Keeping your energy bill low in triple-digit temps
STATEWIDE — It's been a hot start to the summer, and looking like it's going to stay that way for a while.
This week is slated to be trigle-digit throughout.
And while you can find ways to beat the heat, it's likely the heat is beating up on your wallets.
Why is my bill higher in the summer?
It makes sense why all our energy bills are higher in the summer. It’s basic supply and demand. If there's more people using it, there's more of a strain on the system.
Some ways to lower your bill
Adjust your thermostat when you’re not there
When you leave home, set your thermostat to 78 degrees. If you plan to be gone for more than 2 hours, set it to 85 degrees. That seems hot, but if it's 100 degrees out, still a lot cooler, makes the cool-down process quicker.
Ceiling fans are friends
Fans can help you feel about 4 degrees cooler.
Other helpful suggestions
- Use cold water when doing laundry
- Don't block the vents/ keep furniture at least 6 inches away
- Open all inside doors when the AC is on
- Try to avoid using your oven to cook if you don't have to — Instead use slow cookers, microwaves or toaster ovens
- Replace your air filters once a month, especially if you have pets
- Using LED lights — They take up only above a tenth of the electricity of regular bulbs
- Get a smart thermostat — Does the thermostat adjustment for you/can be controlled remotely
"Another thing that people may not think about is those phantom loads, those appliances that you always have plugged in – the TV in the guest room, gaming systems, things like that, put those on power strips and turn those power strips off when you’re not using them," said Jennifer Herber with Austin Energy.
Tuesday was our 15th triple-digit day of the year.
Over the past 100 years, the average is 12 days. Over the past 10 years, average is 38 days.
In 2011, the all-time record — 90 100-plus days.
If your AC system is more than 10 years old, it's recommended that you get it checked out, make sure it's working as efficiently as it can.
The same tips apply to larger spaces, like offices and factories.
Austin Energy has a web app to help manage your energy usage, pay bills, and more.