SAN ANTONIO -

Hours after the Electric Reliability Council of Texas cancelled its warning of potential rolling blackouts due to heavy strain on the state’s power source, CPS Energy is advising local customers on ways to conserve.

“One of the best things our customers can do right now is to alleviate the use of any high energy appliances,” said CPS Energy spokesman Albert Cantu.

Cantu says customers are asked to avoid using large appliances such as washing machines, dryers and stoves between the peak hours of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

CPS Energy recommends setting thermostats to 68 degrees during the day and 65 degrees, or lower, during the night.

“This is not just a San Antonio issue,” said Cantu. “Everyone across Texas is having to cut back a little bit and that's of course because of these temperatures that we're up against right now. We're going to dip into the 20s (Monday night). So we're not only asking our customers to stay safe but to cut back as much as they can.”

Here are other energy saving tips from CPS:

  • Put ceiling fans in reverse mode on the lowest setting to help circulate heat trapped near the ceiling.
  • Set the temperature on water heaters to 120 degrees.
  • Unplug any appliances or chargers that are not in use.
  • Turn off space heaters and lights that are not in use.
  • Close blinds and curtains to help trap in heat.

Cantu adds that some natural gas customers have seen their energy bills triple in recent weeks.

"Customers are almost in bill shock,” Cantu says. “They’re opening up these bills and getting these large bills, but it really is due to this cold weather.”

CPS Energy has extended its grace period until Jan. 10 for customers facing disconnection because of failure to pay.

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