Everything’s bigger in Texas, but your electric bill doesn’t have to be. As the temperatures rise and mercury starts to boil, sit back and relax: Your energy savings this summer translate to money saved next year.

  • Pre-cool your home between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., then set the thermostat a few degrees higher during the peak hours of 2–6 p.m. If you’re away, bump it up 7–10 degrees.
  • Consider using devices and appliances that can automate when you use energy. Water heater timers are a great example. They can be set to run only during times you use hot water.
  • Keep blinds closed in the afternoon, or install solar screens on south- and west-facing windows.
  • Avoid running your washing machine, dryer or dishwasher during peak times.
  • Use ceiling fans, which allow you to raise the thermostat about 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort. Turn fans off when you leave the room.
  • If you have a pool, run your pool pump before 2 p.m. or after 6 p.m.

Learn more ways to save