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POWER TO SAVE

PLACEHOLDER H2 TO MEET WCAG REQUIREMENT

Utility bills are a key part of your budget. Learn how you can save!

When it comes to the family budget, every penny matters, so it's important to save where one can.

Depending on one's contract with electric and water utilities, reducing consumption with simple changes in behavior can create savings that really add up over time. We hope you'll take advantage of this site to discover simple ways to reduce your consumption of electricity and water to protect your family budget.

 

General Energy-Saving Tips:

  • Replace all incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Always turn lights off in rooms you are not using.
  • Make sure bulbs do not exceed the recommended wattage indicated on the light socket.
  • One larger wattage bulb is more efficient than two smaller wattage bulbs.
  • Direct light, such as for reading, is more efficient than brightly lighting an entire room.
  • Clean light bulbs regularly.
  • Repair leaking faucets. Warm-water leaks should be given immediate attention because they can raise your electric consumption rapidly.
  • Drain your hot water tank regularly to remove sediment.
  • Consider a tankless water heater; they are 35-45 percent more efficient, pay for themselves in 3-5 years, and never run out of hot water.
  • Wrap the hot water heater in an insulation blanket.
  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater. For each 10 degrees of reduction, you can save 3-5 percent in energy costs. 120° F is suggested unless your dishwasher does not have its own water heater, in which case 130° F - 140° F is suggested for optimal cleaning.
  • Clean or replace furnace filters once a month (or as needed) with a filter that has a MERV 11 rating or higher.
  • Ensure that your HVAC system is properly sized for your home.
  • At the beginning of cooler or warmer weather have a professional come out to inspect your HVAC system.
  • Have your duct system checked for air leaks and proper insulation.
  • Consider installing a "whole house fan" to improve circulation and ventilation throughout your home.
  • Do not use humidifiers or evaporator ("swamp") coolers with the air conditioner.
  • Close vents in unused rooms.
  • Use the air-dry option on your dishwasher if available or open the door after the final rinse cycle to dry the dishes.
  • Only run dishwashers and clothes washers when fully loaded.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer full. They operate more efficiency when full.
  • When drying clothes, do not overfill the dryer and use the automatic setting if available. Dry loads back-to-back if possible. Remember to clean the lint filter between loads.
  • Unplug or recycle that spare refrigerator in the garage if you don‘t really need it. Refrigerators are typically the second largest electricity users in a home. If your refrigerator is more than ten years old, consider replacing it.
  • Always choose Energy Star-labeled appliances.
  • Except for refrigerators and freezers that keep food cold, unplug all electronic devices, chargers, and appliances when they are not being used. They can still use a large amount of energy even when they are in the "Off" or "Power Save Mode". Consider plugging these devices into power strips with an on-off switch.
  • Ensure that the clothes dryer's outside air vent is well-sealed.
  • Keep the condenser coils on the back of your refrigerator and freezer clean.
  • When considering the purchase of new appliances, consult Energy Star (www.energystar.gov) for information on which models they have approved to use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment.
  • Don‘t leave bathroom or kitchen ventilation fans running longer than necessary; they replace inside air with outside air.
  • Improve your roof by installing light-colored, durable materials and by adding insulation.
  • Install weather stripping, and seal cracks around windows, exterior doors, and other openings.
  • Programmable thermostats can save a household about $100 per year.
  • Take short showers instead of baths.

About the Grid

Summer Grid Conditions

Grid Condition for Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Verifying Condition

April 1 - September 30
 

Hot Weather Energy-Saving Tips:

  • Set your thermostat at 78°F or higher - every degree of extra cooling will increase energy usage six to eight percent.
  • Use ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate the cool air.
  • Install patio covers, awnings, and solar window screens to shade your home from the sun. Shade south and west windows with plants or trees to block the heat during the summer.
  • Close interior blinds, drapes, or shades to block the sun and heat during warm weather.
  • Use a clothesline instead of a clothes dryer.
  • Outside air conditioning units, or condensers, should be shaded.
  • On warm days raise your thermostat to 80°F or higher if leaving for more than four hours.
  • Setting your thermostat to a lower temperature than normal will not cool your home faster.
  • Try to save heat and humidity-generating activities (cooking, laundering, and dishwashing) for early morning or evening hours.

