After enduring the warmest March on record and even hotter weather in April, Tucson residents now face a forecast for above-average temperatures in May, according to the National Weather Service.
Amid such warm weather, Tucson Electric Power is encouraging customers to get an early start on energy saving strategies that will help take the heat off their summertime electric bills.
Think About Your Thermostat
As outdoor temperatures increase, a home cooling system must use more energy as it works harder to maintain the same indoor temperature, even if the thermostat is left at one setting all the time. High humidity can further increase energy usage because air conditioning systems must remove more moisture from the air and evaporative coolers work less efficiently.
To minimize cooling costs, set thermostats at the highest comfortable temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting thermostats at 78 degrees in the summer, although individual preferences may vary. For every degree you raise your thermostat, you can reduce your overall energy costs by about 2-3 percent.
Customers also might consider installing a Nest Learning Thermostat, which can learn users’ temperature preferences and automatically adjust to save an average of 15 percent on cooling bills, according to the manufacturer. TEP offers $50 rebates to residential customers who purchase these thermostats.
Use Easy, Proven Ways to Save
Following these simple tips may help to reduce energy usage:
- Use ceiling or oscillating fans to keep air moving so you feel cooler without increasing air conditioner use.
- Don’t block vents or ducts inside the house. Maintaining clear air paths allows your cooling system to work more efficiently. Keep exterior doors and windows closed when running the air conditioner.
- Use shades, blinds or curtains to keep sunlight out, especially during the afternoon in rooms facing west.
- Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR-qualified light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which emit 90 percent less heat than regular incandescent bulbs. Over the course of its lifetime, an LED bulb will save an average of $80 in energy costs.
Find more energy-saving tips at tep.com/tips.
Know How You Use Energy
New appliances, changes in lifestyle or equipment in need of maintenance can all contribute to increased usage, especially during warm weather when customers usually use more energy. Pool pumps, clothes dryers and other appliances can offer energy efficient features that can help to reduce energy usage.
TEP’s Home Energy Calculator, available in the Energy Efficiency section of tep.com, provides customized recommendations to help customers save energy at home. Residential customers can input details about their homes’ size, construction, appliances and number of occupants to identify energy saving opportunities.
The calculator uses local weather data, energy costs and customer information to recommend energy use changes and promising TEP energy efficiency programs. Interactive graphics provide estimated monthly operating costs for heating and cooling, lighting, water heating and other home systems.
Find Easy and Free Payment Options, Usage Information
TEP offers convenient ways to pay your bill and learn more about your energy usage online
With Auto Pay, your monthly amount due is automatically deducted from your choice of a U.S. checking or savings account. Budget Billing offers and easy way to evens out the peaks and valleys of monthly bills by enabling customers to pay the same amount each month, making your monthly bills more manageable. TEP e-bill paperless billing is a convenient, free service that allows you to securely receive, view and pay your bill online.
To sign up for these payment options, log in to My Account, or access your account using TEP’s mobile app. By signing up, you’ll gain secure, free access to your TEP account, including up to two years of energy usage and monthly billing information.