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The Temperature Factor

1001
 2013


A new feature on Bluebonnet’s website allows members to see the temperature alongside a detailed breakdown of their power use and costs. The information allows a member to see trends and track how changes in his or her power use can reduce consumption.

By Melissa Segrest

How hot was it? Hot enough to cause your power use to hit new highs this summer? 
 
Now, Bluebonnet members can see in detail how temperatures impact their energy use, costs and the environment. The co-op recently added a feature to its online energy- and cost-tracking tool — a temperature line graph atop the bar charts which show a member’s power use and costs by the hour, day or month. 
 
“Weather is the single biggest factor in how much energy we use, especially during hot summer months,” said Mark Rose, Bluebonnet’s general manager. “This new temperature display on our website will show that when temperatures rise, so do electric bills. It’s another powerful piece of information our members have with the click of a mouse that they can use to control, and potentially lower, their electric bills.” 
 
By October, the searing heat should break, but August and September are typically Texas’ hottest months when consumers’ electric bills are highest. Seeing how those temperatures affect their electric bills may prompt consumers to adjust their thermostats. Even a slight change can lead to substantial savings. 
 
“The weather overlay helps show the relationship between electric usage and one of the largest consumers of electricity in the home, heating/air-conditioning systems,” said Wesley Brinkmeyer, Bluebonnet’s manager of energy programs. “With temperature data, our members can track the impact of any energy-efficiency improvements they may have made to their homes or businesses. They can also measure the difference in power use when they make adjustments to their thermostat and compare against other times with similar weather." 
 
How does it work? Members log in to their account, click on the Details buttons in the Costs to Date, Electric Usage or Environmental Impact boxes to see green bar charts with monthly, daily or hourly information. Click the button labeled Temp to place a yellow line graph over the bar chart with details on the temperature at that time or on that day. 
 
Members who haven’t created an online account can click here to sign up and get started. An online account also offers members an easy, secure way to get account information, sign up for paperless billing and pay bills online.

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