What steps can you take to reduce your energy demand during cold weather?
- Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows. Keep doors and windows closed to minimize warm air from escaping your home.
- Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.
- Avoid using large appliances (i.e. ovens, washing machines, etc).
- If using a ceiling fan, set it to run clockwise for heat circulation.
- Turn down thermostats to 68°. Wear warm, comfortable clothing to help stay warm indoors, instead of adjusting your thermostat.
It's important to stay safe all the time. Here are safety tips to remember year round.
- Never use a stove or an oven as a space heater. Using the stove or range to heat your home can produce dangerous carbon monoxide gas.
- Test smoke alarms to verify they are working in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every floor.
- Test or install carbon monoxide alarms in a central location outside sleeping areas.
- Keep flammable liquids and spray cans at least three feet from heating equipment.
- When using a natural gas space heater, leave a window open a couple of inches for proper ventilation.
- Keep areas around your gas water heater or furnace clean, uncluttered, and free of flammable materials. Be sure your natural gas appliances are serviced and use a professional for needed repairs.
- For additional safety tips, please visit cpsenergy.com/safety.
Extreme weather is the number one reason for high energy bills. We will work with you on a payment plan and we have customer assistance programs available.
- Conveniently apply online for a payment plan in Manage My Account (MMA)
- Log on to MMA
- Click on Discounts & Programs
- Click on Payment Plans
Utilize the following to help take control of your energy use.
- Savings Programs - Go here to use an energy calculator, find upcoming events close to you, and more
- Login to Manage My Account where you can view your energy use, past bills and more
- SaveNow through our energy saving and rebate programs
- Check out the tips below to help make your home more energy efficient
Here are some simple and inexpensive energy conservation actions you can take in your home throughout the year to help you save energy & save money on your utility bill.
HOME HEATING IN WINTER MONTHS:
Your heating system uses more than half of the energy in your home. A few changes in your habits can put more money in your pocket each month. Here are a few tips:
- During the cold season, set your thermostat between 68 to 70 degrees, when you’re at home. 68 is great!
- Use a programmable thermostat. Set it at a lower temperature while you’re away. Then, program it to be at a comfortable temperature when you return. Consider one of our energy-saving thermostats.
- Check your air filter every month and be sure to replace it when it’s dirty.
- Have your HVAC inspected and cleaned twice a year by a licensed professional.
- Plan for the next warm season and consider replacing your air conditioner, if it is 10 years or older. Consider a new, more efficient model. Take advantage of CPS Energy’s HVAC Rebates. When buying a new central air unit, remember that proper sizing and quality installation are critical. Learn more
- Repair leaks in your air duct system.
- Reduce air leaks and prevent unnecessary air infiltration around the house. Add caulk around window frames and weather-stripping around door frames.
- Use ceiling fans or portable fans to circulate air. Make sure ceiling fans are running in a clockwise direction during the winter. Don’t forget to turn off fans when you leave the room!
- Check the insulation in your attic. The recommended level for an attic in South Texas is R-30 to R-60 (the higher the R-value, the better your attic resists the heat and cold). Take advantage of CPS Energy’s Attic Insulation Rebates. Learn more
- Replace old windows with ENERGY STAR® windows. This may cut your energy bill as much as 15 percent.
- Plant trees and shrubs around your home to protect your home from the cold wind. Take advantage of our Green Shade tree rebates.
- Install inexpensive foam gaskets behind the face plates of all electric sockets and light switches.
Long, hot showers not only run up your water bill, but your energy bill as well. Therefore, think conservation for certain daily tasks and not only save water, but save electricity as well.
- Take short showers or shallow baths.
- Use cold water as much as possible when using a dishwasher or washing machine.
- Buy a high-efficiency washing machine when you need a new washer.
- Check the setting on your water heater. The recommended setting for our area is 120 degrees. Also check the unit for possible leaks.
- Wrap an old water heater with an insulation jacket to decrease its heat loss. Insulating the water pipes also can help.
- Don't leave hot water running when shaving or rinsing dishes. This will reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the water and save on your water expenses as well.
- Wait to wash dishes and clothes until you have a full load.
- Install a low-flow showerhead or faucet aerator to not only save water, but reduce water heating costs.
- Try a natural gas water heater for greater efficiency. Take advantage of our Natural Gas Rebates.
- Consider a tankless water heater system. Tankless units heat water directly, without the use of a storage tank -- saving energy and water, reducing both of your utility bills.
REFRIGERATOR & FREEZER:
- Keep your fridge & freezer full, even if you just use bottles of water. A full fridge uses less energy.
- Set refrigerator temperature between 37° & 40° degrees Fahrenheit. Set the freezer between 0° & 5°.
- Make sure the seal around the door is airtight & keep the refrigerator coils clean from lint and dust.
- Don’t keep a refrigerator in a non-air conditioned space because it will have to work harder to keep cool.
WASHER, DRYER & DISHWASHER:
- Save money by letting the Texas heat dry your clothes. Use a clothesline or drying rack instead of the dryer. If your clothes dry a little stiff, use your dryer’s “fluff” cycle (before 2 p.m. or after 7 p.m. on days energy demand is anticipated to be high.)
- Run your washer, dryer & dishwasher only when they are fully loaded.
- Wash your laundry with cold water.
- Don’t overfill your dryer. Dry your laundry loads back-to-back & clean the lint filter between loads. This way the dryer is still hot from the previous load, saving energy.
- Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher. The heat-dry setting uses more energy & heats up your home, requiring more air conditioning.
- Turn off lights, and unplug televisions and other equipment when you leave a room. Use power strips to make this quick and easy.
- All electrical devices use some power and can generate heat when they are turned off but still plugged in. Turn off and unplug lights, appliances, and cable boxes when not in use.
- Unplug your phone charger and similar devices when charging is complete.
- Video game consoles can be big energy consumers. Avoid watching DVDs and blu-rays on your game console because it consumes five (5) times the energy of a regular DVD player.
- Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs that use a lot of energy to produce light, generate heat, and are no longer manufactured. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), halogen incandescents, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) may initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs but they save you money during their lifetime because they use less energy.
- Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms.
- Using a small light when reading is more efficient than brightly lighting an entire room. Also, keep your light bulbs clean & free from dust.
- CFLs and LEDs are great for use in outdoor lighting fixtures that are sometimes left on for a long time and may be exposed to weather.