It’s summertime; it’s getting hot, and electricity usage is rising just as fast as the temperature. As we begin looking for ways to cool off, we often start looking for ways to save energy at the same time. While there are many ways to shave off some of your usage (and we recommend doing as much as you can), GVEC wants you to know the five most impactful ways to conserve electricity this summer!
Why Conservation is Important
Looking past the obvious economic impact conservation will have on your household, knowing the most effective ways to save energy in your home is helpful to the state electric grid as a whole. When and if the summer heat, combined with elevated power consumption, becomes close to crossing the electricity reserves threshold determined by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), we could face the possibility of being asked to conserve. And if ERCOT does issue an appeal for Texas residents to conserve energy, we want to make sure you know what efficiency tips are the most effective.
1. Turn your AC up to 78 degrees or as high as you can stand it.
While GVEC has always recommended setting your AC to 78 degrees during the summer to help keep your summertime bills as low as possible, this is also one of the best ways to conserve energy. Even turning the setting up three or four degrees helps. Remember—the smaller the difference between the temperature outside versus the temperature you set inside your home, the more energy you’re saving!
2. Avoid taking showers between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
There are a couple of reasons this tip is so effective in saving energy. For one, water heaters use quite a bit of electricity. Secondly, between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. is typically the part of the day when the demand for energy peaks. This is because it is often the hottest part of the day and more people are home during this time, so households typically consume a lot of electricity during this time frame.
3. Wash clothes in cold water, and don’t wash or dry laundry between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The reasons for this are basically the same as mentioned above. Washing your laundry in cold water will not pull extra energy from your water heater while using your washing machine—a great electricity saving tip for any time of the year. Clothes dryers use quite a bit of energy, and the afternoon and evening are when usage normally peaks. Avoiding using as much energy as possible during peak demand periods helps to relieve strain on the electric grid.
4. Delay running dishwashers and pool pumps until overnight.
I bet you guessed the reason! It’s repeated because it’s important. Running this equipment and the hot water needed for washing dishes during peak times can add up to unnecessary strain on the grid. Reducing the pull from the electric grid during peak times is essential in the event of ERCOT issuing a conservation appeal to the public.
5. Avoid heating up your home by cooking outdoors.
Yes, avoiding the use of your electric oven will help conserve, but this is helpful for those with gas ranges, as well. No matter the type of oven you have, cooking inside heats up your home. This causes your AC to use more energy to cool your home to the temperature your thermostat is set for. Cooking outside will help keep the inside of your home cooler and help save energy. And since grilling is one of the best summer activities, you kill two birds with one stone (and then have them for supper).
Stay updated on ERCOT conservation appeals and Emergency Energy Alerts (EEAs) this summer by following GVEC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or visit ercot.com. You can also follow ERCOT on Facebook.