Save Energy for What Matters

Save money at home with easy energy-saving tips

Save Money & Energy
Residential
Rebates & Incentives
Residential
Questions?

Austin Energy

Customer Energy Solutions

721 Barton Springs Road

Austin, TX 78704

email icon   Customer Energy Solutions

phone icon   512-482-5346

phone icon   512-972-8350

Save Energy for What Matters

Small changes help add up to big savings. Whether you live in a house, a condo, or an apartment, you have many ways to reduce your home energy usage, save money, and save energy for what matters.

From DIY tips that require little to no effort or out-of-pocket expense to easy ways to make bigger changes, Austin Energy offers you many ways to save. Then you can see your energy efficiency grow while your electric bill shrinks.

  • Instant In-Store Savings — Find instant savings on energy efficient products when you shop at local stores.
  • Weatherization Assistance —Take a few minutes to see if you qualify for free home energy improvements.
  • Thermostat Rebates and Incentives — Summer Offer! Get up to $155 in thermostat rebates and incentives July 1 through September 6.
  • Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® — End of Summer Offer! Enjoy rebates averaging $2,400 or 0% financing on home energy upgrades from July 30 through September 30.
  • Heat Pump Water Heaters — Enjoy $800 in rebates on ENERGY STAR certified heat pump water heaters.
  • Online Usage Tools — Monitor your energy usage regularly, get savings tips, and sign up for paperless billing by logging into City of Austin Utilities Online Customer Care.
  • Austin Energy Web App — Access the Austin Energy web app, anytime day or night.
  • Easy Savings Tips — Make easy changes like adjusting your thermostat. See our full tips list below.
  • Utility Bill Relief — Residential customers facing financial challenges can receive help with utility bills.

Stay Cool During the Summer

  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Each degree lower increases your energy use by 6% to 8%.
  • Raise the thermostat to 85 degrees when you are away for two hours or more.
  • Point fans in your direction. Fans blowing directly on you can make temperatures around you feel about 4 degrees cooler. In the summer, fan blades should move counterclockwise to push cool air downward.
  • Clean your AC condenser/evaporator coils at the beginning of the season. Clean coils to lower your energy costs, extend the unit's life, and provide cleaner air for you to breathe. The fin coils on the outside AC unit can be washed with a hose. Coils on inside units may be difficult to get to and may require a trained technician.
  • Keep debris and high grass away from the condenser. These obstacles block airflow, which makes the condenser work harder and run longer.
  • Close shades and curtains on windows hit by direct sunlight to prevent heat from getting indoors.
  • Provide shade for outside AC units. AC units shaded by trees or other means work more efficiently and use up to 10% less electricity.
  • Plant trees to shade south and west-facing windows. Trees can reduce indoor air temperatures as much as 20 degrees, saving up to 40% on cooling costs.
  • Avoid turning on the oven during the hottest time of the day. Using the microwave produces less heat.

Manage Air Conditioning & Heating

  • Clean or change air filters monthly. Dirty filters make your system work longer than necessary.
  • If you have central air and heat, do not close vents in unused rooms. This could increase pressure and cause duct leaks.
  • If you have a window unit, close off unused rooms.
  • Use a programmable, smart thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature and save you money while you're asleep or away. Earn a $25 rebate from Austin Energy for buying and installing a smart thermostat. From July 1 through September 6, earn a $130 bill credit when you enroll an eligible smart thermostat in Power Partner events. 
  • Consider new high efficiency air conditioners. They use up to 40% less electricity than older models.

Enjoy Free Home Energy Improvements, Now Available to More Austin Energy Customers

Austin Energy’s Weatherization Assistance provides free home energy improvements to eligible customers. Whether you rent or own, these free improvements can help make your home more comfortable and energy efficient, saving you energy and money year-round.

Learn more about Weatherization Assistance and take a few minutes to apply today.

Light Up Your Home for Less

  • Install Light-Emitting Diode (LED) light bulbs. ENERGY STAR® qualified LEDs use at least 75% less electricity, generate less heat, and last about 50 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs, and five times longer than Compact Florescent Light bulbs (CFLs).
  • Use task lights instead of lighting an entire room.
  • Use photocells on your outdoor lights.
  • Turn off unneeded lights, even when leaving a room for a short time. Lights generate heat that increases room temperature. Lighting accounts for about 10% of your energy use.

Get instant, in-store savings on LEDs and other energy-efficient products

Don’t Let Your Electronics Waste Energy

  • Unplug appliances, chargers, and electronic devices when you are not using them. They use energy even when they are turned off.
  • Use power strips in home offices, entertainment centers, and other areas. Turn the strip off when not in use.
  • Purchase a smart strip that powers only the devices that need to stay on.
  • Use timers on surge protectors when they are difficult to get to.
  • Use ENERGY STAR® products (some use as little as 1 watt on stand-by).
  • Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Fans cool people, not rooms.
  • Enjoy a $300 rebate on eligible variable speed pool pumps.

Monitor Your Usage

Check your energy usage regularly to avoid surprises on your energy bill. You can view your home electric usage anywhere you have internet access simply by logging in to Online Customer Care. You can compare your usage to the previous month or year or to similar homes in your neighborhood. You can also set alerts for higher billing tiers and receive customized energy savings tips. For an even deeper dive into your usage, including solar panel production info, access the Austin Energy Web App.

