Temperatures are headed to triple digits here in South East New Mexico this week, driving up electricity use as customers turn to fans and air conditioners to beat the heat. By following a few basic energy-saving tips, Xcel Energy customers can stay cool without breaking their household budgets.
“Most of us use more electricity in the summer to keep our homes and businesses cool, and that’s when we see our highest bills,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas. “It’s important to remember we have the power to control those costs if we pay a little more attention to how we’re using electricity and when we’re using it.”
Home cooling can account for about half of a summertime electric bill, and the best way customers can keep their bills low is to practice some basic conservation and efficiency habits.
Among the simplest ways customers can get the most out of their cooling are:
- Installing a programmable thermostat that raises the setting when the house is empty, and lowers it to a comfortable level when everyone comes home;
- Using ceiling fans to help circulate cool air through the home;
- Opening interior doors to improve the circulation of cool air inside;
- Using a whole-house or attic fan to draw in cool nighttime air and push out hot air during the day;
- Changing air conditioning filters;
- Closing drapes and blinds during the heat of the day.
Customers can also help reduce their overall bills by:
- Turning off unnecessary lighting and replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs, which use 75 to 80% less energy than traditional bulbs and last 15 times longer;
- Running washing machines, dishwashers and clothes dryers with full loads after the heat of the day, which helps keep the house cooler and reduces strain on the local grid.
Xcel Energy has more tips for saving money and energy at its website, xcelenergy.com. Xcel Energy also offers incentives and rebates that customers can use to make homes and businesses more efficient. Information on these programs can be found by selecting the “Residential Services” link at the top of the Xcel Energy homepage.