Archive for October, 2011

Energy Saving Devices: Do They Work?

Even before the Global Financial Crisis rolled in waves throughout the country and across the globe, people have been looking for innovative and practical ways to conserve energy. This scenario is through even on various states like Texas where Energy Deregulation has been the norm for a considerable number of years now, giving residents the power to select their Retail Electric Providers.

 

The need for energy saving measures continues to be one of the most important considerations in Texas and in various states and would continue to be a regular practice unless really cheap electricity is ever produced for mass distribution. Several energy saving devices have come out in the market in a bid to help homes and businesses achieve their aim in conserving Texas electricity. The question that arises however is whether these energy saving devices actually work or not.

 

The following are some of the energy saving devices that are available in the market. Some would actually help residents save on their Texas electric bills, while others do not deliver on what they claim to do in helping save energy. It would be up to the users to study which devices would work for them and would cater to their needs, while being very careful not to fall prey to bogus devices that claim energy savings that appears too good to be true.

 

* Meters and Other Monitoring Devices

 

People can do a lot more if they can actually measure or monitor something and this holds true with energy. Meters are practical energy saving devices that can help you monitor your electricity consumption as well as other energy utilities. Thermostats are some of the most common and can help you monitor temperature levels of cooling appliances as well as determine poorly insulated sections of a home or a building. Gas meters and electrical meters can do the same thing, providing owners their actual energy usages and consumptions.

 

Other monitoring devices can be the plug-in electrical monitor type used for individual electrical devices or appliances, or it can be a more sophisticated electricity monitor that can measure full-house usages and consumptions. Such devices are also used to monitor for any electrical leaks in appliances and lines by monitoring any drain or consumption when all known electrical devices have been turned off.

 

* Indirect Home Energy Saving Devices

 

These devices are originally intended for a different purpose but its use will have indirect results in energy and electricity savings. One of the best examples is a light dimmer switch. Its main purpose is to reduce the intensity of light in a particular area, but in doing so it would also result in less electricity consumed by the lighting equipment. Other devices include automatic timers, timer switches, infrared-activated switches, motion-activated switches, power bars with surge protectors, and in some more sophisticated abodes – home automation systems.

 

* Direct Home Energy Saving Devices

 

On the other hand, devices that are intended to conserve electricity are the direct home energy saving devices. These devices are proven to save a certain percentage of energy when used as compared to standard functioning of a device or appliances. Such energy saving devices include: programmable thermostats that can set and maintain temperature to comfortable and cost-saving minimum comfortable levels; stand-by power savers which cut power to an appliances when idle or not in use; thermally controlled switches that shuts a particular device on or off based on a pre-set temperature level; and air conditioner energy saving devices, which turns off the compressor when the cooling coils are already thermodynamically saturated.

 

* Bogus Home Energy Saving Devices

 

And then there are these bogus or questionable devices that claim outrageous energy savings from 10% or up to 30% or even more. These devices cost a considerable amount and can come as a plug-in device or installed through the circuit breakers. However, homeowners should be wary of using these devices and make sure that they actually save energy – which means less wattage consumption and less carbon footprint – and not just correct the inaccuracy of measurements by your power meters.

 

These devices also work on inductive loads like motors only like a blender or a fan and would have no significant impact on resistive loads such as heating and lighting devices. So, it would be really worth your while to carefully study what these devices can really do before committing yourself to spending hundreds or even thousands – and have minimal impact on your electricity and energy savings in the long run.

 

About Shop Texas Electricity – Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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Which Home Appliances Use The Most Energy

Homeowners and business establishments are implementing energy saving initiatives on their own accord. These moves are wise on their part as energy saving activities are a must to conserve valuable resources and should have continuous implementation until the time technology is available that can produce renewable, environmental-friendly and really cheap electricity.

 

Although many have already started energy saving measures such as turning off the computer when not in use or using compact fluorescent lights instead of light bulbs to illuminate their rooms, many are not aware of how much their appliances are actually consuming electricity. While many are probably aware of what the Energy Star label means in their relatively newly purchased appliances, majority of homeowners may not be knowledgeable as to what appliance guzzles the most energy.

