Of all the money-saving electricity conservation tips and tricks, there’s one that truly moves the needle – and, of course, it’s the one many people avoid: managing your thermostat.
Whether you’re a homeowner or a business operator, allowing your air conditioner to run while homes and businesses are empty is usually 100 percent waste. So why do people do it? Two time-worn reasons stand out.
The first is that people prefer to set it and forget it. That would be fine if outside temperatures stayed constant, but that’s not the case. Think of it this way: On a 70-degree day, walking outside doesn’t cause much of a sweat. When it’s 85, you might sweat a bit. At 100+, you’re sweating buckets before the door is locked behind you.
Your air conditioner faces the same impact. It doesn’t work much when outdoor temps are 70, but it’s in overdrive at 100. Adjusting the thermostat setting based on outdoor temperatures is a sure way to reduce your air conditioner’s runtime, and that helps lower the bill.
The other reason people don’t manage their thermostats is because they don’t want to arrive to an uncomfortable environment at home or work. That’s reasonable and easily avoided.
The best of today’s smart thermostats are easy to adjust from the device on the wall, an Internet-connected computer or a mobile app. Some, like the TXU iThermostatTM, even self-adjust as you and your mobile devices move closer to or further away from your home. In fact, smart thermostats offer a bit of set-it-and-forget-it functionality because set-up functions are needed only once or twice a year.
While the Farmer’s Almanac says the dog days of summer are coming to a close, we know hot Texas temperatures will be with us through as late as the end of September. Now is the perfect time to take control by investing in a smart thermostat.
A nearly daily update of energy-related news:
- The Washington Post takes a look at how California and New York are approaching whether or not to include nuclear power in their respective energy mix. This follows New York’s decision to approve a Clean Energy Standard that (among other items) retains the state’s six nuclear reactors which currently provide 30 percent of the state’s electricity. The article contrasts this to that of California’s decision to eliminate nuclear from the state’s portfolio.
- By 2040, electric vehicles will account for 35 percent of new car sales around the world. Energy Central offers five insights that could assist the utility market as it prepares for this consumer shift including: consider offering incentives to consumers in this space to drive adoption; prepare for demand response and variable rate structure changes; consider partnerships with car manufacturers; adjust utility infrastructure to support EVs on the road; and offer real-time information on electricity prices to inform the consumer.
A nearly daily update of energy-related news:
- The Energy Department will fund up to $15 million to strengthen the security of the nation’s power grid from cyber and physical attacks. U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall said “This funding is another important step in improving the resiliency of our power grid and our ability to respond quickly and effectively to threats in today’s dynamic environment.”
- In a report released last month titled “Market Data: IoT for Residential Energy Customers,” Navigant Research has found that devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to grow. The residential IoT market includes connected devices (smart thermostats, lighting, smart appliances, etc.) that help to automate the home to improve energy efficiency. With IoT devices penetrating the residential market, the report proposes that key stakeholders can take advantage of this opportunity by providing value to customers through data insights to help them achieve greater energy efficiency. Global revenue tied to residential IoT devices is expected to reach up to $117.3 billion by 2026.
For more than 30 years, TXU Energy has helped its customers in financial crisis through TXU Energy Aid, the largest bill-payment program among all retail electricity providers in the United States. But the longevity and size of the program aren’t the only things that make it stand out.
Kim Campbell, Community Relations Manager, speaks to the Houston community about TXU Energy Aid.
As the Waco Tribune-Herald noted in an editorial, the program helps TXU Energy customers who are in financial crisis regardless of their recent income history. That’s important because many assistance programs are tied to the federal poverty rate and other guidelines, which disqualifies many Texans from getting assistance.
Whether it’s an unexpected job loss, emergency medical bills or some other reason, many families are one crisis away from needing assistance. Partners in the TXU Energy Aid program, including Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, say the program gives them tremendous flexibility to help families regain self-sufficiency. In an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Catholic Charities said TXU Energy Aid brings in people who need additional help to get back on their feet.
Consumers who know they cannot pay their current electricity bill should call their provider as quickly as possible to seek assistance. They can also call the state’s 2-1-1 referral network to find an agency that can provide help.
