Ask Amy: A move to help lower your energy bills + IRS letter warning

In this summer heat, all of our home air conditioners are working overtime - which means you might be paying more for your electricity bill. You know I am always looking for ways to save you money! This week producer Andrea Slaydon and I did some research on ways to save on your energy bills.

Help out your poor, overworked A/C

This may seem obvious but it’s the first thing to know about trying to cut your electricity bill: If you can help your air conditioner work less, you can potentially pay lower bills. One way to do that is by insulating your home.

The Department of Energy says this is the fastest way to cut energy waste. Adding attic insulation can help, but it is expensive.

Quick solution: get an attic tent.

(Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

An attic tent can keep that hot air in your attic from getting into your home and also keep the cool air from the home from escaping into the attic through the door. Andrea’s husband made the attic tent in the picture above for their home. He used insulation board and caulk. It cost about $20 to make.

(Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

You can also buy a similar tent on Amazon or Home Depot starting at about $25.

Check out areas of your home where you are wasting energy

A home energy audit could also help you identify where you are wasting energy in your home. Energy companies used to offer this service, but they don’t do that anymore. CenterPoint now offers free audits for some low-income households. If you qualify you can get weatherization upgrades like HVAC tune-ups or sealing exterior leaks.

CenterPoint says homes must be in a good state of repair to perform the energy audit. Homes with sheetrock damage, foundation, or plumbing issues may not qualify for the program. The energy audit may qualify you for the following weatherization upgrades:

  • Air infiltration (caulking and sealing exterior penetrations in your home)
  • HVAC tune-ups or upgrades
  • Low-flow showerheads
  • Water heater pipe insulation
  • Solar screens (on the south and west-facing windows)
  • LED lighting
  • Ceiling or wall insulation

You have to fill out an online form and CenterPoint will get back to you within three days.

The Department of Energy has a step-by-step guide for doing a home energy audit yourself.

(Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

*Watch today’s ask Amy episode. Andrea and I share 12 other ways you can save on energy use both in your home and car.

Viewer asks: is this IRS letter legit?

We get a lot of questions from viewers and often will share it with you, so you know what to look for it if happens to you.

Viewer Barbara sent us a letter about a potential IRS refund to me to see if it was real. Just recently the IRS did warn people about letters being sent by would-be scammers trying to get information from people.

(Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Turns out, Barbara’s letter was legit. She wasn’t sure because it was about money she paid three years ago. I gave more information on how to verify a letter from the IRS. And you can read the full letter warning from the IRS here.

Do you have a question or problem you need help solving? Email me at and I’ll work to find you answers!

About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.