Take Control with Energy Saving Tips

If you live in a region of Texas with energy choice, taking advantage of your power to choose Texas retail energy providers can help you save money. However, the biggest difference in your bill will likely come from changes to your electricity consumption – the less electricity you use, the less you’ll pay each month.

Whether you're looking to reduce your environmental footprint or simply trying to save money, finding easy ways to save on energy can help. Texans can start decreasing their electricity usage with these easy, energy saving tips:

  1. Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives: When comparing light bulbs, many people only look at the cost of purchasing the bulb while ignoring the amount of electricity the bulb demands. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, CFL and LED bulbs of comparable brightness use 75 percent less electricity and can last 10 to 25 times longer.
  2. Adjust your thermostat: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, around 50 percent of the average home's energy consumption comes from heating and cooling. Lowering your thermostat 7-10 degrees for eight hours per day can save you 10 percent on your heating and cooling expenses. To maximize energy savings, consider installing a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust room temperature when you’re away.
  3. Unplug unused electronics: According to the Energy Department, about 75 percent of the electricity consumed by household appliances and electronics is used while turned off. This is known as standby power and costs the average American household $100 per year. An easy way to cut down on standby power loss is to plug these electronics into a power strip with an on/off switch. This switch will ensure all your appliances are shut off and are not consuming any additional electricity.
  4. Install blackout curtains: Not only can blackout curtains block noise and light, they can also offer an extra layer of insulation to your windows. The Energy Department says that 10-20 percent of thermal energy loss is from a home’s windows. Blackout curtains can help reduce this energy loss by 25 percent, therefore reducing your energy consumption and helping you save on energy.
  5. Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees: Around 18 percent of a household’s utility bill go toward water heater tank expenses. The Department of Energy suggests setting your tank to 120 degrees to get the best balance of comfort and efficiency. It also helps to insulate your electric hot-water tank to prevent thermal energy loss (be careful not to cover the tank’s thermostat – always follow the water heater manufacturer’s instructions).
  6. Insulate your air ducts: As the arteries for cooling and heating your home, air ducts serve an important role and should have proper insulation to prevent energy loss. While many new homes’ duct systems have proper insulation, many older homes could use an upgrade. Air leaks can occur at any section of joined duct work, but heat-approved tapes at joints and insulation that covers the exterior of the duct system will reduce air waste and prevent heat loss.

Whether you're shopping energy supply plans with your power to choose or can't switch power providers because you're in an area of Texas without energy choice, there are many ways to reduce energy consumption. However, at the end of the day your total energy savings will come down to overall usage. By implementing our energy saving tips, you can reduce the amount of electricity you use, and therefore help reduce the money you spend on electricity each month.

Updated: 7-18-16.