Texas electrical grid hits record-level demand— twice! Ways to conserve energy in the immense summer heat

HOUSTON — With the summer temperatures getting hotter and hotter, it's no shock Houstonians are seeking the comfort of air conditioning.  This week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has set all-time system wide peak demand records twice. Electric companies across the state are encouraging consumers to conserve energy in order to reduce stress on the Texas electric grid.

Reliant Energy offers the following tips:

  • 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.
  • Opt for thermal drapes or black-out 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.
  • Change your air filter regularly to ensure the AC is running at its best.
  • Take advantage of the warm weather to hang laundry outside to dry. Running the dryer not only requires a great deal of electricity, but also raises the overall temperature of the house.
  • More summer saving tips can be found here.

Scott Burns, Reliant Energy's Head of Innovation and Customer Experience, discusses how different light bulbs can impact your electric bill in the video below.