School may be starting soon, but that doesn’t mean cooler weather will be…

In South Central Texas, summer heat can last well into autumn, and weather is the single biggest driver of most home energy bills. In other words, when it come to your electricity bill, weather matters! It’s important to continue practicing energy efficiency during hot summer weather, so your bills don’t become too hot to handle.

Here are some reminders of what you can do to help save electricity and save on your bill:

Weather Matters: Set your thermostat for the recommended 78 degrees while cooling your home.

August is a time when temperatures routinely hit the high 90s and higher across South Central Texas. Because each electricity bill reflects the previous 30 days of usage, high August temperatures drive electric usage–and your bill–for the September/October billing period.

If it’s 98 degrees outside, for instance, you’re AC unit will use less energy cooling your home 20 degrees below the outside temperature as opposed to 30 degrees if it were set to 68. If 78 degrees is unbearable, turning it up as high as you can comfortably stand can help—every degree counts!

Hit the switch when you leave the room!

Don’t forget to turn off the lights and the ceiling fan when you leave the room. Because ceiling fans only circulate air, making you feel cooler when you are in the room, there’s no reason to leave them on. Doing so can be useless and costly.

Check your AC filter monthly, and change it if it’s dirty.

Running you’re AC with a dirty filter reduces air flow, which, in turn, reduces your system’s efficiency. A dirty filter can also strain your system, allowing dirt to build up on fan blades and coils.

Unplug small appliances and phone and tablet chargers when not in use.

All things plugged in use some electricity—even when they’re turned off. Unplugging toasters, coffee makers, lamps and televisions can reduce some of your household’s daily energy consumption.

Download SmartHub®!

This convenient app is for more than just paying your electricity bill. It allows you to monitor and compare your daily, weekly and monthly usage.

Using SmartHub helps you keep an eye on your consumption, so you can see if energy-efficient measures are making a difference or if you need to do more.

To download the SmartHub app from iTunes or Google Play, search for “SmartHub,” and install. Type “GVEC” into the search box when prompted to search by location. It’s the cool way to monitor your usage as this summer’s temperatures linger a bit longer!

Remember: The Weather is Always Changing

Although we mentioned it above, it bears repeating: Weather matters! Even if you never change the temperature on your thermostat throughout the year, your bill will still fluctuate based on how hot or cold it is outside. The higher you set the thermostat in summer and the lower in winter, the lower your electricity bill will tend to be.

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