Save money, energy in hot Texas weather with these tips from Austin Energy

A heat wave is expected to bring Texas temperatures soaring this weekend into near triple digit numbers. 

Hotter weather results in more energy being used for air conditioning. To combat higher energy bills, Austin Energy has released a list of recommendations for residents in Central Texas.

Tips to save money at home 

There are small steps homeowners can take to save money and stay cool amid hot temperatures.

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher when at home, and 85 degrees when you leave home for more than two hours.
  • Install LED light bulbs which use significantly less electricity, generate less heat, and last nearly 50 times longer than regular bulbs.
  • Stream wisely: streaming on a game console uses 15 times more emery than streaming on a digital media player. Streaming on a laptop uses four times more energy than a tablet.
  • Utilize fans to help keep you cool, and point them so they blow directly on you. This can make you feel four degrees cooler. Only keep them on when in the room.
  • Make sure to clean your AC condenser/evaporator coils; This can lower your energy costs, extend the unit's life, and provide cleaner air.
  • Dimming television and computer screens to reduce energy and help with eye fatigue.
  • Avoid using the oven during the warmest time of day, use the microwave or slow cooker, as they produce less heat.
  • Unplug appliances, chargers, and other electronics when not using them. Austin Energy says they use energy even when not in use.
  • Don't forget to turn lights off when you leave a room!

Rebates are available for customers who qualify.

Avoid scammers

Austin Energy and Austin Water says scammers have been targeting customers. They have been threatening to disconnect utilities unless immediate payment is made. If you receive a call like this, you can report it to 311. 

To learn more on how to recognize a scam, click here. Austin utility bill information can be found here

Stay safe in a power outage 

Power outages occur when power demand is high and overloads electrical equipment, according to PGE. They can also be a result of traffic accidents, wildfires and severe weather. Austin Energy offers the following tips to stay safe during an outage: 

  • If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Do not wait for power to be turned back on.
  • Text REGISTER to 287846 to report power outages and receive updates by text from Austin Energy. You can also consult the Outage Map to stay additionally informed.
  • During a storm, stay indoors and avoid drowned power lines. These can energize items in your surrounding area like tree limbs, fences, hoses, playsets and other structures. Stay at least 35 feet away from any drowned power lines.
  • Use flashlights or battery powered lanterns during an outage. Candles or kerosene lanterns heighten the risk of fire and fume hazards.
  • If using a portable generator to provide limited electrical power, follow safety precautions to ensure it does not pose a threat to you or your family. Gas-powered generators are not recommended, as they pose serious fire and carbon monoxide risk. Never run or fuel a generator inside a home, business or garage.
  • Consider having back-up power sources available in the event of an outage, such as power banks, a fast charging battery pack or a portable charger.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed, as home refrigerators can keep food cold enough for one to two days without power.
  • Keep in touch with local emergency operations by connecting with Warn Central Texas and Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

View more tips of staying safe in a power outage, and how to save energy, money, and water during hot weather months at