As the summer heat sets in — along with higher electric bills — Austin Energy is preparing computer and smartphone programs to help customers use energy and water more efficiently.
Some time in the next month or so, the city-owned utility will launch a program that alerts a customer that electric use is high enough to kick the household into a higher rate bracket (and cause the monthly bill to jump). The alert could come through a text or an email; the basic idea is to give customers a chance to cut back before the bills are calculated.
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