Tuesday AM June 23rd, 2009

With summer officially here and temperatures expected to be in the mid to high 90's all week, Reliant Energy says there are some easy ways to save on electric bills in Houston. Jack Williams reports.
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With electric bills already on the rise, Reliant Energy's Pat Hammond says consumers can cut costs with some simple things, starting with routine air conditioner maintenance.

"60-70-percent of your summertime electricity bill goes to support the air-conditioning system. So, we recommend that you get a professional air-conditioner maintenance firm out to take a look at your AC system and perform preventative maintenance to make sure that it's operating properly."

Hammond says clogged return air filters can add up to 10-percent to an electric bill. She says a programmable thermostat can cut costs, increasing the daytime temperature inside a home when nobody's there. Another simply cost-cutting move.

"Especially when it gets to 100 degrees outside, think about pulling your shades and drapes. Keeping the sun out of your house and preventing that heat gain from the sunlight really can help, especially on these really miserably hot days."  

Hammond says energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs and even a shade tree outside your home are also ways to save in electricity costs this summer.

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...