SAN ANTONIO – With July temperatures hotter than a firecracker, CPS Energy is urging customers to bump up their thermostats to save energy and money on their bills.
"When we see high temperatures, we want our customers to conserve," utility spokeswoman Nora Castro said. "There's not any concerns as far as meeting reliability, but we want to do our part to support the grid for the entire state."
Last month was a scorcher, too. So when Sarah Moczygemba opened her bill, she felt the burn.
"It doubled," Moczygemba said. "I saw $299 instead of $135."
High temperatures during the last billing period were 10 percent higher than the same May-June period a year ago, Castro said. So now, with triple-digit highs, the utility is asking customers to conserve, especially between 3 and 7 p.m.
"That's when people get home from work," Castro said. "They start doing laundry. They start making dinner."
The easiest way to give your AC a break is to adjust your thermostat.
"Bump it up a couple of degrees when you're there," Castro said. The utility recommends 78 degrees.
More importantly, CPS Energy suggests bumping up the thermostat 5 degrees if you're going to be away from the house for more than four hours. When you return, the utility advises against turning it down cooler than necessary, because it will not cause the house to cool faster.
To help keep the heat out of the house:
- Close blinds and draperies.
- Use the microwave instead of the oven or stove.
- Caulk and weatherstrip around windows and doors.
To feel cooler, use ceiling fans in a counter-clockwise direction, because heat rises.