Helping Texans stay safe and comfortable in their homes and neighborhoods is a top priority for the family of companies at Energy Future Holdings, and TXU Energy has spent the summer taking the message of heat safety and energy conservation directly to Texans.
In partnership with community agencies that serve Texans in need, representatives from TXU Energy’s consumer advocacy and community relations teams have conducted lunch-and-learn sessions around Texas with two important messages: Don’t go without air-conditioning and seek help if needed.
“Too often, families in financial crisis choose to avoid using their air-conditioning because they don’t think they can afford the cost,” says Kim Campbell, senior manager for customer advocacy. “That can be incredibly dangerous, particularly for seniors, children and people with medical conditions. We want them to know that help is available.”
For TXU Energy customers, help is available through TXU Energy AidSM, the largest bill-payment assistance program among competitive retail electricity providers in the United States. The program is open to any TXU Energy customer in financial crisis regardless of past income.
In addition, help also is available to any electricity consumer through the state’s Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program. That program has income limits.
Texans can access both of those programs and other private funds by calling 2-1-1 to connect with participating agencies.
“The great thing about working so closely with government and nonprofit social service agencies is that they know how to stretch funds and can provide additional help to get people back on their feet,” Campbell says.
In addition to the key messages of air-conditioning and financial assistance, Campbell and other TXU Energy representatives share energy efficiency tips and heat-safety guidelines, including:
- Setting thermostats to 78 degrees while home and higher when away
- Using ceiling or box fans, which help people feel up to 4 degrees cooler
- Avoiding hot foods and hot showers during the day
- Drinking 8 ounces of cool water for every 20 minutes of heat exposure
- Limiting outdoor activities to morning and evening hours
- Wearing sunscreen, light-colored clothing and hats while outdoors
- Keeping window coverings closed to keep cool air inside
- Applying window and door insulation
“There are a lot of big and small things we can all do to be safe and comfortable in our house without over spending,” Campbell says. “The other thing we can all do is check in with our friends and neighbors to ensure everyone has a safe summer.”