It’s not your imagination: It’s really hot out there.

Longhorn crews installing solarTexans are experiencing a heat wave the likes of which we haven’t seen since, believe it or not – ever. Not surprisingly, we are not alone, as the entire country and especially the Southwest is in the grips of dangerously hot conditions. Whether or not you already have solar panels on your roof, the question is, how can you prepare for the worst?

First, the weather stats

May 2024 was earth’s 12th hottest month in a row, making 2024 the hottest on record since records were first recorded in 1850, according to climatologists. During April 2024, an astonishing 34 nations or territories set or tied an all-time monthly heat record, and seven set or tied an all-time heat record for any month.

Texas had a record-setting week the first week of June, including in San Angelo, which hit a daily high of 111°F on June 4. Knowing that Central Texas had the hottest summer on record in 2023, we’re not going too far out on a limb to expect more of the same this year.

Utility prices rising around the state

The heat spike also tends to make prices rise, according to energy experts around the state. In some areas, electricity rates are going as high as 16 cents/kilowatt hour. It’s a good time to check your utility bill and make sure you’re on the right plan.

In Austin, city officials are preparing for extreme summer heat and possible power outages by giving away solar-power banks and low-flow shower heads at upcoming community events

In Houston, various programs have been announced to help residents cope with the heat, including air-conditioning giveaways and an increase in the number of cooling centers across the city.

In San Antonio, CPS Energy CEO Rudy Garza cited the city’s integration of new energy plants and equipment to prepare for the summer onslaught. “All we can do is prepare, you know, and keep our plants going,” Garza said, during a press conference.

While the state’s grid authority, ERCOT, has made improvements to the system the jury is still out on whether this summer will be too hot to handle.

Keeping your battery charged — literally

The upside of hot, sunny weather is that your rooftop solar system will keep churning out good, clean power even as the mercury spikes. 

Rooftop solar system in Austin, Texas

Longhorn installed this beauty in north Austin in 2014, and it’s still going strong.

And with a battery backup system you can stay prepared for any outages, should they occur. Most energy backup systems also have monitoring systems, such as  Tesla’s, enabling you to track day-to-day energy use and better understand the flow of energy in your home.

Sizzling summer deal: $500 off LG or Tesla Batteries

For a limited time, you can get $500 off every battery you install with Longhorn. A single battery these days can store up to 14kWh — enough to power your home for several days. For more info on the promo, contact our sales team.

A few energy-efficiency tips

Even if you’re generating ample solar power or using backup power to keep your home cool, it’s still a good idea to exercise energy-efficiency measures.

At Longhorn, we always encourage folks to use smart thermostats and practice good energy hygiene, no matter how big their energy backup reserve is!

  • Keep window shades drawn, particularly on west-facing windows, in the heat of the day.
  • Rather than cranking up the AC in your whole house, consider using directional or ceiling fans in rooms you’re occupying to keep air circulating.
  • Minimize the use of ovens and other heat-generating appliances. It’s a great time to grill outdoors (and then escape to the indoor AC).
  • Wash clothes on the cold water setting, and only do laundry at night, if possible.

A reminder that the Inflation Reduction Act provided several tax-saving programs for energy-efficiency, appliance upgrades and of course, a 30 percent deduction for solar and battery installations. 

For more information on how to go solar or add battery backup if you haven’t already – reach out to the Longhorn team today!