HOUSTON – In case you didn’t notice, it is hot in Houston.
It was so hot Tuesday, that the operator of the state’s power grid, Electric Reliability Council of Texas, urged people to conserve electricity to avoid power outages.
For several hours Tuesday, the price of electricity topped out at $9 a kilowatt-hour. The normal price is usually about $.5 a kilowatt.
If you are currently in a variable rate plan or going month to month with an electric provider without a fixed rate, you will get a much higher than usual electric bill next month.
If you are under contract, you are protected from the surge. If you have a variable rate plan or if you let your contract expire and are now going month to month, you will be impacted.
To avoid feeling those price spikes the following month, you can find an electric company with a fixed rate and sign a contract.
ERCOT said that the stretch of triple-digit temperatures has resulted in record amounts of energy consumption.
Here are some steps to help reduce electricity use:
- Turn thermostat up 2 to 3 degrees during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.
- Set programmable thermostats to higher temperatures when no one is home.
- Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler.
- Limit use of large appliances (i.e., dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.) to morning or after 7 p.m.
- If you cook indoors from 3 to 7 p.m., use a microwave or slow cooker.
- Close blinds and drapes during late afternoon.
- Schedule pool pumps to run in the early morning or overnight hours; shut off between 4 and 6 p.m.