Feeling the heat? Avoid sticker shock on your utility bills with tips from the City

August 14, 2020

It’s no secret – Austin is in the midst of a heat wave with temperatures nearing or topping 100 degrees over the next week. With hot and dry weather, energy and water use inevitably go up, which can push some customers into higher rate tiers. It can really add up. There are ways City of Austin Utilities customers can stay cool without breaking the bank this summer.

Here are some quick and easy tips for using less energy and water:

  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher when possible. Every degree higher can decrease your bill by 3 percent.
  • Avoid turning on large appliances like an oven or washing machine during the hottest time of the day. Microwaves or slow cookers produce less heat.
  • Keep curtains and blinds drawn on windows hit by direct sunlight, which can quickly raise indoor temperatures 5-10 degrees.
  • Point fans in your direction to help you feel 2-4 degrees cooler, but remember: Fans cool people, not rooms.
  • Follow conservation stage watering restrictions and water only on your scheduled days and times.
  • Maintain your irrigation system to make sure you’re watering efficiently, or find out if you quality for a free irrigation evaluation from Austin Water.
  • Use drip irrigation for bedded plants, shrubs, and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it’s needed. Add mulch to your beds to hold moisture in the ground.
  • Check for leaks if your water use seems unusually high.

For more energy saving tips, see austinenergy.com/go/summer

Find rebates and more ways to manage water use in and around your home at austinwater.org.

Weekly Electricity Update and High Bill Alert emails also provide customers with electricity usage details and energy-efficiency tips. These emails help customers learn more about their electricity usage patterns and compare energy usage rates from week to week. High Bill Alert emails let customers know when their usage is higher than compared to the same monthly cycle from the previous year. 

Customers can also access usage information by logging into their utility account at coautilities.com

summer energy use chart


summer water use chart