For Additional Energy Saving Tips:

Grid Conditions

  • Save up to 16% by turning up your AC 1-2° warmer.
  • Set your AC to 78° or higher between 3-7 pm. Use fans to feel 4-6° cooler.
  • Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight.
  • Turn off lights when you leave the room.
  • Unplug TVs, computers, and other electrical devices when not in use.
  • Run only full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.
  • You may be able to save money by switching to another electric provider. Find out at www.powertochoose.org.
    Note: Choosing a different electric provider does not affect the reliability of your electric service. It has no effect on the frequency or duration of outages. And it won't affect the time it takes to have your electric service restored if an outage occurs.

  • Save up to 16% by turning up your AC 1-2° warmer.
  • Save up to 5% by turning your electric water heater down 10°.
  • Set your AC to 78° or higher between 3-7 pm. Use fans to feel 4-6° cooler.
  • Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight.
  • Turn off lights when you leave the room.
  • Unplug TVs, computers, and other electrical devices when not in use.
  • Run only full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.

  • Between 3 and 7 p.m. (peak time):
    • Turn up your AC to 78° or higher. Use fans to feel 4-6° cooler.
    • Don't run your washer, dryer or dishwasher.
    • Turn your electric water heater down 10°.
    • Do not use your hair dryer, coffee maker or other small home appliances.
  • Turn off all unnecessary lights.
  • Unplug appliances and electronic devices that aren't in use.
  • Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight.
  • When you will be away from home for more than 4 hours, set your AC to 85°. Turn off all fans before you leave.
  • Use a microwave, outdoor grill, or slow cooker. In the summer, your stove and oven heat up the house. This makes your AC work harder.
  • Set your pool pump to run early in the morning or overnight.
  • You may be able to save money by switching to another electric provider. Find out at www.powertochoose.org.
    Note: Choosing a different electric provider does not affect the reliability of your electric service. It has no effect on the frequency or duration of outages. And it won't affect the time it takes to have your electric service restored if an outage occurs.

  • Between 3 and 7 p.m. (peak time):
    • Turn up your AC to 78° or higher. Use fans to feel 4-6° cooler.
    • Don't run your washer, dryer or dishwasher.
    • Turn your electric water heater down 10°.
    • Do not use your hair dryer, coffee maker or other small home appliances.
  • Turn off all unnecessary lights.
  • Unplug appliances and electronic devices that aren't in use.
  • Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight.
  • When you will be away from home for more than 4 hours, set your AC to 85°. Turn off all fans before you leave.
  • Use a microwave, outdoor grill, or slow cooker. In the summer, your stove and oven heat up the house. This makes your AC work harder.
  • Set your pool pump to run early in the morning or overnight.
  • You may be able to save money by switching to another electric provider. Find out at www.powertochoose.org.
    Note: Choosing a different electric provider does not affect the reliability of your electric service. It has no effect on the frequency or duration of outages. And it won't affect the time it takes to have your electric service restored if an outage occurs.

  • Set your AC to 80°. Use fans to feel 4-6° cooler.
  • Limit your electricity usage to only necessary tasks. Turn off every light you can. Unplug appliances and electric devices that are not essential.
  • Between 3 and 7 p.m. (peak time):
  • Don't run your washer, dryer or dishwasher.
  • Do not use your hair dryer, coffee maker or other small home appliances.
  • Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight.
  • When you will be away from home for more than 4 hours, set your AC to 85°. Turn off all fans before you leave.
  • Use a microwave, outdoor grill, or slow cooker. In the summer, your stove and oven heat up the house. This makes your AC work harder.
  • If rotating outages are ordered, follow these tips:
    • Know that rotating outages are designed to be brief. However, they sometimes take longer if any equipment trips due to a power surge during the restoration process.
    • Minimize the chance of power surges by turning off all appliances, lights, and other electric devices. Leave one small light on so you'll know when power has been restored.
    • Try not to drive unless your trip is necessary. During outages, traffic signals may be out of service.

  • Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) 2 is the second level of emergency operations and issued to maintain reliability of the grid as operating reserves are continuing to decline. If you are experiencing an outage during an EEA 2, it is local in nature. Please check with your local electric provider for more information.

  • Set your heater to 68° or lower.
  • Immediately limit your electricity usage to only necessary tasks. Turn off every light you can. Unplug appliances and electric devices that are not essential.
  • Know that rotating outages are designed to be brief. However, they sometimes take longer if any equipment trips due to a power surge during the restoration process.
    • Minimize the chance of power surges by turning off all appliances, lights, and other electric devices. Leave one small light on so you'll know when power has been restored.
    • Try not to drive unless your trip is necessary. During outages, traffic signals may be out of service.
 

Tips for Homes

Homes

  • Save on your energy bill by turning up your AC 1-2° – save even more when you use a programmable or Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat.
    • Every degree above 78 can save you up to 8% on your energy bill.
    • Setting your AC to a very low temperature does not make your house cool down faster. It just wastes energy.
    • Set or program your AC to 80° when you're gone for more than 4 hours.
    • Set the AC to cool down after 7 p.m.
    • A programmable or smart thermostat can automatically adjust cooling or heating temperatures for optimal performance and savings. A smart thermostat may be adjusted remotely.
  • Use fans. They make a room feel 4-6° cooler.
  • Keep out the sun and hot air.
    • Make sure windows and doors are closed tightly.
    • Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight.
    • Shade your outside AC units or condensers.
  • Limit your use of the vent fans above your stove and in your bathroom. They pull in hot outside air, making your AC work harder.

  • Turn down your heat 1-2° or as low as is comfortable – save even more on your energy bill when you use a programmable or smart thermostat.
    • Setting your heat to a very high temperature does not make your house heat up faster. It just wastes energy.
    • Set or program your heat to 55° when you're gone for more than 4 hours.
    • Turning your thermostat down 7° to 10° for 8 hours a day in the fall or winter, and up in the spring and summer can save you up to 10% per year on your heating and cooling bills.
  • Keep out the cool air and let in the sun.
    • Make sure windows and doors are closed tightly.
    • Open blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight during the day to naturally heat your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill.
    • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping it open is like keeping a window open during the winter; warm air goes right up the chimney.
    • If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
    • If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room and lower your thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.

  • Set your water heater temperature to 120°F.

  • Consult the Energy label prior to purchasing appliances to get information on energy consumption and how much energy the appliance uses in comparison to similar models.

  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer full, even if you just use bottles of water. A full fridge uses less energy.
  • Minimize opening and closing your refrigerator and freezer. Each time you open them, warm air rushes in causing appliances to work harder and use more energy.
  • When you purchase a new, more energy-efficient refrigerator, consider recycling your old refrigerator. Storing your old refrigerator in a garage or other non-air conditioned space can damage the refrigerator and make it work much harder, costing you more money.
  • Make sure the seals on your refrigerator and freezer are airtight.
  • Keep the condenser coils on your refrigerator and freezer clean.

  • 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 3 or after 7 p.m.).
  • Run washers, dryers, and dishwashers only when fully loaded.
  • Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher. The heat-dry setting uses more energy. It also heats up your home, which means more AC.
  • Wash your laundry with cold water.
  • Don't overfill your dryer.
  • Dry your laundry loads back-to-back and clean the lint filter between loads. This way, your dryer is still hot from the previous load, and you save energy.

  • Unplug TVs and other equipment when you leave a room. Use power strips to make this easy. Many electronics continue to use power even when they are switched off which can add 10% to your monthly utility bill.
  • Use the "home" or "standard" setting on your TV to reduce the TV's energy usage by 18% to 30%.
  • Unplug your phone charger and similar devices when charging is complete.
  • Use ENERGY STAR set-top boxes which are 40% more efficient than conventional models.
  • Stream content on the smallest device that makes sense for the number of people watching.
  • Watch out for video game consoles. They can be energy hogs! Streaming on your video game console can use 10 times more power than streaming through a tablet or laptop.

  • Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or ENERGY STAR certified LED (light-emitting diode) lightbulbs. An ENERGY STAR certified LED lightbulb uses up to 90% less energy than old incandescent bulbs and can save you more than $80 in electriciy costs over its lifetime.
  • ENERGY STAR certified light fixtures use 70%-90% less energy, produce about 70% less heat than traditional models using incandescent light bulbs, and last about 15-25 times longer.
  • Using a small light when reading is more efficient than brightly lighting an entire room.
  • Keep your light bulbs clean and free from dust.
  • Use LED holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.
  • Turn off lights when not in use.

Tips for Businesses

Businesses

  • Use your thermostat wisely.
    • Save up to 20% by installing a programmable or smart thermostat.
    • Summer:
      • Set your AC at 78° or higher when people are in the building.
      • Set it at 85° at night and on weekends.
      • Each degree below 78° can increase your energy bill by 6-8%.
    • Winter:
      • Set your heat to 68° or lower when people are in the building.
      • Set it to 55-60° at night and on weekends.
    • Consider a locking cover over the thermostat so employees cannot change your settings.
  • Use fans. They can make a room feel 4-6° cooler.
  • Shut out the sun and hot air.
    • Keep exterior and freight doors closed as often as possible.
    • Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight.
    • Shade your outside AC units or condensers.
  • Remove under-desk space heaters. They use a lot of power. Instead, adjust your thermostat to be warmer. And explain to employees why space heaters are a problem.

  • Cut lighting use 30-60% with occupancy sensors and controls.
    • These turn lights on only when someone is in the room, reducing unnecessary energy use.
    • Install in offices, restrooms, supply rooms, and any sporadically-used areas.
  • Make sure outdoor lighting is off during the day.
  • Replace incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR certified LED lightbulbs.
  • Replace fluorescent tubes or fixtures with LED tubes or new fixtures. 100 to 1000 Watt fixtures replaced by LED fixtures consumes 30% to 80% less energy than T8 fluorescent lighting.

  • Unplug anything that's not in use and turn off power strips. You'll save up to 10 watts of energy for every device.
  • Set computers and monitor to sleep when idle for more than a few minutes.
  • Don't use screen savers. They prevent computers and monitors from going into power-saver mode.
  • Make sure equipment is turned off overnight and on weekends.

  • Set the water heater to 120° .
  • Repair leaks on warm-water faucets. These leaks just drain your water heater, which means it has to heat more water. That process costs you more.

Long-Term Savings For Homes

Long-Term Savings For Homes

  • Do not use humidifiers or swamp coolers with the AC.
  • If your AC or heater is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a more efficient model.
    • Newer models use up to 40% less energy.
    • When replacing your air conditioner, make sure it is sized correctly for your home. An over-sized air conditioner performs less efficiently and effectively than a properly sized unit.
  • Consider installing a whole-house fan for better circulation.
  • Maintain your AC and heater so they work efficiently.
    • Check your air or furnace filters every month when in use. Replace them at least every three months.
    • If you can, have your HVAC unit inspected and maintained in the spring and or fall by a licensed professional.
    • Wash the outside coils of your AC. Clear away high grass, leaves and any other debris that could block the flow of air.
  • Add trees and shrubs on the east, west, and south sides of your home to keep it insulated naturally.

  • Set your computer and monitor to sleep when idle for more than a few minutes.
  • Don't use screen savers. They prevent computers and monitors from going into power-saver mode.
  • Make sure the dryer air vent outside your house is properly sealed.
  • If your washer is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with a new ENERGY STAR certified washer. Energy use for clothes washers has dropped by 70% since 1990.
  • When replacing your clothes dryer consider purchasing a dryer with an ENERGY STAR label.

