Staff Report – For The Record

Energy-efficient measures and billing options can help customers manage monthly costs

The heat is on! While summer temperatures are reaching sweltering levels outside, you can stay one step ahead of their effect on your energy bill by implementing some simple and efficient solutions inside your home or business.

“Temperatures throughout Southeast Texas are hitting 95 and above, without figuring in the heat index,” said Vernon Pierce, Entergy Texas, Inc. customer service director. “While the first reaction is to crank down the A/C, remember that heating and cooling costs make up more than half of your monthly energy bill. By taking energy-efficient measures now, your air conditioner will run less and that, in turn, will help keep your bill down as the summer heat continues.”

Top ways to save energy and keep your costs lower without sacrificing comfort are:

  • Get your A/C inspected. Inspectors can make sure your system is leak-free and operating as efficiently as possible. Don’t forget about air filters; some units require monthly cleaning or replacing.
  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or the highest comfortable temperature. Every degree lower than 78 can raise your bill as much as 3 percent. So if you crank down the A/C to a cooler 72 degrees, you’ve already increased your bill by 18 percent.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat. As energy usage rises, costs also rise. If you spend most of your day outside of the house, set your thermostat to automatically shut off or raise the A/C setting when you’re away.
  • Use fans to cool off, but remember – fans cool people, not rooms. Ceiling fans, box fans and oscillating fans use very little electricity and circulate the air, which helps you feel several degrees cooler. Just remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
  • Close blinds, shades and curtains to keep the sun out and the cool air in. Also, close air conditioning vents in rooms that are not in use.
  • Seal cracks and holes around doors, windows and duct work. Weather stripping and caulk will help keep the cold air inside the house and the hot air outdoors.

“We also encourage you to visit entergy.com/savemoney to access a slew of energy-saving tips and calculators that will help you determine the best cost-cutting scenarios to suit your lifestyle,” Pierce said. “And to avoid the billing spikes that extreme temperatures can bring, we suggest you sign up for Level Billing if you haven’t already done so. That way, you can better control your monthly budget.”

What’s more, you also can take advantage of a variety of energy-efficiency programs and services through our Entergy Solutions program, which offers ways to help you lower your energy bill and find new ways to save energy – and money – at your home or business.

For customers struggling to pay their summer energy bills, Entergy Texas, Inc. helps low-income, disabled and elderly customers through its customer-assistance fund, The Power to Care. The Power to Care is administered by Project Care Texas and funded by Entergy employees, customers and shareholders. Bill pay assistance is also available through the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Through these programs, in 2015 $6.5 million in assistance was provided to almost 35,000 Entergy Texas customers. For information on getting assistance or to contribute to The Power to Care, visit entergy-texas.com.

Entergy Texas, Inc. delivers electricity to more than 430,000 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, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.