LUBBOCK, Texas — During this time of year, people use almost 3 times more energy than in the spring, according to Lubbock Power and Light, due to the rising temperature.
But this year — wind energy and natural gas are helping to lower the cost of electricity.
While West Texas summers are normally hot and calm – which decreases wind turbine production – wind energy production this year it’s seeing record highs.
“It’s been very hot and windy across the region and that’s bad for us in many ways, but it’s actually good for us in wind production. We are seeing a lot of wind on these hot summer days,” said Xcel Energy spokesman, Wes Reeves.
Because of these windy days Xcel Energy has been able to lower the cost of electricity to its customers by almost 10 percent this year.
“Wind has come down in cost so much that it is actually much cheaper than say, coal fire energy which used to be our cheapest resource. Because there are no fuel purchases with wind energy that saves on monthly bills,” Reeves said.
LP&L has also seen a drop in energy rates, but largely due to the low price of natural gas. With heat expected to be in the triple digits next week, this rate drop is helping to keep bills reasonable.
“It’s not just that it’s going to be 100 degrees on a given day, but the real strain on the system is that it’s going to be that it’s that hot for that many days in a row,” said LP&L Public Affairs and Government Relations Manager, Matt Rose.
With temperatures rising, Rose is expecting energy consumption to reach an all time high this summer.
“I think it’s safe to assume that we will probably break that all time record, and probably more likely is that we will break it and then break it again on the next day and the next day,” said Rose.
Both Xcel and LP&L are prepared as the temperatures continue to rise.
“It’s weeks like this and summer events like this that across the state of Texas every utility prepares for and this is the point in time where your electricity system is going to be under the most strain,” said Rose.
Rose advises to refrain from turning off your air conditioner as the energy required to turn it on and off would cost more than to keep it on. Changing small habits like keeping your blinds closed and lowering your air conditioning during the day can also help keep energy bills low.