Heading into winter, you may be thinking about your Texas energy rates. Specifically, your monthly bills for the cooler months may leave you wondering how you can use less electricity after another sizzling summer. But Texas power companies have your back with an abundance of tips, tricks and suggestions on how to make this winter an energy efficient one at home.
Texas power companies share their top tips for conserving energy
Check out the sage advice from five electric companies in Texas that know a thing or two about conserving energy.
Green Mountain Energy
To support its mission to change the way power is made, Green Mountain Energy is one of the Texas power companies you can count on for 100% clean, renewable energy. To cut down on electricity usage, they recommend that you:
- Wait for a full load. Run the dishwasher only when you have a full load of dishes to wash. This will save water and energy. Also, let them air dry instead of using the heat cycle.
- Stock your fridge. A full fridge — and freezer — can actually help your appliance be more efficient. That’s because the contents of a full refrigerator or freezer help contain the cold, so the unit won’t have to work as hard to cool the empty space.
- Unplug electronics not in use. Taking the plug out of the wall will help minimize energy waste while a device is in standby mode (also called phantom load).
- Be an energy star. If you’re in the market for a new appliance, check out efficient models that have the ENERGY STAR® certification.
Discount Power TX
In contrast to many Texas power companies that offer lots of extras and plan add-ons, Discount Power is a back-to-basics electricity provider in the Lone Star State. They have budget-friendly pricing and plans that fit every family’s needs. To stay warm on a budget this winter, the folks at Discount Power suggest:
Use extra blankets. Don’t let cozy blankets go to waste in the closet. Put them to good use for some free warmth. Adding a blanket or two during the day or at night will let you comfortably turn down the thermostat a few degrees and save energy.
Insulate the access door. Even if your attic is well-insulated, the access door may not be. Keep rising warm air from leaking into the attic by attaching fiberglass batt insulation to the attic side of the door. This will form a good seal.
Let vents breathe. To heat your home properly and efficiently, make sure nothing is blocking the heating vents. Rearrange the furniture in each room so it doesn’t prevent airflow from the registers. And keep toys, laundry and other items from blocking the vents.
Lower your water heater temperature. Water heaters are often set to 140 degrees. However, setting them between 120 and 125 degrees is sufficient to provide hot water for your home, helping to reduce energy costs. It can also prevent scalding.
Direct Energy is one of the Texas power companies that gives customers innovative tools and information to help them take control of their energy usage. Here are some of their take-charge tips:
- Dress strategically. Layering with clothing made from natural fibers will help you stay truly warm. Cotton, wool and silk are all materials that breathe, but keep in the warmth.
- Get an HVAC tune-up. Annual maintenance of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can help increase efficiency.
Close garage doors. Keep your garage door closed as much as possible. This helps retain warmer air against the garage-side wall of the house. It will also function as a buffer against colder outside air.
With Cirro Energy, you get an easy electricity experience. Everything from signup to bill paying is simplified, so you can get back to more important things. Some easy actions they suggest include:
- Enjoy the sunshine. Even in winter, the sun is still a natural (and free!) source of energy. Open up your shades and curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to let heat in. (But close them at night to reduce any chill from cold windows.)
- Switch to a smart thermostat. Most Texas power companies agree that a smart thermostat is an excellent energy-saving device. In addition to being programmable, a smart thermostat also learns your habits and preferences over time. That way, it can adjust automatically. Plus, you can control it from your smartphone. That means you can avoid heating or cooling an empty house if you’re out longer than expected.
- Seal the flue. When you’re not using your fireplace, make sure to close the flue to keep chilly air from seeping into your home.
- Clean dryer lint filters. Remove lint from the filter after every load of laundry, and clean dryer ducts annually to help your clothes dryer run more efficiently.
Counted on by residents across the state, Reliant Energy provides innovative ways to personalize your power and take control of energy efficiency. They suggest:
- Cover your hot water heater. Older water heaters, or those with an R-value of less than 24, could benefit from a water heater “jacket.” The additional insulation can help minimize expensive heat loss. Note: R-value is a measure of the resistance of an insulating or building material to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating capability.
- Get alerted. Reliant is one of the Texas power companies that offers text alerts when your costs exceed a set amount. This benefit reminds you to be more energy efficient so you can try to stick to your budget.
- Be patient with your thermostat. As tempting as it is to crank your thermostat up 10 degrees to warm the house up quickly, don’t do it. Not only will it not heat things up faster, but it makes your heater exert more energy. (Also, frequently changing the temperature by a few degrees causes the heater to go into a costly and inefficient start-stop cycle.)
- Weatherstrip. Seal any cracks or air leaks in exterior doors and windows to keep cold air outside.
Find the best Texas power companies for your home and budget
Now that you’ve explored some energy-saving tips from Texas power companies, it’s time to save more energy! Shop and compare plans the easy way —with our personalized filters and average bill estimates. Start shopping today!