CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In the Coastal Bend area, anytime someone walks out the door, the heat is going to hit them hard. Unfortunately for a lot of residents because of the hot weather, so do their their wallets.
According to experts, many could expect to pay more this summer on utility and electric bills, like Corpus Christi local Kim Morales.
“It’s summer time and my kids are home, usually we are at home I mean at school and work all day everyones at home," she said.
So for Morales and her family that means they lower the AC temperature to 72 degrees.
"It is very comfortable, but with that comes the up in price we probably see about $150 more a month,” Morales said.
She said her power bill is usually around $150 but during summer months she can pay up to $400 a month.
She and her family try to budget and adjust their daily habits to save money.
“We try to do our cooking in the mornings when it’s coolest, we try to keep our shutters closed during the day even when it’s noon like today we try to not go in and out as much,“ Morales said.
She also tries to incorporate activities that keep them out the house like maybe going for a swim.
Reliant Energy also has some tips too.
“Be vigilant, make sure that your usage is kind of in line with what you expect and if the price goes up because your usage went up a little bit that’s normal," Relient representative Arcadio Padilla said.
He also said that if the usage goes up too much the first place you should look at is at your equipment and make sure it is okay.
Below are other tips Reliant offers during the hot summer months:
- Raise your thermostat 2 to 3 degrees from 2 to 7 p.m. and use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler.
- Follow the 4-by-4 rule: If no one is going to be home for more than 4 hours, set the temperature 4 degrees higher while you’re gone.
- Use a timer on your pool pump to prevent it from continuously running.
- Wait until after sundown to wash clothes and use your dishwasher.
- Don’t use the dishwasher until you have a full load.
- Use blinds or curtains to reduce solar heat gain. Sunlight can increase the demand on your air conditioner by as much as 30 percent.
- Opt for thermal drapes or blackout curtains to keep the heat outside your home and the cool air inside.
- Set ceiling fan blades to spin counterclockwise to circulate cool air.
- LED lighting is much more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. You should also take advantage of natural daytime lighting when possible so you can keep lights turned off during the day.
And if you find yourself struggling to pay some of your bills you could click here to apply for a program the City of Corpus Christi offers.