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What a Cool Summer Means for REPs and Consumers

March 2, 2012

If you live in the United States, you may be living in any of the four climate regions in this nation, particularly cool, hot-arid, hot-humid, and temperate. Texas residents on the other hand experience a temperate zone if they live in the upper half of the state, or a hot-humid zone if they live in the bottom half.

Last year, Texas experienced one of the worst droughts in years that tested the limits and capabilities of the Texas electric grid – causing a rash of electricity emergencies and putting the state in brink of rolling blackouts.

For this coming summer, many are worried that electricity rates will pull up again and they would end paying a substantial fortune for their Texas electricity bills. In a similar manner, many are also wondering what a cool summer would mean for them and the rest of the Texas consumer communities. Contrary to what pessimists would think a cool summer can happen, even if for a brief moment just like the northern wind shift and the cool front that crossed the state during the height of the brutal summer last year – providing respite from the heat for consumers and breathing room for Texas electricity companies.

Summertime and Texas Electricity

A hot summer would mean higher demands for Texas electricity which can overshoot grid reserves, resulting to substantial increases in electricity rates and the threat of rolling blackouts lurking in the background. The higher the temperature, the higher electricity usage will be just like last year when peal demand reached 68,294 megawatts during the hottest days of summer in August. A cool summer on the other hand will give enough leeway for Texas electricity companies to properly maintain their power plant machineries and prevent them from breaking due to lack of cooling water to keep temperatures down to manageable levels.

Tips to Cool Off and Lower Your Texas Electricity Bills This Summer

A cool summer would definitely be welcome for all Texas electricity companies as well as the myriad consumers wanting to cool off this summer. But you can cool off with the following tips and actually lower your Texas electricity bills – and heed calls for conservation from the state and grid officials and prevent the possibility of rolling blackouts to hit the state.

  • Exercise you power to choose a provider that offers lower electricity rates. Note that the most well known providers don’t necessarily offer the best electricity rates so it would be best to shop for Texas electricity providers and get the best available out there.
  • You don’t have to run your air-conditioning system day in and day out, even when there are no people around. Save hundreds of dollars by simply using a programmable thermostat that would optimize your AC settings according to outside conditions. The recommended setting for Texans is seventy-eight degrees, enough to make you feel comfortable at home.
  • Clean your air conditioning units and ensure that filters are clean to keep them running at optimum and energy efficient conditions. You can also minimize usage of your air conditioning to cool off the whole house and instead use electric fans in the rooms where you stay most often.
  • Choose a landscaping that would give you more shade this summer as well as funnel cool summer breezes directly towards your home. Avoid plant beds that would require you to use much water.
  • Cooking indoors can generate much heat so it would be best to try grilling and cooking outdoors for that good ole Texas BBQ
  • Use more natural light to brighten up your house instead of using heat generating lamps
  • Air leaks and poor insulation in your home can make you consume more Texas electricity than what is necessary. Have a qualified person perform a home energy audit and get more tips on how you can make your homes more energy efficient, make it cooler during summer – and save on your Texas electricity bills.

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