Taking actions like these during hot weather helps conserve energy and saves you money on your utility bill:
- Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Bump it up a little more if you are leaving home. Familiarize yourself with the 20 degree differential between outside and inside temperature. Maintain your air conditioning unit with seasonal tune ups and change filters monthly during the hot summer months.
- Use fans & point them in your direction to feel 4-6 degrees cooler. Set ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise.
- Lower window shades and blinds when they are in direct sunlight.
- Avoid using large appliances like ovens and clothes dryer. Grill & line dry when you can.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when you are not using them. When the wire is connected to the outlet it consumes energy, even if the appliance or device is turned off.
What are high energy demand days?
High energy demand days are a few days each summer, and sometimes during the winter, when demand for electricity is highest. Conserve energy every day, and especially on high energy demand days. High demand during the winter months occurs during the morning hours on cold days, but can be throughout the day when the weather is extreme. Demand is typically at its highest in the summer between 3p.m. and 7p.m. on very hot days.
During extreme weather, pay attention to messaging from Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), in the event they request reductions in electricity demand during certain hours. Download ERCOT's mobile app and follow ERCOT on Twitter @ERCOT_ISO to track electricity demand.
What to do on high energy demand days during the summer:
- Set thermostats 2° to 3° higher from 3p.m. to 7p.m. Set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home.
- If home, use fans to feel 4° to 6° cooler. Set ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise for cooling.
- Set pool pumps to run early morning or overnight & shut off from 3p.m. to 7p.m.
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
- Avoid using large appliances (i.e. ovens, washing machines, etc.), especially during peak demand hours or the hours specified in the conservation appeal.
- Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
- Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
- Review the energy-saving tips for air conditioning, refrigerator & freezer, washer, dryer & dishwasher, electronics and lighting.
It's important to stay safe all the time. Here are safety tips.
- Never use a stove or an oven as a space heater. Using the stove or range to heat your home can produce dangerous carbon monoxide gas.
- Test smoke alarms to verify they are working in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every floor.
- Test or install carbon monoxide alarms in a central location outside sleeping areas.
- Keep flammable liquids and spray cans at least three feet from heating equipment.
- When using a natural gas space heater, leave a window open a couple of inches for proper ventilation.
- Keep areas around your gas water heater or furnace clean, uncluttered, and free of flammable materials. Be sure your natural gas appliances are serviced and use a professional for needed repairs.
- For additional safety tips, please visit cpsenergy.com/safety.
What steps can you take to reduce your energy demand during cold weather?
- Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows. Keep doors and windows closed to minimize warm air from escaping your home.
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
- Avoid using large appliances (i.e. ovens, washing machines, etc).
- If using a ceiling fan, set it to run clockwise for heat circulation.
- Turn down thermostats to 68°. Wear warm, comfortable clothing to help stay warm indoors, instead of adjusting your thermostat.
Extreme weather is the number one reason for high energy bills. We will work with you on a payment plan and we have customer assistance programs available.
- Conveniently apply online for a payment plan in Manage My Account (MMA)
- Log on to MMA
- Click on Discounts & Programs
- Click on Payment Plans
Utilize the following to help take control of your energy use.
- Savings Programs - Go here to use an energy calculator, find upcoming events close to you, and more
- Login to Manage My Account where you can view your energy use, past bills and more
- SaveNow through our energy saving and rebate programs
- Check out the tips below to help make your home more energy efficient
March 1 is the start of Ozone Reduction Awareness. An Ozone Action Day is declared when weather conditions are likely to combine with pollution emissions to form high levels of ozone near the ground that may cause harmful health effects. People and businesses should take action to reduce emissions of ozone-causing pollutants. A large proportion of the ground-level ozone generated in the San Antonio area comes from the exhaust and fumes from vehicles. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality notifies the Alamo Area Council of Governments when an Ozone Action Day is in effect.
Simple and inexpensive actions can help you save energy & money during the cold winter months. Here are some things you can do to start saving in your home.
- Move the temperature on your air conditioner up a few degrees. 78° is great when you are at home!
- Use fans. They make a room feel 4° to 6° cooler.
- Run your ceiling fan blades in a counter-clockwise direction (as you look up at the fan.) Use a high speed to blow air straight down and get the best effect.
- Keep out the sun and hot air by making sure your windows and doors are closed tightly. Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight. Shade your outside AC units or condensers.
- Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away. Set or program your air conditioning to be 5° warmer when you’re gone for more than 4 hours.
- Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you do turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home down any faster and it wastes energy.
- Keep your thermostat within a 20-degree margin of the outside temperature. Remember the "20 degree rule" that air conditioners are designed to cool your home about 15-20 degrees less than the outside temperature. If the difference between the outside temperature and your thermostat setting is more than 20 degrees then your air conditioner will run non-stop!
