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NEC Retail encourages members to resist turning up your thermostats too high. Here are the top reasons why and tools you can use to keep your usage down:

1. Cold = Increased Consumption
December bills reflected lower than normal consumption because November and December were very mild months. That means people weren’t running electric heating nearly as much. It wasn’t too hot nor was it too cold. January was opposite. We had a longer than normal cold stint. Late December to late January got all of the colder weather with daily lows in the 30’s and daily highs 40’s and 50’s. Because it was cold, heaters turned on and as you will see in the next box, heaters use more energy than air conditioners. Space Heaters also have high usage. 

TOOL: www.smartmetertexas.com
holds the meter reading history that is attached to your ESID# and service address. Use this to track your daily readings and reporting periods. If you are trying to stay at a certain level of usage, this tool can help you increase your awareness of your high use times. 

2. Heat Uses More kWh Than AC
Electric heating is, unfortunately, double the electric draw as air conditioning. So hour per hour, electric heating will use double the amount of kWh as compared to air conditioning hour per hour. With the amp and heating being so much more, it draws more electricity and therefore causes bills to be higher. A typical heating unit is designed at 65 or colder for heating efficiency. It starts being less efficient the higher you set the dial. If you increase the temp from 65 to 75 degrees, you could possibly be increasing your electric consumption by over 20%.

TOOL: Create an account with your power line company who maintains your meter. If you are on AEP power lines, go to: aeptexas.com/account. Log-in and you can see what they are reporting as your usage as well as their power line charges. NEC Retail does not make up any readings or usage. We only use what is reported.

3. Temperature Differential Rate

The temperature difference between outside and inside. In winter the differential rate is greater so your consumption increases. If we have a low of 30 degrees, and you set your thermostat at 65 degrees; that’s a 35 degree temperature difference. In summer, if it’s 78 inside and 98 outside, that’s only a 20 difference. So the air to air temperature difference has a large impact on your usage. It’s difficult to compare one home to another. Homes have different insulation, windows, ceilings, number of people in the home going in and out, comfort level, etc… All of that adds to electric consumption. 

TOOL: www.wunderground.com

is a great tool for you to use to compare the day-to-day and month-to-month temperatures and weather impacts which affects the amount of heating or AC you use.