TXU Energy officials have announced they will join forces with Texas community organizations to promote several ways customers can “Beat the Heat” this summer.

Through this statewide summer initiative, TXU Energy will educate consumers on energy conservation, heat safety, bill-payment assistance and summer protections regarding disconnects, deposit waivers and cancellation fees.

“Research shows that many customers, especially the elderly, are most likely to be affected by the sweltering heat — especially here in Texas,” said Kelli Rod, director of community relations for TXU Energy. “We are committed to supporting the health and well-being of our customers during the blistering summer months. Through our efforts to educate customers and demonstrate ways to beat the heat, we are certain customers can save money and stay safe.”

TXU Energy community relations managers will host workshops in various cities to educate consumers on simple, low-cost ways to conserve energy inside their homes and promote heat safety. TXU Energy also will distribute about 30,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs to consumers through community organizations, which will have environmental benefits equivalent to preventing nearly 11,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the lifespan of the light bulbs.

Some of the recommended energy conservation tips include:

Temperature settings - Set thermostats at about 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer. Turn thermostats up or down automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing a programmable thermostat. Use ceiling fans in the “down” mode at the highest speed to push cooler air back down into the room.

Window treatments - Install storm or thermal windows and doors or double-paned glass. A less expensive alternative is plastic sheeting, which can be temporarily fastened over doors and windows to prevent drafts and retain cool air.

Air leaks - Check for air leaks in air ducts, windows, plumbing utilities, fireplace flues, attic entrances and recessed light fixtures.

Air Conditioning filters - Clean or replace your air conditioner’s filter monthly to help your air conditioner run more efficiently.

Light bulbs - Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. You can run four compact fluorescent light bulbs for the same cost as running just one incandescent bulb.

For more tips, visit www.txu.com/energytips

Some of the recommended heat safety tips include:

Drink one glass of cool water for every 20 minutes of heat exposure.

Avoid eating hot foods and heavy meals.

Wear loose, light-colored absorbent cotton clothing.

Price reductions

Earlier this year TXU Energy announced a two-phase price cut totaling 10 percent on most month-to-month residential service plans in its traditional service area, including the plan that serves all legacy price-to-beat customers who have not chosen another plan. A 6-percent price reduction was delivered to these customers in March and the remaining 4-percent reduction was originally to be delivered if the announced merger transaction successfully closes. TXU Energy officials have announced they have accelerated this second phase, and customers are now receiving the additional 4-percent price cut.

The company also has announced a third phase of price reductions - an additional 5-percent price cut that will be delivered if the proposed transaction closes, bringing the total potential price reduction for these customers to 15 percent. This potential 15 percent cut will deliver an estimated annual savings of $400 million.

Upon the closing of the transaction, these customers would also receive price protection at the 15 percent discounted price through December 2008, guarding them from any increases due to higher wholesale electricity prices.

Low-income customer commitments

After the Texas Legislature ceased funding the state low-income discount, TXU Energy voluntarily provided more than $20 million in discounts to low-income customers since the beginning of 2006.

This summer, even though the Legislature has restored some funding for discounts to low-income customers, the company said its low-income customers will continue to receive an automatic 10-percent discount funded by TXU Energy in addition to the other price reductions announced. This discount will come in addition to any state-provided low-income discount for eligible customers.

“No other incumbent retailer currently provides such support,” a spokesman said. “In addition, if the transaction closes, TXU Energy has committed to continuing to provide $25 million per year to fund the TXU Energy low-income discount for five years.”

Since 1983, TXU Energy Aid has provided more than $40 million in bill payment assistance, helping more than 300,000 families throughout the state. If the merger transaction is completed, TXU Energy has committed to continue assisting customers in need by donating $5 million annually for the next five years, along with customer and employee donations, to help eligible customers with bill payment assistance. TXU Energy will distribute the $5 million gift back to local community organizations at a ratio of about $5 for every $1 locally donated.

Enhanced residential customer protections

Customers that are designated as low-income or are at least 62 years of age can avoid disconnection of service due to nonpayment by contacting TXU Energy and entering into a deferred payment plan. This deferred payment plan would allow the customer to pay as little as 25 percent of the current month's electric charges, with the remaining balance to be paid in equal installments over the next five billing cycles.

Customers who are designated as low-income and are at least 62 years of age can avoid disconnection of service due to nonpayment by contacting TXU Energy and entering into a deferred payment plan. This special, summer deferred payment plan would not require any payment of the current month's electric charges during this time period, but instead would require payment of 25 percent of the deferred bill(s) as part of the first electric bill issued after Sept. 30, with the remaining balance to be paid in equal installments over the next five billing cycles.

Customers designated as critical care will not be disconnected for non-payment.

TXU Energy will also waive deposit requirements for low-income residential customers who are at least 62 years of age and for all customers with a good record of timely payments.

Visit www.txu.com for more information about TXU Energy and www.txucorp.com for more information about TXU Corporation.

Helpful energy conservation tips

Light bulbs - Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. You can run four compact fluorescent light bulbs for the same cost as running just one incandescent bulb. Window treatments - Install storm or thermal windows and doors or double-paned glass. A less expensive alternative is plastic sheeting, which can be temporarily fastened over doors and windows to prevent drafts and retain cool air. Air leaks - Check for air leaks in air ducts, windows, plumbing utilities, fireplace flues, attic entrances and recessed light fixtures. Weatherstrip/caulk air leaks and insulate - Sealing up air leaks with caulking and weather stripping and installing adequate insulation in walls and the attic are some ofthe most cost effective savings measures you can do in your home. Energy labels - Look for Energy Star models when purchasing new appliances and electronics. These devices use less energy and will save you money. Energy-saver switch - Use the energy-saver switch on your appliances. Temperature settings - Set thermostats at about 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer. Turn up or down thermostats automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing a programmable thermostat. Use ceiling fans in the “down” mode at the highest speed to push cooler air back down into the room. Water heater - Set water heater temperatures at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A family of four, each showering for five minutes a day, uses 700 gallons of water each week. By lowering the thermostat on the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, families can cut water-heating bills without sacrificing comfort. Water pipes - Insulate hot water pipes. Air-conditioning filter - Clean or replace your air-conditioning filter monthly to help your air conditioner run more efficiently. Trees - If you’re going to plant a tree, consider placing deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your house. They grow leaves in summer that help shade your home and shed leaves in the winter, allowing sunlight to warm your house.

Heat safety tips

Drink one glass of cool water for every 20 minutes of heat exposure. Avoid eating hot foods and heavy meals. Wear loose, light-colored absorbent cotton clothing. Wear a wide-brimmed hat while outside. Use sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Take cool showers and baths. Limit exercise or strenuous physical activities to early morning or late evening.

Source: TXU Energy