For Immediate Release: May 31, 2018
Tucson, Ariz. – Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is offering energy-saving strategies for summer, when outside temperatures soar and customers typically use more energy to cool their homes.
The National Weather Service is predicting above-average temperatures in Tucson during the summer months of June, July and August. That could lead to above-average energy bills, as air conditioning is the largest factor in most customers’ summer energy bills.
TEP customers should consider the following tips to help beat the heat of summertime energy bills.
Keep Your Cool
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), about 25 percent of the energy consumed in Arizona homes is for air conditioning – more than four times the national average. Home cooling systems typically use more energy as outdoor temperatures increase, working harder to maintain indoor temperatures even if the thermostat is left at one setting all the time.
While summer monsoon storms may provide some relief from the afternoon heat, the increased humidity can drive energy bills even higher. Air conditioning systems must work harder to remove more moisture from the air, while evaporative coolers work less efficiently when humidity is higher.
To lower cooling costs, set thermostats at the highest comfortable temperature. The DOE recommends 78 degrees in the summer. Every degree you raise your thermostat can reduce your overall energy costs by about 2-3 percent.
Consider installing a Nest Learning Thermostat, which can automatically adjust the temperature to your preferences. Installing a Nest thermostat can reduce your energy costs by up to 20 percent, often paying for itself within one year of use, according to the manufacturer. TEP offers $35 rebates to residential customers who purchase these thermostats, which can be controlled remotely with the TEP mobile app if connected to a Wi-Fi network.
It might also be time to have your central air conditioner tuned up for the summer to make sure it’s operating at peak efficiency. Dirty or clogged filters restrict airflow, making your air conditioner work harder and use more energy.
Use Less Energy
Keep your summertime energy use in check by following these energy-efficiency tips:
- Keep windows and doors closed and covered. Keep exterior doors and windows closed tightly and close window coverings in the morning before it gets hot. Installing thermal blinds or draperies can reduce the amount of radiant heat in your home. Or, install awnings or sun shades to keep heat away from your home.
- Caulk or install weatherstripping around windows and doors to keep hot air out and cool air in.
- Use ceiling or oscillating fans to keep air moving so you feel cooler without increasing air conditioner use.
- Reduce indoor heat sources. Big-screen TVs, ovens, clothes dryers, incandescent lighting and dishwashers radiate extra heat in your home when you’re trying to cool it down. Turn off the TV when you’re not watching it, grill outdoors instead of using your oven and run your dryer and dishwasher at night when it’s cooler.
Learn How You Use Energy
Customers can learn about how they use energy by viewing monthly, daily and hourly electric usage and energy demand information through the company’s website and mobile apps. They also can review their usage during on-peak hours and learn about their peak energy demand, which reflects their highest hourly energy use.
Customers can use this information to make changes that can help to reduce their monthly energy expenses and to choose an appropriate pricing plan. Customers on time-of-use plans pay less for energy used during off-peak hours, which include most weekday hours and all day on weekends and major holidays. Demand-based pricing plans offer even lower usage rates along with a demand charge based on the customer’s highest individual hour of usage during on-peak time periods.
TEP provides safe, reliable electric service to approximately 424,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com. TEP and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc., which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. For more information, visit fortisinc.com.
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