Company Encourages Customers To Exercise Caution, Take Action Now
DALLAS (June 3, 2010) – As Texas temperatures begin to reach the triple digits, Oncor customers should take extra care to keep their electric costs under control. Each degree a thermostat is lowered increases customers’ residential electric bills – on average 7 percent per degree. Since air conditioning accounts for about 1/3 of residential electric use during the summer, raising thermostats to at least 78 degrees to reduce electric use while at work or on vacation is just one way homeowners can better control their energy costs.
“We always see an increase in electric use when temperatures are high, often among customers who can least afford it,” says Brenda Jackson, Oncor’s Chief Customer Officer. “We urge cost-conscious consumers to prepare now by taking advantage of new Smart Texas technology and Take A Load Off, Texas programs.”
Although many faced with high bills blame smart meters, the majority of electric consumers – like most of those who called Oncor for meter tests following a record-setting cold winter – still have electromechanical meters. All the Public Utility Commission’s 1,400 independent smart meter tests and dozens of side-by-side tests with old meters have found Oncor’s measurement technology to be highly accurate.
Almost a million customers with new smart meters will have access to the Public Utility Commission’s Smart Meter Texas web portal to keep an eye on their consumption throughout each month. Studies have shown that customers using the information from smart meters reduce their usage 5% to 10% – which helps lower their bills.
Elderly customers are encouraged to seek their friends, neighbors, and family members’ help to stay cool and comfortable during the hottest hours of the day. This can include arranging transportation to recreation and senior centers, libraries, or public places like shopping centers that have air conditioning. If a consumer has a critical medical need for electricity, they need a backup power supply like a generator, and they should contact their Retail Electric Provider to be added to the critical care list in the unlikely event of a power outage.
Oncor’s Take A Load Off, Texas programs can also help residential consumers figure out where they’re wasting the most electricity so they can take steps to save energy and money. Whether replacing incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lights or improving insulation, weatherstripping and caulking, Oncor’s participating residential service providers can find ways to improve efficiency.
Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (“Oncor”) is a regulated electricity distribution and transmission business that uses superior asset management skills to provide reliable electricity delivery to consumers. Oncor operates the largest distribution and transmission system in Texas, delivering power to more than 3 million homes and businesses and operating approximately 117,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines in Texas. While Oncor is owned by a limited number of investors (including majority owner, Energy Future Holdings Corp.), Oncor is managed by its Board of Directors, which is comprised of a majority of independent directors.