We haven’t even hit the hottest part of summer yet and have already seen multiple voluntary conservation alerts issued. New June peak power usage records were set, and then those records were broken. If you follow RGEC on social media, you’ve seen Texas call for voluntary conservation. These are usually for the hours of 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. when Texans are experiencing the heat of the day. It’s no coincidence that the time almost mirrors RGEC’s peak rate, which is 3:00-7:00 p.m. (C) weekdays, May-September. You can conserve energy and help keep your bills lower by learning to work around these hours, to some extent. Here are some ways to consider reducing your home energy usage:
- Start by closing draperies to prevent solar heat gain.
- Seal air leaks in your home to keep cool air inside. This includes around windows, doors, and plumbing. Remember to close and seal fireplace dampers.
- Turn your thermostat up to 78 degrees or the highest level at which you can remain comfortable during peak hours.
- Utilize ceiling and portable fans to circulate air and make you feel cooler. Remember to turn them off, if you leave the area.
- Avoid using stoves for cooking in the heat of the day, and opt for the microwave, when possible. This will prevent additional heat your HVAC unit has to overcome, and a microwave uses less power.
- Do laundry and dishwashing early in the day, or postpone until after 7:00 p.m.
- Consider setting your water heater thermostat back a few degrees.
- Unplug unnecessary appliances with a transformer plug at the end. These use a small amount of power even when “off”.
RGEC sincerely appreciates all our members do to conserve energy when called upon to do so.