As cold temperatures sweep through Texas, TXU Energy is traveling the state to warm up customers with cost-saving home improvement and energy efficiency tips.
With energy costs being top of mind to many customers, TXU Energy offers the following tips (also available at http://www.txu.com/energytips) to help lower energy consumption and help reduce energy bills this winter:
- Window treatments - Install storm or thermal windows and doors or double-paned glass. A less expensive alternative is plastic sheeting, which can be temporarily fastened over doors and windows to prevent drafts and retain heat.
- Air Leaks - Check for air leaks in air ducts, windows, plumbing utilities, fireplace flues, attic entrances and recessed light fixtures.
- Weatherstrip/caulk air leaks and insulate - Sealing up air leaks with caulking and weather stripping and installing adequate insulation in walls and the attic are some of the most cost effective savings measures you can do in your home.
- Close doors - Minimize the number of times doors to the outside are opened and closed. Each time you open the door cold air enters the house.
- Energy Labels - Review the ENERGY GUIDE label when buying or replacing larger appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, washers and dryers. If you are thinking about purchasing a new TV or VCR, look for ENERGY STAR® models. ENERGY STAR® TVs and VCRs use less energy and save money.
- Energy-saver switch - Use the energy-saver switch on your appliances.
- Temperature settings - Set thermostats at about 70 degrees during the winter and even lower when away from the house for more than a few hours. While sleeping, add an extra blanket for warmth. Turn down thermostats automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing a programmable thermostat. Use ceiling fans in the "up" mode at the lowest speed to push warmer air back down into the room.
- Water heater - Set water heater temperatures at 120 degrees. A family of four, each showering for five minutes a day, uses 700 gallons of water each week. By lowering the thermostat on the water heater to 120 degrees, families can cut water heating bills without sacrificing comfort.
- Water pipes - Insulate hot water pipes.
- Furnace filter - Clean or replace your furnace filter monthly to help your furnace run more efficiently.
- Heating vents - Close outside vents (where applicable), and close dampers on unused fireplaces. Be sure to open the fireplace damper before using the fireplace.
- Trees - If you're going to plant a tree, consider placing deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your house. They grow leaves in summer that help shade your home and shed leaves in the winter, allowing sunlight to warm your house.
TXU Energy is partnering with social service organizations in various local communities to educate Texans on ways to implement these energy efficiency tips.
"As a leader in energy conservation, TXU Energy continues to increase awareness and promote simple and low-cost ways to save electricity," said Jim Burke, CEO of TXU Energy. "We believe that by sharing our expertise with others, we are contributing to local communities and helping others stay warm this winter."
As an extension of its signature Home Energy Makeover program, TXU Energy recently donated money along with 100 energy efficiency kits to the Greater East Texas Community Action Program (GETCAP).
TXU Energy's Home Energy Makeover program builds energy efficiency awareness throughout the state of Texas by educating homeowners on simple and cost-effective ways to conserve energy.
GETCAP is a non-profit organization that offers a variety of programs and services to assist low-income individuals and families across a 12-county region in East Texas.
"TXU Energy's generous donation will ensure that many East Texas residents will stay warm this winter," said Karen Swenson, Director of GETCAP. "Financial assistance and the energy efficiency measures offered in the energy efficiency kit are the perfect combination to fight cold temperatures."
Texans can find suggestions for their own home through TXU Energy's Home Energy Advisor. The free website allows customers to enter basic information about their home and immediately receive customized energy-saving ideas and the resulting estimated savings. TXU Energy's Home Energy Advisor can be found online at http://www.txu.com/waystosave.
TXU Corp., a Dallas-based energy company, manages a portfolio of competitive and regulated energy businesses primarily in Texas. In the competitive TXU Energy Holdings segment (electricity generation, wholesale marketing and retailing), TXU Energy provides electricity and related services to more than 2.2 million competitive electricity customers in Texas, more customers than any other retail electric provider in the state. TXU Power has over 18,300 MW of generation in Texas, including 2,300 MW of nuclear and 5,800 MW of coal-fired generation capacity. TXU Wholesale optimizes the purchases and sales of energy for TXU Energy and TXU Power and provides related services to other market participants. TXU Wholesale and its affiliate, TXU Renew, are the largest purchasers of wind-generated electricity in Texas and fifth largest in the United States. In addition, TXU Power Development Company and its affiliates are involved in a power generation development program in Texas and are evaluating opportunities for additional development outside of Texas. TXU Corp.'s regulated segment, TXU Electric Delivery, is an electric distribution and transmission business that complements the competitive operations, using superior asset management skills to provide reliable electricity delivery to consumers. TXU Electric Delivery operates the largest distribution and transmission system in Texas, providing power to three million electric delivery points over more than 100,000 miles of distribution and 14,000 miles of transmission lines. Visit http://www.txucorp.com/ for more information about TXU Corp.