Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions brought on by February’s historic winter storm here.
Reliant’s residential fixed-rate and month-to-month plans are not tied to real-time market prices, insulating our residential customers from extreme wholesale power price swings. If you are currently on a month-to-month plan and are concerned about how much you’ll pay, call us at 1-866-222-7100 to find a plan that may fit your needs better.
The winter storm has unfortunately brought about many challenges and uncertainty. We've even heard that some customers are concerned they may be transitioned to a POLR following February’s winter storm. One thing we can assure you of is that Reliant will continue to be here to serve you. Since 2001, millions of Texans have trusted us to power their homes. While other providers may come and go, Reliant is here for the long haul.
If you use electricity to heat your home and water, energy usage can be very high during extremely cold weather, even if outages occur.
- If your power was out for an extended period of time, when power was restored, your home may have struggled to warm back up, causing your electric furnace to run continuously.
- Even without a power interruption, electric furnaces in winter can consume 3-to-4 times the energy a comparable air conditioner consumes in summer.
- Similarly, if you have an electric water heater, it can potentially use lots of extra energy to heat water during extreme cold.
Weather impacts a home’s energy usage more than any other external factor. If the weather is colder, a home is likely to consume more energy. Especially when we experience record-setting low temperatures for several days in a row.
Space heaters can consume 1500 watts per hour or more. If, for example, you have 3 or 4 space heaters running 24 hours a day for a few days of extreme cold, usage adds up quickly. 1500 watts x 4 heaters = 144,000 watts per day or 144 Kwhs. If you operate a single space heater for an additional 4 hours per day, this alone will increase your monthly bill by approximately $20.00.
- Along with space heaters, if you have an electric water heater, it can consume a great deal of extra energy during extreme cold. Especially if your water heater is located in the attic or outside of the heated space.
- Other electric systems, like pool pumps and hot tubs, can work overtime during extreme weather, leading to greater energy consumption.
Setting the thermostat too high during a cold snap leads to more energy usage. Every degree your thermostat is set above 68 may increase heating costs by 3 to 5 percent. If you notice your home isn’t heating evenly and your furnace is running all day, your unit might need service, or you may need extra insulation. Contact a professional for help with repairs. More energy-saving tips ›
Keeping up with bills and due dates can be hard sometimes. We understand, and we want to lighten your load.
Tips to reduce your energy usage
- Set the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower
- Run fans clockwise to push hot air down
- Turn off and unplug nonessential lights, electronics and appliances
- Avoid using large appliances like your oven, washing machine, dryer and dishwasher
- Open blinds and curtains to take advantage of the sun's natural heat during the day
Winter Storm Relief
"We're Texas," a virtual benefit concert with Matthew and Camila McConaughey
Reliant has donated $1 million to the just keep livin Foundation’s Texas Relief Fund. Founded by Texas-born actor Matthew McConaughey and his wife, Camila, the organization is working with nonprofits across the state to offer aid to those who are still recovering from the effects of February’s winter storm. To raise awareness and help Texans in need, the Foundation, with support from Reliant, hosted the “We’re Texas,” a virtual benefit concert featuring music and real-life impact stories that streamed on McConaughey’s YouTube channel.
Giving back to the places we call home
To support our neighbors in need after the unprecedented Winter Storm Uri, Reliant and parent company NRG Energy, Inc. are making an initial $3 million commitment in cash donations to the communities we serve to address food and water shortages, temporary or damaged housing and the overall recovery effort across Texas. The donations are part of our community program, Reliant Gives, and our parent company, NRG Energy, Inc.’s $10 million in relief to Texas communities.
To see our list of nonprofit partners, click here.
An additional $500,000 is being provided to Reliant’s CARE program, which works with nonprofit agencies to assist residential customers, including seniors and low-income families, with paying their Reliant electricity bills.
- If your home was without power during the storm and you’re still experiencing issues with electricity, contact your utility company.
- If you haven’t restocked your home emergency kit, or if you need to build one, here’s a guide to ensuring you have what you need: https://www.ready.gov/kit.
- Plan for the future: stock up on nonperishable foods and backup power sources and establish how you’ll contact loved ones if communications are interrupted.
- Check appliances around your home to be sure they’re functioning correctly. Power surges following an outage can damage appliances due to a “tidal wave” of electricity.
- Leave repairs of electrical equipment to the professionals. If your home was without power during the storm and you’re still experiencing issues with electricity, contact your utility company and never attempt to fix electrical problems on your own.
- If you have burst pipes that require professional repairs, be sure that you’re seeking verified contractors to work on your home. Plumbers with proper certifications will ensure that repairs are completed correctly and that no additional damage is done.
To keep lines open for emergencies, please do not call 911 to report a power outage. Instead, contact your transmission and distribution utility provider.
For medical emergencies, please call 911.