TYLER, Texas (KETK) – As the freezing temperatures move across Texas, electricity is expected to increase in demand.
While the Texas electrical grid has undergone major reforms since last year’s winter storm, colder weather can still result in Texans using more energy to heat their home.
In February of 2021, during the aftermath of the winter storm, the Texas Public Utility Commission investigated after hearing reports of Texans receiving massive electrical bills.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, during winter time the average price for electricity is about 12 cents for every kilowatt-hour and Texas utility companies allowed that price to jump to $9.
Reliant shared some simple actions that can help reduce a households’ overall energy usage and costs.
- Check your thermostat settings. Set your thermostat a few degrees lower to decrease energy usage and costs. For every degree above 68°, you can typically expect a 3-5% increase in heating costs.
- Put your thermostat on vacation mode. Drop your thermostat to 50 degrees if you’ll be gone for a few days or more. This is warm enough to prevent your pipes from freezing, without wasting energy.
- Close heat escape routes. Be mindful of how often you’re opening entry doors and using bathroom or utility room ventilation fans. Ensure the damper on your fireplace is closed when not in use, as heat can escape from your home through these outlets.
- Set your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise. This helps force warm air down from the ceiling into the room to create a more comfortable environment.
- Let the sun in. Open blinds and shades when the sun’s out to take advantage of radiant heat to help warm your home. Close them in the evening to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
- On vs. auto. Ensure the fan on your thermostat is set to “auto” not “on” to prevent it from running 24/7.
- Cozy up with an electric blanket. Plug in your blanket instead of turning on the heater and stay warm for around 25 cents a day.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees. This is hot enough to be sanitary while saving you up to $60 a year on your heating bill.