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Throw a summer patio party

Tips for an energy-efficient celebration

Summer is the perfect season to spend time outdoors with family and friends. Whether you’re celebrating Independence Day, a birthday party, or just having a summer gathering – consider these tips for a fun, energy-efficient backyard bash.

Stock your coolers
Fill a cooler with ice to store beverages and create a self-service drink station. Keep it in a shaded spot to stay cool. Keep another cooler handy with simple grab-and-go foods that don’t require cooking or heating.

Go solar
For parties lasting into the evening, solar lights are both trendy and functional. Hang outdoor LED lights over your patio to illuminate a path and create ambiance. Many light sets come with timers, so you don’t have to remember to turn them off once your guests are gone.

Keep the party outside
Encourage guests to stay outdoors as much as possible and be sure to provide plenty of shade to keep everyone cool. Create shady areas under umbrellas, tents, awnings, and trees. Bean bag tosses, washers, and other energy-free games will keep the party going without spiking your electric bill. While you’re outside, turn up your thermostat inside.

Grill up something tasty
Savor the outdoors and test your culinary skills on the grill. Cooking outside cuts energy costs and keeps your home cool. Choose a simple menu and fire up the grill. From hot dogs and hamburgers, to barbecue and corn on the cob, you can’t go wrong with a charred flavor that tastes like a Texas summer.

Stay cool in the pool
If you have a pool, invest in energy efficient upgrades. Look for an ENERGY STAR® certified pool pump. These use about 65% less energy than standard pumps and can save you up to $445 a year in energy bills. Turn off your pool pump during Power Rush Hour from 3-7 p.m.