One thing you can count on in Texas is extremely hot weather. And when temps go up, so does your energy use.

These are some steps you can take to save money when it is warm outside:

  • AC Settings. Keep your AC set at 78 degrees when you are home. If you can live with it a few degrees higher, try that. Every degree that you raise the setting will save you money.
  • Don't cool an empty house. If you are away from home for several hours or a few days, turn your thermostat up a few degrees so you aren't paying to cool an empty house. You should also consider investing in a programmable thermostat, and set it to automatically raise the thermostat setting when you are generally away from the house. It can then automatically adjust the temperature shortly before you generally arrive home.
  • Use fans. Use fans to cool yourself. Having a fan on can make you feel up to two degrees cooler. Just keep in mind that fans cool people, not rooms, and should be turned off when you leave the room.
  • Insulate and Seal. Make sure you have proper insulation. It will help your home stay cool longer. Adding insulation will also help your home stay warmer in the winter. Be sure to seal any gaps in your home. If you live in a pier and beam home or mobile home, make sure there is insulation under the flooring and proper skirting. The goal is to keep the cool air, which you paid for, in your home and the hot air outside where it belongs. 
  • Prevention. The best way to deal with high bills is to prevent them. Use SmartHub to monitor your daily electric use. This free app helps Medina EC members see their use day by day, so they can make changes as they go instead of being surprised by a high bill.

Help With Conservation

If you want to help reduce the overall demand on the electric grid, conservation is key.  You can sign up to receive text alerts on days when electric use is considered high for the Texas electric grid during the months of June through September. The best time to conserve electricity is the hottest part of the day between 3 and 7 p.m.

By opting-in to get these notifications and making some changes when you do, you are helping reduce the strain on the grid.

Sign up to receive alerts by texting ENERGY to 1-855-429-1119.

How Temperature Affects Your use

If your thermostat and the outside temperature are different by 20 degrees or more, then your AC is going to be running almost constantly. That uses a lot of electricity, and many members notice that when they get their bill for cooling during summer months.

Practice this energy saving tip and keep your AC unit set to 78 degrees or even higher to maximize your savings. Use a ceiling fan to cool yourself, and don't let the doors or windows open with the AC is running.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees 90% of the state’s power grid, including Medina Electric’s service area, expects record electric demand this summer, “due to hot and dry conditions and continued economic and population growth.”

As in the past, ERCOT will issue alerts and declare energy emergencies if needed. Alerts help consumers, including Medina EC members, know that conservation is needed. Declaring an emergency allows the grid operator to take advantage of additional resources. If grid conditions continue to worsen, the grid operator can implement forced outages across the state.