AUSTIN, Texas — It's been a hot and muggy first few days of summer, and it's only going to get hotter. As the temperatures rise, your air conditioners have probably been working a bit harder over the past week, which means your utility bills may soon be skyrocket.
To combat this, the City of Austin Utilities is hosting public meetings over the next few weeks in areas with high energy and water use to help customers better manage and lower their utility bills.
"It's a great way of engaging the customers that we serve. Austin Energy next year will celebrate its 125th anniversary, and we're all about being community-driven and customer-focused, and this is the perfect time of year to really double down on that focus," said Debbie Kimberly, vice president of customer energy solutions at Austin Energy. "We'll be going out over the course of the next month, month-and-a-half, to share those tips, no-cost, low-cost tips and tricks to help our customers save energy while being comfortable."
Residents will get to meet with representatives about ways to save energy, water efficiency and how to cut costs. Attendees will also learn about vegetation and wildfire management.
"Remember to close your blinds or your shutters during the day. If you're not at home, make sure that you don't have that sort of heat gain coming in," Kimberly said. "Also, adjust your thermostat. You don't need to have your thermostat turned down low. Generally, we recommend that you set your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summertime to save energy. That alone can save you up to 20% sometimes just on your electric bills during the summer."
Simply buying new light bulbs can also help residents save a few bucks.
"We have partnerships with 61 different retail locations throughout Austin that you can go in with no coupon clipping required," Kimberly said. "You can get discounted led bulbs, so it's amazing how much energy you can save just by replacing that old incandescent and even CFL bulbs with LED bulbs."
RELATED: 10 Low/No Cost Energy Saving Tips
The first meeting is scheduled for Monday night from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Spicewood Springs Branch Library. That library is located at 8637 Spicewood Springs Road.
Other community meetings include:
- Thursday, July 11, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex at 1156 Hargrave St.
- Wednesday, July 17, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church at 8134 Mesa Dr.
- Thursday, July 25, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church at 5226 W. William Cannon Drive
For more information and summer savings tips, click here.
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