Have your Texas customers noted an increase in their recent energy bills? They’re not alone!
The Houston Chronicle reported that Texas set a new record for energy consumption during the first cold snap of 2018, which means some customers across the state may be in for an unpleasant surprise when they open their next bill. Here’s what’s going on.
Same Rates, Higher UsageEven though customers aren’t getting billed at a higher rate, bills naturally increase with more usage. If someone cranks up the heat manually to stay warm, or even if their system turns on more often to maintain their thermostat’s temperature, they should expect a higher bill.
We’re Here to HelpIf your customers are reporting that these frigid temperatures resulted in high energy bills, we’re here to help protect your business and their satisfaction. Have them contact Customer Support about available payment plan options: 866-447-8732.
Conservation Is KeyWith another possible cold front on the horizon, now is the time to study up on reducing energy usage, even during extreme weather. We compiled these simple tips from our blog to help customers keep energy bills low when temperatures fall.
- Seal air leaks. Feel a draft? “Leaky” doors and windows that let outside air in are common and easily dealt with. Seal air leaks with caulk or weather stripping to keep the cold out. Here’s a video guide.
- Cover drafty windows. Tight-fitting insulating drapes can take your draft protection a step further by helping to hold heat in your house. Then, you can turn your thermostat down to use less energy.
- Use your thermostat wisely. Speaking of thermostats: adjust yours to maximize conservation. When you’re home and moving around, lower it as far as you can without being uncomfortable. As you’re heading out the door, drop it by 10 or 15 degrees. If you have a smart thermostat, like the Lyric® included with Stream’s Smart 30 Thermostat plan, you won’t have to come home to a cold house since you can raise the temperature from your phone anytime.
- Let the sunshine in. When you lower your thermostat, you can open the curtains on south-facing windows to let sunlight do some of the heavy lifting and bring natural heat to your home. It’s free!
- Reverse ceiling fans. Since hot air naturally rises, run your ceiling fans in reserve to push it back down. There should be a small switch on the body of the fan to do the job.
- Close your fireplace damper. When you’re not using your fireplace, close that damper. An open damper is just like an open window; you’re losing tons of warm air up and out of your chimney. And, don’t forget to lower your thermostat when you start up your next fire.
- Bundle up! Dressing warmer while you’re home is a simple way to help lower your energy bill. Cozy sweaters, hoodies, sweat pants and flannel pajamas can keep you toasty without cranking the heat. Don’t forget the slippers!