Southeast Texas’ normally mild winters are known for bringing us lower energy bills. But long stretches of low temperatures like those experienced in recent weeks call for cranked-up furnaces. And that can crank up the energy bills, too.

“Weather is an important factor in determining how high or how low an energy bill may be,” said Vernon Pierce, vice president, customer service, Entergy Texas, Inc. “We’ve come to expect higher bills in summer when we run our air conditioners 24-7,” he said. “But with the cold weather we’ve experienced recently, it’s important to remember that when we have to turn up the heat, that impacts our bills, too.”

With a good six weeks of winter ahead, there are no guarantees it won’t continue to be a cold one. To stay comfortable in the cold without having to break your piggy bank for extra money to pay energy bills, here are three quick tips from Entergy Texas.

1. Turn the heat down—just a little. Air conditioning and heating remain the top energy-users in the average residential home. During winter months, keep the thermostat set on 68 degrees. Any degree warmer will also warm up your bill by about three percent.

2. Blanket your water heater. Heating water for cooking, cleaning, laundry and bathing is the second-largest energy user in homes. Insulating blankets for electric water heaters are inexpensive and readily available at any home improvement store and will make a difference in your energy bills.

3. Think long term. Making your home more energy efficient is a good move for lowering bills all year round. You can start by checking out Entergy Texas’ Entergy Solutions program. A wide variety of improvements are available at either no cost or low cost from quality vendors who will test your home to determine what will work best for you. Go to and look for the Entergy Solutions logo. You’re only one click away from a lower bill!

If you want to look harder for other ways to save energy—and money—a good place to start is with the home calculator available on our website. Look for the “Lower Your Bill” icon on our homepage. And while you’re on the money-saving site, take a tour of the do-it-yourself videos and other self-help resources available. It may be just what you need to make the rest of this winter, and the winters to come, a little more comfortable.

Entergy Texas, Inc. delivers electricity to more than 400,000 customers in 27 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.