With a mix of above- and below-normal temperatures expected in Texas this winter – including the potential for a frigid blast in February – TXU Energy hit the airways and the Internet on Wednesday afternoon to deliver early winter energy savings advice.
TXU Energy Spokesman Juan Elizondo spent an hour answering questions and providing advice to North Texans on WFAA’s Facebook page during the ABC affiliate’s 4 p.m. newscast. He also spoke with one of the station’s anchors about the company’s efforts to help consumers.
“Our goal is to help people understand the incredible impact weather has on their electricity consumption so they can plan ahead and manage their spending,” Juan said.
The 2013-14 winter saw consistently cold temperatures throughout the season. This year, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas – which manages the state’s main power grid – expects a mild first half of the winter with the possibility of extreme cold later in the season.
“We anticipate a sufficient supply of electricity for the upcoming winter and spring,” said Robbie Searcy, communications manager for ERCOT. “However, during extreme temperatures, it’s a good idea to stay aware of changing conditions in case of challenges, such as unexpected power plant or transmission line outages. We appreciate continuing efforts by market participants such as TXU Energy to help keep consumers informed throughout the year.”
Juan said even with normal winter conditions, Texans can find ways to conserve without giving up comfort.
“The main thing to understand is that the greater the difference between the outdoor temperature and the temperature set inside someone’s home or business, the harder the air-conditioning or heating system has to work to bridge that gap,” he said. “That means consumers can manage their spending by setting their thermostat as low as they can be comfortable and safe during the winter and as high as comfortable and safe during the summer.”
Juan also said consumers can manage their spending by:
- Using programmable thermostats so they are not heating or cooling their homes while no one is home.
- Using ceiling fans on low, clockwise settings in the winter to circulate warm air.
- Scheduling a maintenance appointment with a heating and cooling professional to ensure their systems are working properly.
“While the weather has a great impact on our consumption, we have a lot of power, as well,” he said.
Consumers who have a hard time paying their electricity bills should always call their electricity provider before the due date of the bill. That will give the retailer the best opportunity to help and can delay or prevent additional charges.