TXU Energy is honored by the trust millions of Texans put in our company to power their homes and businesses. The company is also grateful to the hundreds of social service agencies that help our neighbors through TXU Energy Aid and other programs.
Now that summer is officially upon us, we’re ready for high temperatures to strike across Texas. But for many of our neighbors with inefficient homes and little or no income, summer can be a costly season filled with difficult choices. That’s where TXU Energy AidSM can lend a helping hand.
TXU Energy partners with social service agencies across the state to offer financial relief for TXU Energy customers who cannot pay their electricity bills. These customers might be chronically low-income or might have suffered a recent job loss or unexpected medical bills.
Through the contributions of TXU Energy, its employees and customers, non-profits like Sharing Life Community Outreach in Mesquite are able to help families with their electricity bills, as featured in a recent WFAA story.
In addition to TXU Energy Aid, qualified families can get help via the Texas Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program or through other private funds administered by social service agencies. Dialing 2-1-1 is an easy way to get connected with a local organization.
In 2015 alone, Sharing Life and TXU Energy provided $390,000 of assistance from the Mesquite location.
The TXU Energy Aid program has helped more than 478,000 valued customers in bill-payment assistance totaling nearly $90 million in its more than 30 year existence.
Learn more about our TXU Energy Aid partners in this recent video about the program, and check out one customer’s story.
To contribute to this program, look no further than the front of your TXU Energy invoice or email us at EnergyAid@TXU.com for more information.
A nearly daily update of energy-related news:
- This year’s Fortune 500 rankings were released earlier this week. The list contains 51 Texas companies including Energy Future Holdings (475). This is the 62nd installment of the rankings with the companies on the list representing two-thirds of the country’s GDP with $12 trillion in revenues and employment of 27.9 million people globally.
- According to a study by Navigant Research, the Smart Thermostat market is expected to reach $4.4 billion by 2025. The technology helps utilities meet demand-side management requirements while also providing savings to customers. The report notes that “the latest technology advancements have only just begun to gain traction” despite the technology existing for decades.
Heather Reynolds, CEO, Catholic Charities of Fort Worth
The Star-Telegram is shining a light on an ambitious effort to end poverty in Fort Worth – and TXU Energy is part of the story.
Heather Reynolds, CEO of Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, told the Star-Telegram editorial board that money provided by TXU Energy, its employees and customers allows her organization to help TXU Energy customers who are in financial crisis and preserve other funds for long-term, poverty-ending efforts.
Catholic Charities of Fort Worth has been a partner in the TXU Energy Aid program for more than a dozen years. In the past five years alone, the agency has used the program to help TXU Energy customers pay about 90,000 electricity bills totaling about $2.5 million.
In all, TXU Energy works with about 80 social service agencies across the state to administer the more than 30-year-old emergency assistance program. It also works closely with hundreds of additional government and non-profit agencies that use public and other private funds to help consumers who are in financial crisis.
Reynolds calls TXU Energy a model for corporate partnership.
You can hear more from her and other TXU Energy Aid partners in this recent video about the program, and check out one customer’s story.
Last week, TXU Energy announced that customers who sign up for TXU Energy Free Nights® can choose whether their free nighttime electricity starts at 8, 9 or 10 p.m. That puts even more power to save directly in customers’ hands.
With this new option, customers can select a plan that includes free electricity from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. or 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. They will receive free electricity during their selected hours every night. This means that the more activities customers can move to those hours – including laundry, dishwashing and running pool pumps – the more they will end up saving.
Since launching in May 2012, TXU Energy Free Nights has given residential customers approximately 1.5 billion KWh of free electricity. TXU Energy continues to learn about customers’ electricity habits so that it can provide plans and services that meet their needs and preferences. Throughout the years, TXU Energy has made adjustments to the plan that has given customers more power to save on their own terms.
TXU Energy was the first retail electricity provider in Texas to launch a time-of-use plan and it has grown to be the most in-demand plan in the company’s history. TXU Energy Free Nights was featured in The New York Times last November highlighting TXU Energy as a leader in the power industry.