Lowering Electric Bills With the Flip of a Switch - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Complete coverage of Texas' record heat wave of 2011

Lowering Electric Bills With the Flip of a Switch

Behavioral changes at home can save hundreds



    With this summer's extreme heat, North Texans are dealing with some outrageous electric bills. But a local construction company has claimed that by taking a few proactive steps, homeowners could knock the cost of that bill down 10 to 20 percent.

    After seeing the first bill at her new home, Kristina Hodges said she was willing to try anything to get that number down.

    "Well it was a shock, it really was. We just moved in here and it's a little bigger than our old house so we were not ready for that huge bill" Hodges said.

    So she invited Kevin Wallace with Sykes Construction out to get some help.

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    "As far as the design of the home, the insulation and the appliances, all the major places you can save money, she's done a great job and the home's in good shape" Wallace said.

    He said the family could make some behavioral changes to easily lower their bill.

    "Drop the shades on your windows, particularly your southern and western facing windows," he said.

    Wallace also instructed Hodges to keep her thermostat around 80-degrees during the day and 84 at night. He also said by increasing it just one degree, the family could save $20 a month. Wallace also debunked a common home cooling myth.

    "Ceiling fans don't work with your air conditioner as much as they do to blow air across our bodies," he said.

    So turn off ceiling fans and your lights off once you leave a room. Also, check the light bulbs in your home. Incandescent bulbs burn six  times more energy than fluorescent lights.

    Making that switch can save hundreds of dollars a year.

    Heat Wave 2011:
    We're covering the record heat, wildfires, and electricity concerns in our Heat Wave 2011 special section. View videos, photos, and stories about the high temperatures and related conditions in this section.