A new swimsuit and pair of sunglasses. A summer trip. Moving into a new place. These are all summertime staples, where money seems to evaporate as fast as water on the pavement.
Even with summer almost over, as we know in Texas the mercury can climb well into October, so it’s never too late to learn how to manage your energy use and also make sustainable choices. Through simple changes, you’ll reduce your electricity usage and feel (ahem) cool, not guilty, every time you make a splurge.
To help folks make more informed energy choices, here are the top tips from Reliant to beat the heat and manage energy usage:
- Control your electricity budget: Seasonal spikes in hot or cold weather can have a significant effect on your power bill’s bottom line. With the Reliant Predictable 12 plan*, your electricity costs will be the same amount every month, making it easier to budget for summer fun. This is the perfect plan for anyone who dislikes energy bill surprises.
- Get “smart” about the great indoors: Install a smart thermostat to save up to an estimated 10 percent annually on cooling and heating costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Turn it up while you’re out: Set your thermostat four degrees higher when you’re away for more than four hours to help reduce electricity usage.
- Check it all out: Your home has many unique factors that can affect energy efficiency, making it hard to know you’re wasting energy. Reliant offers eligible Houston customers a Home Energy Checkup to evaluate your home’s annual electricity usage and provide tips on how to improve energy efficiency. Best part? It’s a free service for Reliant customers.**
- Get out of hot water: Maybe you take colder showers to avoid additional summer heat, but you can also save money if you lower your water heater temperature settings. Try adjusting it to about 120 degrees from the common 140 degrees, and it will still feel plenty hot.
- Spin to lower bills: Set your ceiling fan to rotate counterclockwise in the summer. This helps distribute air so you feel cooler without lowering the thermostat. And remember to turn off the fan when the room is unoccupied.
- Freshen those filters: Improve your air conditioner efficiency by checking air filters at least once a month during periods of heavy use. The Reliant Filters Made Easy® program offers Reliant customers home delivery of high-quality air filters at reduced costs, another great energy efficiency opportunity. Even better, the periodic deliveries mean you won’t have to remember to change the filters.
Those are just a few ideas to get you thinking about how to manage your power usage and stay cool through the long summer heat. To learn more about how to conserve energy and manage your electricity bills, please visit the Reliant website.
Bill Clayton is vice president of Customer Care Operations for Reliant.
*The Reliant Predictable 12 plan is valid for Reliant residential customers. Eligibility restrictions apply, to learn more please visit reliant.com/predictable. PUCT #10007
**The Home Energy Checkup is valid only for Reliant residential single-family customers within the Houston area. Some features may not be available to all customers. Limit one in-home checkup annually. Restrictions may apply. Visit reliant.com/checkup. PUCT #10007