More Rebates, More Savings
Small changes can add up to big savings. Whether you live in a house, condo, or apartment, Austin Energy offers many ways to help you save energy and money.

Explore these resources to save energy at home.

  • Instant Savings — Find in-store discounts on select energy efficient products when you shop at local stores. Look for the green tag.
  • Weatherization Assistance —Take a few minutes to see if you qualify for free home energy improvements.
  • Smart Thermostat Rebates and Incentives — Get a $50 bill credit for each eligible thermostat you enroll in Power Partner℠, a $25 annual bill credit for each thermostat that remains enrolled, and a $30 rebate for each eligible thermostat you buy and install. If your house, condo, or apartment already has a smart thermostat installed, you may also qualify for rewards as a Power Partner.    
  • Home Energy Savings  — House 10+ years old? Enjoy greater savings by making whole home energy improvements when you need to replace an air conditioner or heat pump. Limited Time Offer: From January 1 through April 30, 2024, earn rebates averaging $2,600.
  • Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps — Enjoy rebates starting at $400 on a new air conditioner or heat pump.
  • Solar Screens — Earn rebates of $1 per square foot on energy efficient solar screens for your home’s windows.
  • Heat Pump Water Heaters — Enjoy an $800 rebate 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 App — Customers with solar panels can access solar production information through the Austin Energy App.
  • Utility Bill Help — Residential customers facing financial challenges can receive help with utility bills.
  • Energy Saving Tips Discover useful ways to save energy at our YouTube playlist of videos. See our full list of tips below.

Stay Warm During the Winter

  • Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower during winter weather. Lower the thermostat to 60 degrees when you are away for two hours or more on a cold day.
    • Watch our video about setting temps in winter to save energy (YouTube)
  • Lower your thermostat when you leave home. You’ll use much less energy to heat the house while you are away.
  • Let the sunshine in. Open curtains and shades on eastern and southern windows during the day to let in more heat, then close them in the evening.
    • Watch our video about letting the sun shine in during winter (YouTube)
  • Switch ceiling fans to run clockwise at a low speed on cooler days. This gentle updraft helps push warm air down into your living space.
    • Watch our video about why you should use ceiling fans in winter (YouTube)
  • 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 during seasons of high use. 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.
  • Add insulation to water heaters and hot water pipes to save energy and money.
  • Caulk and weatherstrip windows and doors to prevents drafts.

Stay Cool During the Summer

  • Raise your thermostat by a few degrees in the summer. Aim for 78 degrees or higher for the biggest energy savings. Set your thermostat to 85 degrees when you are away for two hours or more on a hot day.

  • Point fans in your direction to make temperatures around you feel about 4 degrees cooler. In the summer, switch ceiling fans to run counterclockwise to push cool air downward. Only keep fans on when you are in the room.

  • Clean your AC condenser/evaporator coils. Clean coils lower your energy costs, extend the unit’s life, and provide cleaner air for you to breathe.
  • 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. 

Enjoy Free Home Energy Improvements

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 money year-round.

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

Manage Air Conditioning & Heating

Watch our video about changing your AC filter (YouTube)

  • Clean or change air filters monthly during seasons of high use. 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 smart thermostat to save energy and money. Austin Energy offers rebates and incentives to renters and homeowners who enroll in the voluntary Power Partner program.
  • Consider new high efficiency air conditioners. They use up to 40% less electricity than older models.

Light Up Your Home for Less

Watch our video about using efficient lighting (YouTube)

  • Install LED light bulbs. ENERGY STAR® qualified LEDs produce light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs.
  • Use task lights instead of lighting an entire room.
  • Use dusk to dawn sensors on your outdoor lights.
  • Turn off unneeded lights, even when leaving a room for a short time. 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

Watch our videos about using smart power strips with electronics to save energy (YouTube) and reducing phantom load (YouTube) 

  • Unplug appliances, chargers, and electronic devices when you are not using them. They use energy even when 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 access.
  • Use ENERGY STAR® products.
  • Only keep fans on when you are in the room.
  • Enjoy a $300 rebate on eligible variable speed pool pumps. 

Manage Energy Use with Laundry and Dishes

Watch our video about loading up your washer to save energy (YouTube)

  • 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.
  • Switch to an ENERGY STAR® certified heat pump water heater. Enjoy energy bill savings and an $800 rebate from Austin Energy.
  • Consider installing a timer on your water heater to heat water only at set times.

Cook and Cool Smart in the Kitchen

Watch our video about how to save energy by cooking smart (YouTube)

  • 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 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 less heat than an electric or gas oven.
  • Use 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, turn on the stove exhaust to help remove heat.
  • Never place aluminum foil on an oven bottom. The foil may block heat or air circulation and reduce the oven temperature by as much as 50 degrees.
  • 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.

Get Utility Bill Help 

The City of Austin's Customer Assistance Program helps customers facing financial challenges or serious medical problems. Find out if you qualify:

 

 

Date last reviewed or modified: 02/01/2024