  • Check light sockets for the recommended bulb wattage for each lamp or light. Don't use a higher-wattage bulb. It wastes energy, and it can be a fire hazard. If you need more light, consider using an ENERGY STAR certified LED lightbulb or CFL bulb that produces more light with lower wattage.

  • Consider insulating your hot water heater if it is warm to the touch. This reduces heat loss and can save 7% - 16% per year on heating costs. Insulating your hot water pipes can save 3% - 4% on heating costs.
  • Repair leaks on warm-water faucets. These leaks just drain your water heater, which means it has to heat more water. That process costs you more.
  • Drain your hot water tank regularly to remove sediment.
  • If buying a new water heater, consider a tankless unit. These systems are 35-45% more efficient. Plus, you'll never run out of hot water.

  • Save up to 10%-20% on heating and cooling costs by caulking windows and weather-stripping doors.
  • Upgrade to energy-efficient windows.
  • Add solar screens or window tint.
  • Check your ducts for leaks and seal them if needed.
  • Make sure your attic has proper ventilation and high R-value insulation. This will help your AC be more efficient and keep more cool air inside your home.
  • Use heavy-duty, clear plastic film on the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months.
  • Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty.

  • Consider a professional home energy audit to evaluate steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient.
  • For a do-it-yourself audit, check out the Home Energy Saver website.

Long-Term Savings For Businesses

Long-Term Savings For Businesses

  • If your AC or heater is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a more efficient model.
    • Newer models use up to 40% less energy.
  • Maintain your AC and heater so they work efficiently.
    • Check your air and furnace filters each month when in use. Replace them at least every three months. Dirty filters make your system work harder.
    • Have your HVAC unit inspected and maintained in the spring and or fall by a licensed professional.
    • Wash the outside coils of your AC. Clear high grass and debris that could block the flow of air.
  • Limit your use of the vent fans in kitchens and bathrooms. They pull in outside air, making your AC and heater work harder.

  • Use electronic ballasts. They increase fluorescent lamp efficiency and light output.
  • Install skylights to minimize artificial lighting.
  • Keep your light bulbs and fixtures clean to increase light output.
  • Replace existing exit signs with more efficient LED exit signs.

  • Use the energy-saving features on printers, monitors, copiers, and computers.

  • Drain your hot water tank regularly to remove sediment.
  • When buying a new water heater, consider a tankless unit. These systems are 35-45% more efficient. Plus, you'll never run out of hot water.
  • Install low-flow showerheads in any onsite shower facilities.
  • Install faucet aerators in bathrooms.
  • Insulate water heaters and supply pipes.

  • Consider replacing broilers with smooth or grooved griddles.
  • When buying a new appliance, look for ENERGY STAR qualified products. These options use 10-50% less energy than standard models.

  • Save from 10-20% per year on heating and cooling costs by sealing uncontrolled air leaks.
  • Make sure outside doors have enough weather stripping.
  • Consider Caulking windows and weather-stripping external doors.
  • Upgrade to energy-efficient windows. Add solar shades or window tint.
  • Install Low-E (low-emissivity) coatings on windows. This coating lets light in but blocks the heat.

  • Add trees and shrubs on the east, west, and south sides of your building.
  • Use insulated night covers on display cases.
  • Use the Environmental Protection Agency's online tool to compare your building load against similar building types.
  • Get paid for taking part in a voluntary demand-response program that reduces your power demand temporarily during grid emergency conditions. Get an energy analysis of your building to find out your biggest opportunities for savings.
  • Make sure your building is operating at maximum efficiency by re-commissioning your building systems.
  • For more savings, consider upgrading equipment, lighting, insulation, and more. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified products. These options use 10-50% less energy than standard models.

  • Texas offers several exemptions from local property tax. For more information on the property tax exemption involving solar, wind, biomass, and anaerobic digestion for businesses that install or construct such systems check out the Texas Comptrollers of Public Account website
  • Some local governments offer the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program which provides low-cost, long-term financing for water and energy efficiency and conservation improvements to commercial and industrial properties. For more information check out the State Energy Conservation Office's website