermostat Rewards program, plus a $30 bill  at the end of the summer season.
    • The optimum energy-saving temperature is 78 degrees, which conserves energy, lowers bills and may avoid expensive AC repairs as noted in this blog about the 20-degree differential.
  • Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler. Remember, fans cool people not rooms. Turn them off in unoccupied rooms.
  • Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight; shutoff from 4 – 6 p.m.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e. ovens, washing machines, etc.), especially during peak demand hours of 2 – 7 p.m.

Also, we encourage you to do summer readiness maintenance by having your HVAC system inspected by a licensed professional and checking windows and doors or any area where cool air is escaping and hot air is entering your home. Seal the gaps with caulking or door sweeps. These types of weatherization measures and much more are available through our Casa Verde program. For customers who qualify, Casa Verde provides an average of $5,000 in energy efficiency measures. Once your home is more energy efficient, it becomes easier to take conservation actions.   

Start putting the tips above into action and see if you notice a difference on your next energy bill. Or better yet, go online and view your energy use in near real-time through our convenient and free Manage My Account service. Once you’re in Manage My Account, visit the My Energy Portal tab to see your energy use as recently as a day or two before. It is a great way to visually see your savings as you begin to practice energy conservation. My Energy Portal also let’s you see how you stack up against your neighbors and your highest energy use days of the month.

For more tips on how to conserve energy and save money, visit our website or click here.