Summer Energy Tips
When it’s 95 degrees in the shade, there’s no space for even one more inner tube at the water park, and your iPhone just let you know it’s too hot to update your Facebook feed — welcome! It’s summer in Texas. But if the fear of higher electricity costs has you sweating more than a high-noon sun, Reliant has a one-of-a-kind new electricity plan to keep you cool and a few super simple summer energy tips and resources to save you some dollars along the way.
The Reliant Predictable 12 plan can be your first line of defense when it comes to budgeting electricity costs, not only during sweltering Texas summers, but also when unpredictable weather plunges us into freezing temperatures. That’s because this plan keeps your electricity costs the same every month for 12 months. Yes, you read that correctly — an entire 12 months! Knowing the amount you’ll be charged for electricity costs each month will ease any concern that can come with seasonal billing and temperature fluctuations and make it much easier to stick to your budget.
Although Predictable 12 customers won’t have to worry about monthly bill fluctuations, taking even small steps to save energy can go a long way in helping to reduce your environmental impact.
- Automatic settings: Set your A/C fan to the “auto” position rather than the “on” position.
- Freshen those filters: Change your air vents monthly. Dirty filters can make your system run harder and longer.
- Calling all caulkers: Seal your windows with caulk or weather stripping to reduce air leaks.
- Get with the program: Install a programmable thermostat to save an estimated 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs.
- Change the channel: Set your TV to the “home” or “standard” screen setting. The “vivid” or “retail” settings are unnecessarily bright and burn 20 percent more power.
- Get out of hot water: Lower the temperature settings on your water heater from 140 degrees to 120 degrees.
- Round and round you go: Switch your ceiling fan to turn in a counter-clockwise direction in the summer.
- Toast it up: Use microwave and toaster ovens to warm leftovers. You’ll use less energy than with a conventional oven and generate less heat.
- Fill ’er up: Wash full loads of clothes when possible. When smaller loads are necessary, use less water.
- Get grill ready: Grill more often during the summer. Using the oven in summer forces your AC to work harder.
- 4 and 4: Setting your thermostat four degrees higher when you’re away for more than four hours helps reduce electricity usage.
And though Predictable 12 will be a budgeting lifesaver for many, Reliant knows that some of our neighbors tend to struggle during the summer months, especially those with no access to air conditioning or who must budget on tighter lower incomes. So again for the fifth year, we’ve opened free Beat the Heat Centers for any and all local residents. Each center will offer adult and kids’ activities, snacks, and bottled water, so hunger and boredom will not be an option! You can go here to find a Beat the Heat Center near you.
More energy efficiency tips are available at Reliant.com, and our customer service team members can work to find a plan, financial assistance programs or extensions for qualified low-income residential customers. And, anyone who is a Reliant customer can benefit from a personal Home Energy Checkup where a Reliant Home Consultant will provide a free in-home consultation and help identify any energy efficiency opportunities.
When the Texas summer heats up, it’s just another reason to lend a hand and look for ways to help our many customers and community members. Together we can save electricity and stay cool.
Elizabeth Killinger is president of NRG Texas Retail and Reliant.
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