The dog days of summer are here. To support Texas electricity customers and the four-legged friends they have at home, TXU Energy and the SPCA of Texas are working together to build awareness for indoor temperatures and energy habits that conserve electricity without stressing pets who stay indoors on hot summer days and nights. TXU Energy is also inviting Texans to share how they will beat the heat this summer for a chance to win up to $10,000 via the new TXU Energy Beat the Heat Sweepstakes, and entrants with pets can also use photos of their four-legged family members as entries via Instagram.
The new pet-centric conservation advice could help support millions of pets and people across the state. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Pet Ownership Calculator, for the 5.7 million Texas households with electric choice, more than 1.5 million of them have dogs, cats or both. And, since many households have more than one pet at home, that could be more than 3 million dogs and cats.
”At TXU Energy, we know many people find it challenging to balance their dedication to keeping indoor pets cool and comfortable with their efforts to conserve electricity and cut cooling costs through the summer,” said Michael Grasso, chief marketing officer, TXU Energy. “Thanks to new summer savings programs and plans from TXU Energy — and great advice from our friends at the SPCA of Texas — we know that achieving both is easier than you may think.”
Pet-Friendly Energy-Efficiency Tips
During the dog days of summer, heat safety is crucial to your two-legged family members as well as your four-legged ones. TXU Energy and the SPCA of Texas urge pet owners to be cautious of high outdoor temperatures and know when to bring pets inside to prevent heat-related injuries, which could be deadly. Whether your pets are inside temporarily, sometimes or all the time, you can conserve electricity to save money on your bills and still keep them safe and comfortable. But there are do’s and don’ts. TXU Energy recently consulted the SPCA of Texas’ experts and veterinarians on how energy efficiency can affect indoor pets in the summer. This led to the following six tips:
1. Set your thermostat at 78 degrees while you’re out. You can set your thermostat to a higher temperature when nobody is home, but if you have a dog or a cat indoors, don’t set it higher than 78-80 degrees and don’t turn off your air conditioner. If your pet has a health condition, be sure to check with your vet on a good temperature setting. A programmable thermostat can make controlling your indoor temperature easy; and, with some models, you can do it via the Web or your smartphone.
2. Turn off lights and ceiling fans. To avoid wasting electricity, leave these off in rooms you’re not using, whether you’re home or away. According to the SPCA, if your pets are home indoors without you, natural lighting is the most soothing, even if it’s filtered by blinds, drapes or outside awnings. And, while the breeze of a ceiling fan against your skin may help you feel cooler, your pets don’t notice the difference like you do.
3. Treat sunny windows to reduce glare. While many pets enjoy basking in the sunshine that comes in from windows, remember that the sun’s glare can affect the indoor temperature in your home, leading your cooling system to switch on more frequently. Consider treating your windows with solar film, or close most of the blinds and drapes (OK, maybe not your pet’s favorite one…) to filter the light that can increase indoor temperatures.
4. Turn off TVs, radios and music. Leaving home electronics like TVs, radios or music turned on may keep your pet active in the daytime hours versus getting rest and relaxation while you’re away. According to the vets at the SPCA of Texas, this might make them lethargic once you’re home. So, if you want to spend quality time with them when you’re home, consider leaving these electronics turned off during the day—especially for cats, who are nocturnal by nature.
5. Leave out plenty of water. Regardless of the indoor temperature settings, be sure to leave plenty of water around for your pets to drink. You can drop ice cubes intheir water bowls to keep their water cooler longer. And while some people leave faucets dripping to encourage their pets to drink, this wastes water and the electricity used to transport it to your home. A more energy-efficient option is a pet fountain that circulates water and uses minimal amounts of electricity.
6. Seal air leaks. You can keep more of your household budget for pet treats, toys and pampering if you avoid wasting the electricity that helps to cool your home. So, be sure your windows, doors and fireplaces are sealed to keep cool air from leaking out of the house when it’s hot outside. In the summer, air leaks can cause your cooling system to run more frequently. This uses more electricity and can lead to higher bills.
“We know pets are special family members for millions of folks in North Texas, and we are pleased to help those families make sure their pets’ health, safety and comfort are a priority this summer,” said SPCA of Texas President, James Bias. “Thanks to TXU Energy, families can have the peace of mind knowing they can save money on their electricity bills, while their pets enjoy cool temperatures indoors.”
For heat safety tips relevant to outdoor pets, go to http://www.spca.org/heatsafety.
Pet Lovers, Instagram and the TXU Energy Beat the Heat Sweepstakes
The grand prize of the new sweepstakes will be between $7,500 and $10,000, depending on the hottest local daily temperatures in Texas between July 2 and Sept. 29. One way pet lovers can enter is by using Instagram to share photos of how they or their pets are beating the heat this summer, following @txuenergy on Instagram and tagging the photo with #TXUEbeattheheat. To encourage safe temperatures for indoor pets, they can also title or tag their photos with their thermostat settings at home. Other entry methods include Facebook, Twitter and more. Texans 18 or older are eligible to enter, and the sweepstakes is not limited to Texans with pets. The winner will be randomly drawn from all eligible entries. For full details, go to the dedicated Facebook tab for the sweepstakes. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.
Controlling your home temperature via the Web or your smartphone
TXU Energy offers its customers the power to set, program and adjust their home temperature settings anywhere they have an Internet connection or a smartphone signal through its programmable thermostat, the Brighten ® iThermostat. The tool is an energy savings solution from TXU Energy, and it’s a great option for customers who have pets indoors. The tool makes it easy to access, change or set indoor temperatures while at home or away via a Web-enabled PC or tablet or a smartphone.
About the SPCA of Texas
The SPCA of Texas is the leading animal welfare agency in North Texas. The non-profit organization operates two shelters and three spay/neuter clinics located in Dallas and McKinney, and maintains a team of five animal cruelty investigators to respond to thousands of calls in eight North Texas counties. Moreover, the SPCA of Texas serves as an active resource center for an array of services that bring people and animals together to enrich each others’ lives. The SPCA of Texas is not affiliated with any other entity and does not receive general operating funds from the City of Dallas, State of Texas, federal government or any other humane organization. The SPCA of Texas is dedicated to providing every animal exceptional care and a loving home.
About TXU Energy
TXU Energy is a market-leading competitive retail electricity provider, powering the lives of more Texans than any other retailer. TXU Energy offers a variety of innovative products and solutions, allowing both its residential and business customers to choose options that best meet their needs, including exceptional customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services. Visit txu.com for more information about TXU Energy. REP #10004.
|Amanda L. Ray