Austin homeowners go the extra mile to conserve energy

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A string of 100 degree days have pushed Texas’ electric grid to the edge. For the third day this week, we broke the record for July electricity demand.

On Thursday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) sent out a conservation warning, asking consumers to conserve energy during peak hours, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. They say there will likely be more warnings in the hot summer days ahead.

Homeowners can take several steps to do their part: turning off lights, using LED light bulbs, using less water and changing air conditioner filters are just a few.

Some Austin homeowners are even taking their green efforts further and making their homes energy-efficient.

“I pay $100, $120 in the winter to about $300, or more than $300 in the summer,” said homeowner Jose Villarreal. “With energy-efficient systems I hope it will be better.”

Villarreal hired the Go Green Squad to make some improvements and hopefully save him on his next bill.

“Today we’re going to be performing the duct blaster test,” said Go Green Squad’s Thomas Rioux. “Without a good duct system your house won’t ever be cold or warm.”

“You’ve got this HVAC system pumping out cold air but unless it’s getting to the rooms than you really aren’t getting the benefit,” said Susan Meredith Co-owner of Go Green Squad. “Changing insulation, duct work, the jams and door sweeps, make sure you’re not leaking out of cracks and crevices.”

Homeowners also want to make sure they have 14-16 inches of insulation.

The Go Green Squad says making the changes is a win-win: saving you money and putting a little less stress on Mother Nature.

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