Turning up the heat could cool down your electric bill

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Public Utility Commission are urging people to conserve electricity that's used during peak hours from 3 to 7 p.m. That means turning up the thermostat to 80 degrees.

Cranking up the temperature to 80 seems unbearable to Richard Quick. "It's a little bit too hot," said Quick, homeowner.

Although Quick is retired, he still works two jobs. "Being on a fixed income, money stays real tight," he said.

So, he's come up with other ways to conserve energy while keeping more money in his pocket.

"That's why I have the foam over the windows, it keeps most of the sun out, maybe the unit don't run so much," said Quick.

The two-inch-thick insulation cost him $5 a sheet. He said it's worth every penny. "I imagine we've saved $200 or $300 just by using it [insulation] the past four years.

Across the street, Walter Albro's thermostat has been sitting at 80 degrees for three years. "I think last year we only had one bill that was over $200," said Albro, homeowner.

Diamond McCloud also lives in the house. She doesn't mind turning up the heat. "Eighty degrees is pleasant," said McCloud. "The air conditioner cuts on and off all day by itself at 80 degrees and the temperature is really controlled in the house and it's comfortable."

McCloud cooks from 8 to 11 in the morning. She said by getting the cooking out of the way early, she conserves energy. "All your appliances such as the electricity that you're using or your stove, all that stuff is cut off by 12 o'clock and your house has time to cool back down," said McCloud.

Both families agree every little bit counts. "We try to conserve as much as we can, try not to make the grid explode," said Quick.

Simple things like using fans and keeping your blinds and drapes closed also helps conserve energy while saving money.

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