Knoxville (WVLT) -- You've got to spend money to make money.
Or in the Tennessee Valley Authority's case, to save it.
TVA is spending more than half-million dollar ad campaign to persuade you to use less energy.
Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy has what you can do for free to keep you and your wallet cool in these sweltering summer months.
"I'm redoing my flower beds," said Gabe Kennedy.
Kennedy, an avid gardener, spent the day hunched over, earning her yard an award for the month from her neighborhood.
"I was very honored," I was very honored Kennedy said.
It's an incentive for the flower lover to keep her energy bills down.
"I don't want to give my money to KUB," Kennedy said. "I'd like to keep some of it to myself so I can buy plants."
So far so good.
"The electric bill's doing ok," Kennedy said. "It's the water bill that's not doing so well."
The trade off's possible thanks to some energy efficient thinking.
"I draw the drapes when the sun's on a particular side of the house and or the blinds, I keep the thermostat at 72," Kennedy said.
And the Tennessee Valley Authority wants all 8.7 million of its consumers to do the same.
"It's during the summer months when most of the electricity is used during the peak hours of the day," said Barbara Mortocci, a TVA Spokesperson.
That's from 2 PM until 8 PM every day.
Last year TVA set 16 peak power demand records from July to September, so to make sure that doesn't happen again, they are launching a $600,000 ad campaign asking you to cut back.
"Right now with all the dry weather we're not generating as much electricity with our hydro-power and we're having to buy a little more," Mortocci said.
And they say you can save money on your street without spending any extra money at all.
TVA provides the following tips. They say you can bump up your thermostat to at least 75 degrees, lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees, use the microwave instead of your stove, and air dry your dishes.
"Multiply that by 8 million and you can see that a lot of energy can be saved," Mortocci said.
For now, Gabe Kennedy plans to keep cutting back, and not just on her water use.
"When they don't make it I feel bad," Kennedy says about her plants.
That's exactly why she says the water's bill worth it.
Tennesseans electric bills rank among the highest in the country and about $5.00 more than the national average.
TVA says the state's low electric rates push homeowners to use more year-round.
You can find more energy saving tips by clicking on the link below.