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Texas Electricity: 3 Ways to Lower Summer AC Bills

April 5, 2010

The heat of a Texas summer sends many scurrying from their cars straight into the AC. And it’s no wonder, temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s are not uncommon. It’s no wonder that Texas crank up the AC during the summer.

According to the Forbes magazine article, Competition delivers lower power prices in Texas,Texas households use twice as much power as the national average to run air conditioners in the summer, [with bills . . . likely to exceed $200-$300 in the hottest months of the year.”

Following are three tips to beat the summer heat in Texas — all while keeping those AC bills manageable.

Get a Room Air Conditioner: Turning the AC up and down uses more energy. And this is exactly what happens with an air conditioner used to cool an entire home (or one floor), for example. But, a room air conditioner keeps a room at a consistent temperature, which means you don’t have to constantly adjust the temperature to keep the space cool.

Purchase an Energy Star-Rated Air Conditioner: If you do, you’ll be eligible for a rebate under the Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program. This program, which started on April 5th, gives rebates to consumers who buy Energy Star-rated appliances. The rebate for buying a central air conditioner under the plan is currently $600 to $1,000.

Ditch Prepaid Service Plans: If you currently have a prepaid electric service plan, you’re probably paying more for electricity than you need to. Most of these plans are designed to attract consumers with bad credit or those with low incomes. The problem is that they tend to cost more per month than regular electricity plans – two or three times as much!

If you’re currently signed to a plan like this, check with your electricity provider to see what types of plans out there that cost you less.

Since Texas deregulated its electricity market in 2002, many reliable, traditional electric suppliers have come up with innovative plans that save disadvantaged consumers money, eg, Texas’ LITE-UP program. It’s a no-deposit electricity plan that gives consumes a discount five months out of the year. Call your energy provider to see if you qualify for this plan, or others similar to it.