How can I lower my Houston electricity bill this summer?
No one likes to pay more than necessary for anything, especially for Houston electricity. When the Texas summer temperatures rise, so do the electricity costs for homes and businesses. Air conditioners run longer to cool indoor spaces; more electricity is lost because of the heat’s effect on electric transmission lines and buildings; and prices on the deregulated energy market increase dramatically.
But you can save money on your CenterPoint Houston electricity bill by improving your home’s energy efficiency and reducing your electricity usage.
1. Raise your thermostat setting
There are few things more luxurious when you return home on a scorching summer day than to open your front door to a blast of cold air. However, that blissful sensation could cost you dearly. If you’ve been away from home all day, you’ve been cooling your entire house for that one magical moment at the front door.
Raise your thermostat setting when you aren’t home. If you can stand it to be warmer in your home, each degree makes a difference in your electricity bill. Experts suggest setting your thermostat no lower than 78 degrees in the summer.
Investing in a programmable thermostat helps you keep the house cool when you’re home and not as cool when you’re away. If you invest in a smart thermostat such as a Nest or Ecobee, the thermostat learns your normal comings and goings and adjusts your setting accordingly. The air conditioning kicks on at just the right moment for your home to be comfortable when you get home from work.
2. Air seal and insulate your Houston home
The stack effect pulls outside warm, moist air into your home through any hole or crack as warmer air exhausts out through gaps into your attic. The constant draft of warm air causes your air conditioner to run longer and could cost you serious money. Check the weather stripping around doors and windows. Make sure exterior plumbing and electrical outlets have insulating foam or caulk around them. Also fill gaps and holes in your foundation and in your attic, especially around ceiling light fixtures to stop air flow. If you have a fireplace, make sure the chimney flue has a tight seal when closed. Air sealing your home pays off every month.
While air sealing can cut 20% off your heating and cooling costs, you also need good insulation in your walls and ceiling to minimize how much outside temperatures affect your interior space. Insulation keeps the heat out in the summer and the cold out in the winter. Unfortunately, many homes are underinsulated. In most cases, they need additional insulation to help reduce an average Houston electricity bill.
3. Your Power to Choose Houston power plans
Once you’ve taken care of the first two important actions described above, your next move is to do your research on http://www.texaselectricityratings.com. Here you’ll find the information you need to determine whether switching electricity plans is right for you. Houston electricity plans are lined up side by side, and you can dig into the details about each one.
If your current contract ends soon, you can put the issue to bed with a new plan. If you are in the middle of a fixed rate contract, check the terms to see if paying the early termination fee is worth locking in a lower rate. After all, it never hurts to compare electricity companies! Making a switch could save you money each month.