Tips To Reduce Your Summer Electric Bill

As the temperatures soar higher, energy bills rise right along with them. But there are some things you can do to keep your electric bill down. Tuesday, TXU Energy, along with YMCA volunteers, made a Tyler home more energy efficient.

Their work is easy for any homeowner to follow.  Like most folks, the Smith family's electric bill took a shot up when summer hit. The kids are out of school, the air conditioner is constantly blowing, and the bill is up by almost 30 percent .

"It's hard when you have a $200 bill every month, every month," said homeowner Sara Smith."

However, thanks to TXU Energy volunteers, the Smith's were given some tips that you can follow as well, on how to take the shock out of summer electric bills.

"These are very, very easy improvements, very, very low cost, very easy to learn," said TXU Energy spokesman Carlos Santos. "The materials can be found at any hardware store."

The easiest tip to follow: Keep your thermostat set at 78 degrees or higher. TXU Energy officials said each degree below 78 equals an eight percent increase in cooling costs.

They also suggest replacing incandescent bulbs with compact florescent bulbs. They use about 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer.

Another suggestion, installing inexpensive foam gaskets behind outlet covers and switch plates plugs the hole where cool air escapes.

Outside the house, putting caulk and weather strip around windows and doors keeps warm air out and cool air in.

If you put solar screens or window film on the south and west sides of your home, you can reduce sun rays that heat up your house and overwork your air conditioner.

TXU Energy officials said these steps could save you a bundle.

"A homeowner that goes all the way with energy efficiency can save as much as $200 a year," said Carlos Santos.

Sara Smith was all smiles. "Oh! That's going to be good!"

For a list on low cost tips to make your home more energy efficient this summer, just go back to the home page and look for the "Know More on 7" icon on the right side of the page. There you will find the link "Summer Energy-Saving Tips."

Maya Golden, reporting.