- Limit your use of the vent fans above your stove and in your bathroom because they pull in hot outside air, making your AC work harder.
- Check and/or replace or clean your air filters every two weeks May through October.
- Have your system inspected by a licensed and bonded professional at least twice a year, spring and fall.
REFRIGERATOR & FREEZER:
- Keep your fridge & freezer full, even if you just use bottles of water. A full fridge uses less energy.
- Set refrigerator temperature between 37° & 40° degrees Fahrenheit. Set the freezer between 0° & 5°.
- Make sure the seal around the door is airtight & keep the refrigerator coils clean from lint and dust.
- Don’t keep a refrigerator in a non-air conditioned space because it will have to work harder to keep cool.
WASHER, DRYER & DISHWASHER:
- Save money by letting the Texas heat dry your clothes. Use a clothesline or drying rack instead of the dryer. If your clothes dry a little stiff, use your dryer’s “fluff” cycle (before 3p.m. or after 7p.m.)
- Run your washer, dryer & dishwasher only when they are full loaded.
- Wash your laundry with cold water.
- Don’t overfill your dryer. Dry your laundry loads back-to-back & clean the lint filter between loads. This way the dryer is still hot from the previous load, saving energy.
- Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher. The heat-dry setting uses more energy & heats up your home, requiring more air conditioning.
- Turn off lights, and unplug televisions and other equipment when you leave a room. Use power strips to make this quick and easy.
- All electrical devices use some power and can generate heat when they are turned off but still plugged in. Turn off and unplug lights, appliances and cable boxes when not in use.
- Unplug your phone charger and similar devices when charging is complete.
- Video game consoles can be big energy consumers. Avoid watching DVDs and blu rays on your game console because it consumes five (5) times the energy of a regular DVD player.
- Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs that use a lot of energy to produce light, generate heat and are no longer manufactured. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), halogen incandescents and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) may initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs but save you money during their lifetime because they use less energy.
- Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms.
- Using a small light when reading is more efficient than brightly lighting an entire room. Also, keep your light bulbs clean & free from dust.
- CFLs and LEDs are great for use in outdoor lighting fixtures that are sometimes left on for a long time and may be exposed to weather.
Long, hot showers not only run up your water bill, but your energy bill as well. Therefore, think conservation for certain daily tasks and not only save water, but save electricity as well.
- Take short showers or shallow baths.
- Use cold water as much as possible when using a dishwasher or washing machine.
- Buy a high-efficiency washing machine when you need a new washer.
- Check the setting on your water heater. The recommended setting for our area is 120 degrees. Also check the unit for possible leaks.
- Wrap an old water heater with an insulation jacket to decrease its heat loss. Insulating the water pipes also can help.
- Don't leave hot water running when shaving or rinsing dishes. This will reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the water and save on your water expenses as well.
- Wait to wash dishes and clothes until you have a full load.
- Install a low-flow showerhead or faucet aerator to not only save water, but reduce water heating costs.
- Try a natural gas water heater for greater efficiency. Take advantage of our Natural Gas Rebates.
- Consider a tankless water heater system. Tankless units heat water directly, without the use of a storage tank -- saving energy and water, reducing both of your utility bills.
Your heating system uses more than half of the energy in your home. A few changes in your habits can put more money in your pocket each month. Here are a few tips:
- During the cold season, set your thermostat between 68 to 70 degrees, when you’re at home. 68 is great!
- Use a programmable thermostat. Set it at a lower temperature while you’re away. Then, program it to be at a comfortable temperature when you return. Consider one of our energy-saving thermostats.
- Check your air filter every month and be sure to replace it when it’s dirty.
- Have your HVAC inspected and cleaned twice a year by a licensed professional.
- Plan for the next warm season and consider replacing your air conditioner, if it is 10 years or older. Consider a new, more efficient model. Take advantage of CPS Energy’s HVAC Rebates. When buying a new central air unit, remember that proper sizing and quality installation are critical. Learn more
- Repair leaks in your air duct system.
- Reduce air leaks and prevent unnecessary air infiltration around the house. Add caulk around window frames and weather-stripping around door frames.
- Use ceiling fans or portable fans to circulate air. Make sure ceiling fans are running in a clockwise direction during the winter. Don’t forget to turn off fans when you leave the room!
- Check the insulation in your attic. The recommended level for an attic in South Texas is R-30 to R-60 (the higher the R-value, the better your attic resists the heat and cold). Take advantage of CPS Energy’s Attic Insulation Rebates. Learn more
- Replace old windows with ENERGY STAR® windows. This may cut your energy bill as much as 15 percent.
- Plant trees and shrubs around your home to protect your home from the cold wind. Take advantage of our Green Shade tree rebates.
- Install inexpensive foam gaskets behind the face plates of all electric sockets and light switches.