NRG Winter Bill Tips

Energy Saving Winter Bill Tips

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Keep your home warm and energy efficient this winter with these handy tips. Whether you have a gas or electric heater, a few conscious energy choices and a small effort to weather seal your home can make a big difference in your electricity bill.

Home Preparation Tips

Get your home ready for winter with these simple tasks that can keep your heating system from working harder than it needs to.

  • Make sure your furnace or heat pump is clean and in good working order, so that it can run as efficiently as it should.
  • Replace older thermostats with programmable units to save on heating costs.1
  • Check for leaks in the weather stripping around door frames and windows; replace the weather stripping if necessary.
  • Repair or replace damaged shingles.
  • Have your chimney inspected, and keep the chimney damper closed when it is not in use. 
  • Cover drafty windows with tight-fitting drapes or insulating shades. 

We have lots of energy-saving tips that can help you keep up your home efficiency year-round.

Cooking Tips

Your kitchen appliances can be major sources of energy consumption, but there are simple things you can do to control your electricity usage.

  • Cook multiple dishes together in the oven to maximize energy usage and reduce additional heat generated in your home.
  • Warm your vegetables, gravies and soups with a microwave oven. It uses about significantly less electricity than a conventional electric oven.2
  • Check on your food through the oven window. Each time you open the oven door, the oven temperature can decrease by 25 degrees, increasing cooking time and energy usage.3
  • Load the dishwasher completely before starting it.
  • Keep pots covered when boiling water or cooking on the stove. This cooks food more efficiently and keeps your kitchen cooler.
  • Turn off your oven a few minutes before the cook time actually ends. The oven will maintain enough heat to continue cooking your food for several minutes, and the food can be kept warm inside after the cooking is complete.
  • Let food cool outside the refrigerator before storing.
  • Minimize the number of times you open your refrigerator.

What can I do to control my energy costs?

  • Sign up for average billing to start receiving a more consistent bill throughout the year. With average billing, your bill is calculated based on the last 12 months of usage at your address.
  • Sign up for AccountAlerts, which can notify you when your costs exceed a certain amount or when your daily usage spikes by 25 percent. 
  • Download the Reliant App so that you can check your balance, see your usage, get alerts and manage your account wherever you are.
  • Get a Heater Tune-Up to make sure your system is in good working order.
  • Call 1-888-339-7378, where Reliant energy experts can answer questions about how to economize your home energy usage.
  • Check out our tips for saving energy year-round.

If you need more information or assistance with your winter bill, call us at 1-866-735-4268.

How does having an electric furnace impact my bill?

Electric furnaces are generally more expensive to operate than gas furnaces for two reasons: (1) electric furnaces produce less heat in the same amount of time as gas furnaces and (2) electricity typically costs more than gas in the market. This is why a person with an electric furnace will likely experience more of a jump in costs during the winter than a person with a gas furnace.

How do I know if I have an electric furnace or if something else is affecting my bill?

  • Read our frequently asked questions below for a full explanation of electric vs. gas heating, along with steps to help you determine if your furnace is gas- or electric-powered.
  • Explore our Understanding Your Bill page for an illustrated explanation of your Reliant bill.

1Consumer Energy Center http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/tips/winter.html

2U.S. Department of Energy http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/energy-efficient-cooking-winter

3U.S. Department of Energy http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/energy-efficient-cooking-winter