Get the most out of your Energy Bill Savings

Reducing electricity use in your home can be pretty simple when you break it down by category. The main categories in your home are lights, electronics, water, and climate control.

Get the most out of your Energy Bill Savings

Lighting

It’s always a good practice to turn off the lights when you leave a room, but if your home has a tendency to leave them on, occupancy sensors can shut the lights off for you. If the sensor doesn’t detect any movement for a set period of time, from a few seconds to a few minutes, it will shut off the lights. Installing more efficient lighting like LED bulbs will also reduce your energy usage. LEDs and CFLS are about 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs.

 

Electronics

The only way to stop electronics from consuming electricity is to unplug them entirely. So long as the power cord is connected, appliances and electronics are draining energy. You can use a power strip to shut off the electricity to several devices at once, like in entertainment centers. If you do need to leave them plugged in, powering down the device will definitely save more energy than a sleep mode.

 

Water

Set your water heater to 120°F to save energy for heating the water. and insulate your hot water pipes. This reduces energy waste by getting warmer water to the faucets. Using aerators and low-flow shower heads, you can reduce the amount of water, and subsequently energy, being used in your home. When washing dishes or clothes, only run full loads and use colder water settings more often.

Climate Control

Programmable thermostats let you set periods of time throughout the day for your heating or cooling to run. This allows you to keep the thermostat off while you are at work or asleep, thus reducing the time you’re AC or heat runs. And since climate control is about half of your energy bill, you’re sure to notice a savings!

ERCOT Prepares for the Texas Heat

March is here, and that means that the Texas heat is not far behind. The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is gearing up for this hot weather by preparing the electricity grid with 77,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity. The peak demand is expected to cap out around 69,000 MW, so this will ensure that everyone has reliable electricity as we head into cooling season.

ERCOT Prepares for the Texas HeatKen McIntyre, VP of Grid Planning and Operations at ERCOT, said that they will “continue to monitor a number of factors that could affect power plant availability and demand over the summer. . . .” ERCOT also expects, even in a worst-case scenario, to have at least 500 MW of electricity in reserve. This summer will also see the addition of 346 MW of peak wind capacity which is enough to power 69,200 homes during peak demand on a mild spring day, according to ERCOT’s data.

Summer always sees a huge increase in energy demands due to the increased need for air conditioning. You can help reduce the peak demands from your home by using programmable thermostats to only run the AC while you’re at home and awake, such as in the morning before work and in the evening before going to bed. At night, if it’s cool enough, shut off the AC and open up the windows. You can save energy and subsequently money on your energy bill as the temperatures heat up this summer.