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  • Energy Saving Tips | Summer

    Summer may not officially arrive until June 21, but Texas temps are already on the rise. Before you crank up the AC, be sure to check out our energy-efficient alternatives. They're not only good for your wallet, but can help conserve electricity during peak-demand daytime hours (2 to 7 p.m.).

    • Throughout the summer, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) may issue conservation alerts and ask Texans to conserve power to protect the integrity of the electric grid during peak-demand periods.
    • ERCOT alerts apply not only to Reliant customers, but to Texans throughout the state, regardless of who provides their electricity.
    • By saving energy in the summer, even in small ways, we can all help relieve stress on the electricity grid.
     
    stay warm

    What are good energy-saving and conservation tips for summer?

    Implementing these summer tips as well as our other suggestions can help you manage your usage all year-round:

    • Set thermostats 2 to 3 degrees higher from 2 to 7 p.m. and use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler.
    • Follow the 4-by-4 rule: if no one is going to be home for more than 4 hours, set the temperature 4 degrees higher while you’re gone.
    • Set pool pumps to run early in the morning or overnight; shut off from 4 to 6 p.m.
    • Wait until after sundown to wash clothes and use your dishwasher.
    • Don’t use the dishwasher until you have a full load.
    • Opt for thermal drapes or blackout curtains to keep the heat outside your home and the cool air inside.
    • Install ceiling fans and set the blades to spin counter-clockwise to circulate cool air.1
    • Change your air filter regularly to ensure the AC is running at its best.
    • Make sure that you have had your air conditioning unit professionally inspected by an HVAC company. This not only keeps the unit running efficiently, it also may save you from a broken unit in the middle of a hot Texas summer.
    • Look into different lighting options. LED lighting is much more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. You should also take advantage of natural daytime lighting when possible so you can keep lights turned off during the day.
     
    stay warm

    How to lower your electric bill in summer

    Many factors contribute to higher-than-normal electricity bills — in particular, the hot weather. That's why summer is often the time Texas electricity customers see experience seaonal bill spikes.

    Weather changes tend to correlate with spikes in electricity bills because the harder your heating and air conditioning system works to make your home comfortable, the more energy you use. If you live in an area with excessive humidity, then your heating and air conditioning system will work harder to remove moisture from the air. You can see this fluctuation by viewing the average electricity bill in Texas. A few signs of humidity in your home may include moist air, fogged-up windows or a musty smell. Humidity and heat can both contribute to a higher-than-normal electricity bill.

    Explore renewable solar energy options. Despite their upfront costs, solar panels will help reduce your energy costs over time. If rooftop solar panels aren’t right for you, subscribing to a community solar program may be an option.

     
    Winter Tips

    How can I make the most of the AC?

    One of the summer bill tips that we suggest is setting the temperature on your air conditioning system to 78 while home and increasing it by four degrees when you'll be away for four hours or more. It's the "4-by-4" principle. If 78 degrees feels hot, a ceiling fan or portable fan can make you feel significantly cooler but will use far less energy than your HVAC system. Additionally, it is critical to keep up with regular maintenance and tune-ups to make sure your AC can handle the heat when it’s time for summer.2

    When you run your AC, think about ways the cool air could be escaping from the intended area. Prevent cool air loss by weather-stripping doors.

     

    Account tools and programs to help you save

     
    More ways to save

    More ways to save
    Find out additional things you can do now to help use less energy. Learn more ›

     
    Avg Billing

    Average Billing
    Sign up for Average Billing to smooth out the highs and lows of your electricity bill. With Average Billing, your bill is determined based on the last 12 months of energy usage at your address.3 Get started ›

     
    Degrees of Difference

    Degrees of Difference
    Choose from two free programs that use your thermostat to help you save energy and reward you for doing so. Learn more ›

     
    the reliant app

    Reliant app
    Access your plan details, track usage, pay your bill, and set up automated text and email alerts on the go.4 Find out more ›

     
    beat the heat program

    Beat the Heat program
    The summer months can put a strain on anyone's electricity budget. Reliant is proud to offer a Beat the Heat program providing relief from the heat in Corpus Christi, Houston and North Texas. Find locations and details ›

    WSE

    Weekly Summary Email
    Get weekly usage comparisons, projected bill estimates and energy-saving tips delivered to your inbox.5 Sign up to receive emails ›

     
    account alerts

    AccountAlerts
    Be automatically alerted via text message when your costs exceed a set amount and/or your daily electricity usage jumps by 25%.6 Sign up for AccountAlerts ›

     
    Financial assistance

    Payment assistance
    Keeping up with bills and due dates can be hard sometimes. We understand, and we want to lighten your load. See assistance options ›

     
     
    Virtual in-Home Consultation

    Virtual In-Home Consultation
    Let our home energy consultants remotely examine several areas of your home and assess its energy use. You'll benefit from some practical, real-time suggestions that can help boost your home's energy efficiency. Call 1-855-887-2190 to schedule your virtual consultation.8

    Terms, conditions and other restrictions

    https://www.saveonenergy.ca/en/For-Your-Home/Advice-and-Tips/Seasonal-ceiling-fan-direction

    2 U.S. Department of Energy https://energy.gov/energysaver/spring-and-summer-energy-saving-tips

    3 If there is no previous usage in your name at the service address, or you do not have 11 months of usage at the service address, we will take the previous usage at that service address and apply your current price to calculate your average monthly amount and then subtract or add 1/12 of your deferred balance. The deferred balance amount is the cumulative difference between your monthly Average Billing amount and what you would owe if you were not signed up for Average Billing. The deferred balance amount can be found on your monthly bill. If the bill amount is positive, 1/12 will be added to your bill. If the bill amount is negative, 1/12 will be subtracted from your bill. If you’re a new Average Billing customer, the deferred balance will begin in the second month. Deferred balance must be paid in full if you cancel Average Billing or change electricity providers.

    4 Projected bill not available for Pay as you Go customers. Must be a Reliant residential customer with a Texas service address and a smart meter.

    5 The billing and usage information provided in the Reliant Weekly Summary Email (WSE) is an estimate and includes only your electricity charges and taxes. Your monthly bill provides your official usage as determined by your local electric utility, as well as the total bill amount due. If you are on an indexed plan, you will not see cost information in your WSE, as prices are determined on the last day of each bill cycle. If you change to an incompatible plan or terminate your service with Reliant, you will no longer receive your WSE. Reliant reserves the right to discontinue the WSE without notice. You may also request to cancel your WSE by calling 1-866-872-6644.

    6 Customers must have already opted in to receive alerts via text from the Contact Preferences page on the Account Management dashboard. Available only to customers with a smart meter. Message and data rates may apply. For Terms and Conditions, go to reliant.com/etrm.

    7 Current Reliant electricity customers receive 10% off HVAC services offered by Reliant. Discount cannot be combined with promotional repair/replacement offers, applies only to customers in Texas and can be applied to all forms of payment. Reliant may modify or discontinue this program at any time without notice.

    HVAC services provided by Reliant Energy Retail Services LLC dba Reliant, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. TACLB23923E. Regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, TX 78711, 1-800-803-9202, 512-463-6599.

    8 All features of the Home Energy Checkup may not be available to all customers. Some restrictions apply. Limit one consultation per customer each year. Scheduling is based on availability.