Energy Savings

Texas weather is wild, but your bills don’t have to be

Wavering temperatures will naturally cause a slight shift in your daily usage, so conserving when you can is key.

Central Texas weather is anything but predictable this time of year. One day it feels like summer, and the next you’re reaching for your winter coat. Wavering temperatures will naturally cause a slight shift in your daily usage, so conserving when you can is key. PEC Senior Energy Service Advisor Chris Denison recommends these tips and tricks for energy savings in unpredictable weather.

1. Resist the urge to change your thermostat

As tempting as it may be to crank up the heat when it’s cold, or start the air conditioner on randomly warm days — these changes are costly. Instead, you want to keep a steady temperature because it’s easier to maintain heat than it is to recreate it.

Pick the lowest temperature you’re comfortable with and set your thermostat. Once you achieve a good temperature in your home, leave it alone and let thermal storage work for you. Try not to turn up your heat pump either, as an increase of two degrees or more will use more energy.

2. Supplement when necessary

If it gets cold, layer on clothing, bundle up with blankets, light your fireplace, or use a space heater for area heating. Space heaters use much less energy than your HVAC and work great for heating small spaces. If it gets hot from one day to the next, try using a fan for area cooling and keep your air conditioning off as long as you can.

Remember to turn off supplemental heating. This will help avoid wasting energy and safety hazards.

3. Make the most of mother nature

When it’s cold, but still sunny, open your curtains or draw up your blinds to let the sun naturally heat your home. At night, close curtains and blinds to prevent cold air from coming in. Stock up on natural heating and cooling whenever you can to increase energy savings over time.

4. Avoid surprises with SmartHub

Track changes in your daily energy use with SmartHub, and know what to expect before your bill arrives. Our SmartHub analytics tools help your compare energy use over time and against weather data. Monitor your energy to see if you’re using more than usual. If you notice a spike, try making the adjustments recommended above.

Download the SmartHub app and access the tool on your phone, computer, or tablet.