Manage Energy Use with Laundry and Dishes

  • Run washing machines and dishwashers on a full load.
  • Choose the air dry cycle on your dishwasher.
  • Dry loads of clothes back-to-back to take advantage of heat built up in the dryer.
  • Clean the lint filter after every load. Your dryer will dry more efficiently, requiring less running time.

Control Your Water Heater

  • Set the temperature no higher than 120 degrees to save around $45 a year.
  • Wrap your water heater with an insulation blanket. This can reduce energy use by 10% to 15%. An insulating blanket will pay for itself in less than a year.
  • Consider an ENERGY STAR® certified heat pump water heater for your next water heater purchase. See how you can enjoy energy bill savings and earn $800 in rebates from Austin Energy.
  • Consider installing a timer on your water heater.  This will keep it from heating the water continuously when the temperature goes below the thermostat setting. The water heater will only heat water when the timer allows.

Cook and Cool Smart in the Kitchen

  • Save energy in the kitchen. Energy use in the kitchen can account for as much as 15% of your electric bill.
  • Check your refrigerator and freezer temperatures. You can save up to 25% by setting your refrigerator temperature between 35 and 38 degrees and your freezer to 0 degrees.
  • Gently vacuum the refrigerator's condenser coils about every three months. Excessive dust buildup makes the refrigerator work harder and run longer. The coils are located in the back or under the bottom of the refrigerator.
  • Make sure your refrigerator and freezer doors seal properly. To test, close the door over a dollar bill. If the dollar pulls out easily, you may need to replace the seal around the door or adjust the door latch.
  • Let food cool before placing in refrigerator (unless the recipe says otherwise). Warm food will cause your refrigerator to run more.
  • Cook outdoors, use a slow cooker, or use the microwave to save energy. Microwaves use up to 80% less energy, cook food up to 75% faster, and produce much less heat than an electric or gas oven.
  • Give your oven and wallet a break by using the oven light to check on food instead of opening the oven door. Oven temperature drops by 25 to 30 degrees every time you open the oven door, which slows cooking.
  • If you are using your oven for an hour or more, shut the kitchen off from the rest of your home and turn on the stove exhaust to help take heat out.
  • Never place aluminum foil on an oven bottom (for instance, to catch drippings). The foil may block heat or air circulation and reduce the oven temperature as much as 50 degrees. It may also interfere with even browning.
  • Cook with lids on pots to reduce energy use and heat. This will bring liquids to a boil more quickly and will allow continued cooking at lower temperature settings.
  • Use glass and ceramic pans. They retain heat better than metal pans and can lower the baking temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Cover exhaust fans when not in use. An open kitchen exhaust fan allows hot/cold outside air to come into your home. Low-cost covers are available to cover exhaust fan openings.

Save Even More with Whole Home Energy Upgrades

If you are ready to make whole-home energy upgrades, and your home is more than 10 years old, our award-winning Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program offers rebates and loans to help offset the costs of your improvements.

Want to learn more about these energy upgrades? See our interactive guide: Home Energy Improvements Explained.

To get started, contact a few of our registered contractors and learn the recommended energy efficiency improvements for your home.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Rebate

Explore Customer Assistance Programs

The City of Austin offers the following programs to help customers facing temporary and long-term financial difficulties as well as serious financial problems:

Stay Warm During the Winter

  • Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower. Each degree higher uses 3% more energy.
  • Lower your thermostat when you leave home. You’ll use much less energy to heat the house while you are away.
  • Let the sun shine in. Open curtains and shades on eastern and southern windows during the day to let in more heat, then close them in the evening.
  • Add insulation to water heaters and hot water pipes to save energy and money. This is inexpensive and easy.
  • Caulk and weatherstrip windows and doors. This simple and inexpensive improvement prevents drafts.
  • Clean or change air filters monthly. Dirty filters make your system work longer than necessary
  • Switch the fans. Switch the setting on ceiling fans to run clockwise at a low speed. This gentle updraft helps push warm air near the ceiling down into your living space.
  • Maintain your fireplace. When not in use, make sure your fireplace damper is closed to prevent heat from escaping up the chimney.
  • Clean or change air filters monthly. Dirty filters make your system work longer than necessary.
  • If you have central air and heat, do not close vents in unused rooms. This could increase pressure and cause duct leaks.
  • Use a programmable, smart thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature and save you money while you're asleep or away. Earn a $25 rebate from Austin Energy for buying and installing a smart thermostat. From July 1 through September 6, earn a $130 bill credit when you enroll an eligible smart thermostat in Power Partner events.

COVID-19 Precautions

Austin Energy and participating contractors are following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to protect themselves and members of the community.

The utility urges customers to do the same to ensure everyone’s health and safety and not to approach crews unless necessary to exchange information.

Austin Energy and participating contractor staff will:

  • Remain at least six feet back to maintain physical distancing
  • Wear a recommended face covering

 

Questions?

Austin Energy

Customer Energy Solutions

721 Barton Springs Road

Austin, TX 78704

email icon   Customer Energy Solutions

phone icon   512-482-5346

phone icon   512-972-8350

Date last reviewed or modified: 7/22/21
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