The following is a press release from Xcel Energy:

AMARILLO, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — Punishing summer heat has driven electricity demand higher across Xcel Energy’s Texas and New Mexico service area, but area customers have options for keeping monthly energy bills in check even as temperatures soar.

“Xcel Energy is working to hold down costs by leaning on our abundant wind energy resources, which use the free and abundant wind to generate electricity while saving millions on fuel costs,” said Brad Baldridge, Xcel Energy director for Customer and Community Relations in Texas and New Mexico. “And we’re helping customers make their homes and businesses more energy efficient without sacrificing comfort to hold down costs now and throughout the year.”

Average temperatures across the region have been consistently higher than the norm throughout July. Xcel Energy offers tips to beat the persistent heat and save money at its Energy Saving Tips page at xcelenergy.com. These include:

  • Using weather stripping to seal doors and windows so cool air can’t escape
  • Adjusting thermostats 7 to 10 degrees from normal for an estimated annual savings of 10%
  • Investing in a “smart” thermostat that allows customers to program and/or adjust thermostat settings from a mobile device
  • Closing blinds and drapes during the heat of the day to block the heat from sunlight
  • Using fans to circulate air throughout the home, even when the air conditioning is on
  • Opening interior doors to allow cool air to circulate in the house. Or, if there is a part of the house not in use, closing it off to keep the cool air where it is desired
  • Putting off cooking and clothes drying and other chores that create heat inside the home until past 7 p.m.
  • Shading air conditioning units to boost their efficiency
  • If using well water, checking pumps for leaks and reducing frequency and duration of lawn irrigation

Additionally, installing LED bulbs helps stretch savings further because they use 70-90% less energy and last 15 times longer. Xcel Energy has teamed up with select retailers in its Texas-New Mexico service area to provide discounts on certain LED bulbs. Customers can locate these retailers at the company’s Home Lighting page at xcelenergy.com.

Customers can take a further step toward ongoing savings by having their homes tested for air leaks that can make cooling and heating units less efficient and more costly to operate. Xcel Energy provides a list of approved energy efficiency contractors at xcelenergyefficiency.com that will find these air leaks and make energy-saving improvements free of charge.

Customers needing extra time to pay their bill can visit with Xcel Energy about setting up payment arrangements by calling 1-800-895-4999 Monday through Friday or visit the customer support page at xcelenergy.com to learn about options and programs to help manage bills. Xcel Energy customer agents can also connect customers with resources in the community that offer assistance in paying utility bills.

(Infographics provided in a press release from Xcel Energy)

About Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

(Press release from Xcel Energy)