The following energy saving tips come courtesy of the Public Utility Commission.
Public Utility Commission Energy Saving Tips
1) As the temperature goes up there are ways for you to keep your energy bill down. Use electric appliances outside the peak energy usage hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and conserve energy by switching off power strips connected to unused appliances.
2) If you've been running your dishwasher, doing laundry, or even lowering your temperature during the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. it adds extra strain on the electrical grid! Reduce your electricity usage during these "peak" hours to help maintain reliable power for everyone.
3) When it's hot outside electricity usage is bound to go up. Conserving electricity and running appliances like the dishwasher and laundry machines in the early morning or evening avoids the peak electricity usage hours of 3 p.m. To 7 p.m. which is better for everyone.
4) Before you leave the house for work this morning, raise your thermostat five degrees. When you get home lower it a few degree, and wait to turn it all the way back down until after 7 p.m. This small change can make a big difference in lowering home cooling costs.
5) Washing the dishes when electricity usage is highest adds extra strain on the electricity grid during the hot summer months. Wash your dishes before 3 p.m. Or after 7 p.m.. If your dishwasher has a "delay cycle" option you can easily set the timer to start the wash in the night or early morning.
6) An easy way to save on your energy costs this season is to take advantage of the hot sun by drying your clothes on a clothesline instead of in a dryer. Using a "solar dryer" will leave your clothes smelling fresh and make your bill a little smaller!
7) A simple way to keep your electric bill in check is by installing programmable thermostats on your heating and cooling systems and a timer on your water heater. These devices make it simpler than ever to reduce your electricity usage, especially during the peak hours of 3 to-7 pm.
8) During this scorching weather your air conditioner needs to be maintained. Wash the outside coils, clear high grass around the unit, and keep it in the shade. If it's fifteen years or older, it may be time to replace it. Newer efficient models can use forty percent less energy. Keep the air conditioner clean and it will keep your costs down!
9) When the weather is so hot already what difference could one degree make? A big one, actually. Setting your thermostat just one to two degrees warmer can save you up to sixteen percent on your electric bill while still keeping you comfortable.
10) With summer weather in full effect, everyone is looking for ways to cut back on their electricity costs, and here's one you probably haven't thought about. Your hot water heater is a silent energy user. Turning down it's heat by just 10 degrees can save you up to 5 percent on your bill.
11) on a beautiful summer day like this you probably don't need an excuse to go outside and enjoy your grill, but did you know it could save you cash? Barbecued food not only tastes great, it can actually save you money because indoor ranges and ovens heat up your house and make your air conditioner work harder.
12) If you're planning an outdoor barbecue or party, you can save energy by waiting until after 7 p.m. to turn on any outdoor lights. With the sun setting later in the day you should still be able to party the night away while avoiding peak use.
13) Remember when you're reaching into your fridge or freezer for something cool to drink try to minimize opening and closing the door. Every time you open it cool air is replaced with warm air, and the fridge has to work harder to stay cool, costing you money.
14) With the kids home from school, video game usage can go up. But don't let it take your energy costs up with it! Video game consoles, when left on continuously, use a significant amount of energy. So always turn them off when not in use.
15) It may seem like a simple fix, but just closing any blinds or drapes on windows facing the sun can cut down on the heat in your home and your electricity costs. So close those blinds before you leave for work in the morning.
16) When it's hot outside, don't create heat inside! Wait to do chores that produce heat and moisture like dishwashing, laundry, and cooking until after 7 p.m.. These activities make your air conditioner work harder. The harder it works, the more it costs you!
17) If you're looking to save money on this month's electric bill, then don't leave all the work to your air conditioner! Fans make a room feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler for a lot less money, and circulate the cool air from your air conditioner allowing you to raise the thermostat while still being comfortable.
18) Trying to lower your home's temperature and electric bill? Then don't position your thermostat by heat-producing devices like lamps or TVs. Heat from these devices could cause your thermostat to read a higher temperature than room temperature leading to excessive cooling and costs.
19) Don't forget to turn off lights, TVs, and cable boxes when you leave the room. Cable boxes can use more power than an icebox in stand-by mode. Unplugging or turning these devices off at a power strip can save you money.
20) Looking for easy ways to reduce your electricity costs? Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (cfls)—they use 75% less electricity and produce 90% less heat. This keeps you cool and lowers your bill.
21) You might not go up there much, but your attic may be costing you on your electric bill! Having a HVAC contractor properly ventilate your attic reduces heat buildup…and your cooling costs!
22) If this heat's got you too drained to cook, there's a good reason to reheat last night's leftovers in the microwave! Microwave cooking creates less heat and humidity than a standard oven or range by shortening cooking time. It also keeps the air in your home cooler which can lower costs.
23) When the weather outside is hot, we look to our fridge for a cold treat. But make sure your fridge is de-frosted regularly and never let it buildup more than a quarter inch of frost which could force the unit to work harder than necessary. The harder it works the higher your electric bill!
24) Even in Texas sometimes everything shouldn't be bigger like your electric bill! Using the shortest cycle possible when washing your dishes and clothes uses less water and less electricity which means less cost to you!
25) During the hot summer months your air conditioner can contribute more to your electric bill than any other appliance. Setting your thermostat just one to two degrees warmer and using fans can save you up to sixteen percent on your electric bill while still keeping you comfortable.