Mild temperatures cool off Texas electricity prices in August

Sweating through weeks of solid 90-degree heat, you probably didn’t realize you saved on your electric bill last month.

But cooler temperatures through August cut the price tag for Texas electricity consumers, compared to scorching Augusts in the previous two years, the Energy Information Administration reported this week.

Normally, Texans crank up their air conditioning the most in August, but last month lacked the long heat waves that hammered the state’s electric grid in 2011 and 2012, sending peak prices way below what the state’s electricity consumers have seen in years past.

ERCOT: Texas grid can handle winter power demand

Two years ago, a long August heat wave drove electricity prices to more than $600 per megawatt-hour, and in 2012, a short-lived spike in temperatures pushed prices to peak at $250 per megawatt-hour. But Texas prices hit a high of $90 per megawatt-hour this August.

Texas isn’t alone in saving on power this summer. The EIA also said U.S. electricity sales scooted up 3.4 percent in the first half of 2013, but cooler temperatures throughout the third quarter could dampen home electricity use for the year. In the third quarter, sales dipped 1.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

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14 ways to slim your power bill this summer