How much does air conditioning cost in Texas this summer?

August 26, 2021   By Caitlin Cosper

How much does air conditioning cost in Texas this summer?

Air conditioners play a major role in Texas, especially during the hot summer months. This week, as temperatures soared, energy demand in Texas hit a record high, with a reliance on air conditioning accounting for a portion of that demand. 

ERCOT projected earlier this week that demand would reach 75,104 megawatts of power – breaking the previous demand record of 74,820 megawatts set in 2019. During times of high energy demand, the wholesale cost of electricity normally goes up. This trend means you could end up paying even more to cool your home if your energy plan does not include a fixed rate.

So, how much does it cost to cool a home in Texas during the summer? Here’s what you should know.

Air conditioning costs for average electricity bills

Air conditioning accounts for about 12 percent of the average energy bill in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). But how much that actually costs depends on a few factors, including the rate you pay for electricity and where you live. It comes as no surprise that residents who live in states like Texas will likely need to use more air conditioning to keep cool in the summer compared to someone who lives in a state such as Maine, where the summers are milder. 

The EIA estimates yearly air conditioning costs range from $60 in cooler climates to as much as $525 in hot and humid areas. The national average rests around $265 every year.

To understand how much air conditioning costs in Texas, let’s look at the average Texas electricity bill. According to the most recent June figures from the EIA, Texans paid approximately $137.25 towards their monthly energy bill.

Here’s a breakdown of how much Texans pay for air conditioning using the average cost of energy bills.

Average Texas energy rate Monthly energy usage Average Texas energy bill Percentage towards air conditioning Average cost of air conditioning per month
12.04 ¢ per kWh 1,140 kWh $137.25 12% $16.47

Using these figures, the average Texas home spends $16.47 every month on air conditioning costs. This means residents in Texas spend nearly $200 a year on air conditioning.

5 tips to save on air conditioning in Texas

  1. Understand your home’s energy consumption habits. Knowing how much electricity your home uses every month – and which rooms or devices consume the most energy – can help you understand how to cut back. Use our SaveOnEnergy usage calculator to figure out how much power you use in your home.
  2. Properly maintain your HVAC unit. The last thing you want during a hot Texas day is to realize there is an issue with your HVAC unit. Make sure to change your air filters, clean your air vents, and have a licensed technician inspect your HVAC unit regularly.
  3. Increase the thermostat’s temperature when you leave. Don’t pay extra to cool an empty house. If you leave every day for work or are going on a trip, make sure to bump your thermostat up a few degrees. Installing a smart thermostat allows you to automate this process and change the temperature even when you are away from home.
  4. Invest in energy efficient windows. Double-paned, energy efficient windows ensure that the cool air stays inside your home – and keep the hot air outside. These windows will also do the opposite in the winter, keeping the heat inside and the cold air outside.
  5. Use curtains and blinds to help. Your window treatments can help to lower your air conditioning costs, too. Sunlight streaming through your windows can quickly warm up a room. During the day, keep your blinds and curtains closed to block the sunlight from coming in to cut down on air conditioning costs.

 

Caitlin Cosper – Energy Expert
Caitlin Cosper is a writer and editor within the energy industry, specializing in deregulation, energy efficiency, and solar power. Her writing and research have been cited by Snopes, The Washington Post, The American Solar Energy Society, and other major sources. Find more of Caitlin’s work at ChooseEnergy.com and ChooseTexasPower.org.

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