3 tips to keep summer electric bills in check - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

3 tips to keep summer electric bills in check

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Some simple tips could save you money this summer. (KTEN) Some simple tips could save you money this summer. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- Have you turned on your air conditioning yet? If you haven't, odds are you will very soon.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas we may see more calls for power conservation this summer, which could set new records for electric usage.

"Everybody turns their air conditioners on in the summer, and their light bills go way up, use a lot more electricity," said Danny Reynolds, owner of Reynolds Electric in Sherman.

Last year set a record for the all-time peak demand for electricity in Texas. This year, we are expected to surpass that by at least 1,000 megawatts.

Money-saving tip No. 1

"The best thing for a homeowner to do is to keep their air conditioning filter cleaned or changed at least once a month, and have their outside units serviced and cleaned," Reynolds advises.

ERCOT said part of the demand is due to oil and gas development in West Texas. This high demand means we could see more days where Texans are called to conserve electricity.

Money-saving Tip No. 2

"Of course, the higher you set [your thermostat], the less your light bill will be," Reynolds said. "If you try to turn it down to 65 and 70, it's going to be pretty high, so if you can keep it up around 74 that will help a lot."

Money-saving Tip No. 3

Replacing old equipment could boost those conservation efforts.

"If your unit is old -- say 15 years or older -- then I would consider putting in a high efficiency unit, and that will knock your utilities down about 20 percent more," Reynolds said.

ERCOT expects power demand to grow system-wide between 2.5 and and 3 percent through 2022.

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