 

Knowing this information can help in planning your energy savings program so you can focus your actions in how to control or efficiently use appliances with the biggest energy consumption – resulting in more manageable electrical bills as well as reduced environmental impact.

 

How Much Electricity does Standard Home Appliances Use?

 

The 2007 Buildings Energy Data Book have listed space heating as the highest energy user in a home at 31% followed by space cooling at 12%. The remaining electrical energy usage is consumed by standard home appliances for various household applications. Although each individual appliance may not consume as much as heating or cooling, summing up all the electricity usage by these appliances can be significantly big. These appliances are ranked as follows:

 

Water Heating – 12%
Lighting – 11%
Computers and Electronics – 9%
Kitchen/Washing Appliances – 9%
Refrigeration – 8%
Other Appliances – 8%

The cost of using these appliances will depend on how long they are used multiplied by their rated electrical power consumption. The longer a higher-rated appliance is used, the higher the total electrical cost it will ensue. Appliances are rated in kilowatt-hours or kWh, where one kilowatt-hour means a consumption of 1,000 watts of electricity within one hour. The cost of using a particular appliance can be obtained by multiplying its rated kWh usage by how long it has been in use.

 

Appliances differ in their rated consumption based on how it is constructed and how it operates. As seen from the table listed above, heaters or appliances with heating elements consume the most electricity. Next in line would be appliances with electrical motors and compressors. However, some appliances have a combination of a motorized part as well as a heating element. This includes clothes washers and dish washers. These appliances consume more electricity if both the motors and the heaters are used in conjunction.

 

This knowledge can be useful for homeowners wanting to conserve energy in their homes. Simple changes like turning off the heaters for your dish and clothes washers during use can give significant savings in electricity. Use of more efficient appliances (ex: a new Energy-star efficient refrigerator versus a 10-year old energy guzzler) can likewise provide considerable energy savings that would do well for your wallet and the environment.

 

In many states where electricity is de-regulated you can also start saving money by simply switching your electricity provider.

 

About Shop Texas Electricity- Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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10 Simple Ways to Save Energy

The recent Global Financial Crisis has made people in various states and probably across the globe to rethink the way they use electricity and other energy resources. Even if energy deregulation in certain states such as Texas have given consumers the power to select Retail Electric Providers that will supply their electricity, it doesn’t mean that they are given free reign of their use of electricity.

 

Prudence and practicality is now the adapted norm that many homeowners and business establishments practice with respect to their use of electricity. Unless a very viable and inexhaustible source of very cheap electricity is discovered, all other homeowners and business owners should have the same mindset and practice all means to conserve energy.

 

The following are 10 of the simplest and easily implementable means of saving energy no matter what state, city or location you are in. Whether you are from Dallas or Houston, it would be wise for you and your household or business to practice these ways to save on your electricity.

 

* Try a little bit of air drying power – Dishwashers consume considerable amount of water as well as electricity, that when accumulated would amount to something significant that would hurt both your pockets and the environment. Go back to basics and use a bit of cloth and air drying power to dry your dishes.

 

* Some like it hot, but better to wash them cold – turn off your washing machine heaters for a while and use cold water instead. You’ll be surprised that doing so would make you save as much as 75% energy.

 

* Reduce your bathing water temperature — Do you really like your bath water scalding hot enough to cook your flesh? You can set your water heaters to temperatures that would be enough to make you comfortable. In relation to this, you really don’t need quite a big tank. The bigger they are, the more energy they consume.

 

* Some like it very hot…. Some like it very cold… but should you? – People sometimes like to turn their heaters and air conditioners to extreme levels that go beyond what is really comfortable. Well, it should not really be that way as you can always set the thermostat settings of these appliances to levels that are not really extreme but provide enough comfort for you and your household.

 

* Use a bit or air and sun for your clothes as well – Clothes dryers not only increase the bill you are paying your Texas electric company, but it also accounts to almost 500 pounds of carbon gas emissions a year. Do your part in protecting the environment, and protecting your pockets as well, by using the power of the wind and the sun in drying your clothes.

 

* Avoid opening and closing the oven door during cooking – Every time you open the oven, a drop of up to 50 degrees in temperature ensues, which prolong your cooking time and spending more energy in the process. Study your cookbooks thoroughly to know when the proper time of opening the oven is and practice preheating the oven before putting the food in.

