Energy Conservation Tips for the Latest Texas Cold Snap

Posted On: January 16, 2018

It’s starting to feel a lot like winter in Texas! Temperatures plunged last night as a cold snap stretched across much of the state. Understandably, more people are staying indoors, cranking up the heat and doing their best to avoid the single digit wind chill.

If that sounds like you, here’s what you may not be avoiding: a higher energy bill.

Earlier this month, during the first cold front of 2018, Texans set a new record for electricity consumption in response to the freezing temperatures, according to the Houston Chronicle. As a result, some energy customers may be in for an unpleasant surprise when they receive their bill.

As a valued Stream customer, we want to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. So, we’ve compiled this list of simple conservation tips for cold weather events that can help you keep warm and your consumption low.

1. 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 weatherstripping to keep the cold out. Here’s a video guide.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 into your home. It’s free!

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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!