Colder Weather Increases Energy Usage
THE WOODLANDS, TX – While freezing temperatures are in the forecast for parts of southeast Texas, it doesn’t have to add a chill to customers’ bills. Instead of cranking up the thermostat when the temperatures drop, customers can take some free or low-cost steps to help save energy and money on their utility bill.
We typically think about hot weather driving spikes in electric bills, but cold weather also contributes to increased usage. Heating and cooling costs can account for as much as 55% of a customer’s monthly energy usage. The bigger the difference between inside and outside temperatures and the more consecutive days of colder temperatures, the more energy customers use, which results in higher bills. December 2020 and January 2021 had particularly cold days compared to previous years.
With people spending more time at home due to the pandemic and colder than average temperatures, electricity consumption is up for customers across southeast Texas. As winter weather heads our way, there are a few easy things customers can do to help manage their bill and keep costs down.
How to Manage Energy Usage
If customers have had their new advanced meter installed, they can login to myEntergy to manage and track their energy usage. Customers no longer have to wait until the end of the month to view their energy usage. Shortly after meters are installed, customers can log into their account and view how much electricity has been used daily, shown in 15-minute increments for residential customers. Through the new online tools, customers will also be able to set up alerts when reaching budgetary goals to keep them aware of their monthly spending. Advanced meters are designed to provide customers with more timely usage information so that customers can make necessary adjustments to reduce consumption if they choose to, which could reduce their electric bill.
Additionally, customers can follow simple energy-saving tips, like setting your thermostat on 68 degrees or lower; reversing ceiling fans to push warm air down into the room and insulating doors and windows.
Bill Payment Assistance
If a high bill has already arrived, there are ways customers can get help managing their costs or even paying their bill.
Deferred Payment Arrangement – Customers experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic are eligible to take up to twelve months to pay their current bill and/or unpaid balances.
Level Billing – Entergy averages your bill over a rolling 12-month period, so you have a consistent bill each month of the year. Pay about the same every month, with no surprises.
Pick-A-Date – Choose what day of the month you get billed to line up with your budget and manage your cash flow.
Power to Care – Through Entergy's The Power to Care program, local nonprofit agencies can provide emergency bill payment assistance to seniors and disabled individuals in crisis. Find out more at entergy-texas.com/bill-help/.
LIHEAP – The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is a program that provides money to help people with energy bills and other energy-related expenses. LIHEAP is funded through the federal government and works with community action agencies to help customers pay for and keep electric service in their homes. For information on how to apply for assistance, customers can call or call 877-399-8939 or 877-541-7905 or visit https://tdhca.state.tx.us/community-affairs/ceap/.
For those struggling to pay their utility bills due to the pandemic, Entergy Texas has flexible payment arrangements through its Enhanced Customer Assistance plan. Customers with past-due accounts should contact the company as soon as possible. Entergy has several self-service options for setting up payment arrangements that they can access 24 hours a day:
- visit entergytexas.com/bill-help;
- select ‘deferred payment’ on the free Entergy mobile app, or;
- call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749). Press “3” to follow the automated response billing and payment menu.
Customers who need extra assistance can speak with an agent during normal business hours. Call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.