 

* Seal those leaks! – A great deal of money is spent paying your Dallas or Houston electric companies because of the energy spent in regulating the temperature of your homes. Well guess what, those leaks in your windows, doors and walls will not do you any good and increase the energy spent by your heaters or air conditioners in keeping temperatures at comfortable levels. Seal those leaks and prevent cold or hot air from passing through.

 

* Get rid of those light bulbs! – Those old incandescent bulbs not only eat up considerable amount of electricity, but they really don’t give off a bright perspective – don’t they? Switch to compact fluorescent lamps instead. Not only do they consume a fraction of what light bulbs consume, but they give off a much brighter illumination as well.

 

* Unplug appliances while not in use – Many do not realize it, but turning off your appliances by their remote controllers does not completely “turn off” the device. While in standby mode, these appliances continue to drain electricity even in trickles. That would not mean much as is, but accumulating all these “trickles” and you’ll be surprised that you’ve already consumed a whole pool of electricity.

 

* Get rid of those old appliances – Old appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners are energy hogs that consume considerable amounts of electricity, but are not efficient enough to get the kind of performance you expect and need. It’s time to get rid of these antiques and switch to Energy Star certified appliances. Not only will they consume less energy, but you’ll get better performance and efficiency from them as well.

 

About Shop Texas Electricity- Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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Top 6 Benefits of Energy Deregulation

Despite all the negative publicity and media issues posted against energy deregulation, several states continue to push through with its implementation, each formulating their own system on how to effectively implement the system within their boundaries. The state of Texas is at the forefront of this implementation, with several Retail Electric Providers and other new players in the Texas electric industry stepping forward to participate in the energy deregulation roll out.

 

The following are the top six benefits that can be derived with the implementation of energy deregulation, not only for consumers but for the community and the environment as well.

 

* Consumers are Given the Power to Select – Probably the most important benefit that consumers derive from energy deregulation is the privilege and opportunity to select the Retail Electric Providers that will bring Texas electricity to their homes or business establishments. Whether their motivation for switching providers is to get cheap electricity, better customer service or the option to choose alternative energy resources, consumers are now not restricted by what the utility monopolies of old dictate.

* Eradication of Energy Monopolies – in an industry that has been characterized by monopolies and cartels, the playing field is now leveled with the influx of new industry players all competing to provide electrical services and products to the consumers. With a new atmosphere of competition, the consumers now dictate the quality of services that they deserve from the electric companies.

* Better Quality of Services from Providers – the new competitive atmosphere have placed electric companies in a pro-active mode in a dash to provide better services to consumers. Providing reliable services ensure customer loyalty, otherwise they risk being replaced as the Retail Electric Provider of choice. This liberalization in the electricity markets not only resulted in better quality services for consumers, but higher standards in safety, reliability and overall customer satisfaction.

* Increased Competition Results to Better Pricing Schemes – Residential and industrial consumers benefit from more competitive pricing schemes put forward by Retail Electric Providers in a bid to secure customer loyalty to their services. These providers compete by providing better payment schemes, incentives and promos to gain consistent customer patronage. On top of this, energy deregulation normalizes the pricing differences from state to state, which is seen as unjustifiable during pre-deregulation periods.

* More Jobs and More Entrepreneurs – the Energy Deregulation program have seen the emergence of new players in the electricity services industry, and this can be translated to more jobs in technical, sales, marketing and administrative areas in the industry. Aside from that, people with an entrepreneurial spirit can jump right in and cash in from this great business opportunity as an affiliate marketer or, if they have enough capitalization, as a retail provider.

* A Benefit to Mother Earth – the establishment of energy deregulation have paved the way for the emergence of alternative and renewable energy resources that produce less pollution and is safe for the environment. Consumers now have the option to make a difference to the environment by making a stand and choosing providers that support renewable resources – as a benefit for them now, as well as for future generations.

 

About Shop Texas Electricity- Shop Texas Electricity helps consumers and businesses compare and shop for their electricity plans in Texas. Learn more about Shop Texas Electricity by visiting us at www.ShopTexasElectricity.com

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