Posts Tagged Cheap Electricity

Shopping for the Cheapest Electricity Provider

If your monthly utility costs seem to be too high, don’t worry. In Texas, consumers have a wide variety of electric companies to pick from. By doing some easy comparisons, you’ll be able to find the cheapest electricity provider in your area. Because there are many prices, packages and features to pick from, choosing the cheapest electricity provider can be confusing. It’s essential that you compare apples to apples or you could end up paying more than you anticipated.

 

Before you begin comparison shopping for the cheapest electricity provider you’ll need to verify what you currently pay. When you review your bill, look at not only the rate price but also any added fees that could be tacked onto the bill. This will give you an idea of how much you’re actually paying each month. Make note of how much electricity you use each month as well. With this information you’ll be able to do a fair comparison with any other electricity company.

 

Rates are often available in two different types of plans including fixed and variable pricing. Fixed pricing is a safe choice because you know that your electric rate won’t go up for the duration of your contract. With variable pricing, the rates may go either up or down as prices change in the marketplace. Choosing variable pricing can be risky because the rates could go up further than you anticipated.

 

You’ll also need to look at how service fees impact your utility bill. Some providers may offer very low pricing but charge additional fees for services like meter fees, provisioning fees, and service fees. These additional charges can be added to your monthly bill, making it much higher. When shopping for the cheapest electricity provider, look at the fine print to make sure that you are aware of all the possible extras. For example, some providers charge large fees for paying your bill by telephone.

 

If you’re looking for the best pricing, make sure you decide on the length of contract is best for you. You may be offered lower prices for a longer term. Terms may run from 3 months to two years. If your contract is about to end, make sure you review pricing with other providers a few months ahead of time to find the best rates. Keep in mind that there is often an early termination fee charged if you decide to end your contract early.

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Energy saving tips for your freezer and refrigerator

Did you know that in your household, your freezer and refrigerator are two of the biggest energy consumers? If not, it’s time to look closer and adhere to energy efficient practices to bring down your energy consumption, thus decreasing your utility bills. Though the present day models of freezers and refrigerators are very energy efficient, the same can’t be told about their older counterparts. Still, if you possess an ENERGY STAR approved model of a refrigerator from the 1980s, you could end up saving as much as $100 each year on your electricity bills. Similarly, a fridge from the 1970s with ENERGY STAR approval can help you save more than $200 a year. So, for all those Texas electricity consumers looking to bring down their utility bills, here are some tips for your freezers and refrigerators:

 

  • Clean the coils: There should be regular cleaning and maintenance of the refrigerator/freezer coils. Keeping them dust free is absolutely necessary for energy efficient usage. In case you have pets in home, dander may get deposited on the coils, which may require you to clean them more frequently.
  • Using a scientific approach to store in the freezer/refrigerator: The deviceworks on the basic principle of having to cool the space inside. Hence, more the space, more air the device has to cool and thus, more energy is consumed. Therefore, storing the freezer/refrigerator adequately, so that there is less of ‘free air’ for the device to waste its energy on can help you limit your energy usage. Experts advise that in case you don’t have enough material to stock inside your freezer/ refrigerator, you can fill up bowls of water and place inside. Water pouches can also be used for the same purpose.
  •  Defrost freezer on time: Unless you own a frost-free unit, you should defrost your freezerthe moment you spot the development of frost beyond half an inch, as it can increase power consumption of the freezer.
  • Check the door seals of your freezer: To limit power consumption, your freezer door should be air tight. You can check this by closing the door of your freezer on a dollar bill. In case you are able to pull out the bill easily, you might need a new latch or seal.
  • Adhere to the right temperature settings: Setting your freezer or refrigerator at the right temperature is the ideal way to minimize wastage of electricity. Hence, don’t set the temperature too high or too low. Ideally, your refrigerator’s fresh food section should have its temperature at 37° to 40° while the freezer section can be set at 5°.
  • Position of the freezer/ refrigerator: Location of the freezer orrefrigerator decides the pattern of its future power consumption. It should be made sure that the location where the device has been put up has a good circulation of air. No hindrance in air flow should be allowed, in case they are situated in some closed space, for example, in between two cupboards.  Freezers or refrigerators should not be kept close to other electrical appliances like ovens, microwaves, stoves, or even close to windows. Heat emanated from such cooking appliances like stoves can increase their power consumption. It is ideal to select the coolest spot for these devices.     

 

By following these tips, energy efficiency of the refrigerator or freezer can be increased manifolds. It is indeed righteous to become aware and enlightened to adhere to such tips as they can help you curb wastage of electricity, thus letting you conserve energy.

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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Home energy use audit – some questions to ask

Did you know that of all homes constructed prior to 1980, just 20% are well insulated? To bring down your energy costs, it becomes crucial to seal doors and windows, add insulation, and take other necessary steps. With the energy scenario in Texas becoming a talking point among administrators and homemakers alike, and the imminent possibilities of power outage and grid failure due to excessive power consumption, it becomes more important that Texas residents do their bit to conserve electricity.

 

Home energy usage audit

Since it may seem like a daunting task to pin-point areas where your power consumption is more, or locate instances where you can cut down on your consumption, doing a home energy use audit can come to your rescue.

 

General Home Information

You can begin by asking yourself some general questions, which may include:

  • When was your home constructed?
  • Your home belongs to which category – Apartment/Condo, or Single Family?
  • On each side of your home, how many windows are there?
  • Do your home has broken or cracked windows/doors?
  • How many outside doors does your home have?
  • Are your doors insulated?
  • Do your doors and windows leak air, or do they seal tightly?
  • Do you have ceiling and wall insulation in your home?

Answering these questions will help you target the problem areas, which if repaired, can help you reduce your electricity bills.

 

Heating/Cooling Systems

Almost 43% of your utility bills are attributed to running heating and cooling systems. With simple steps like setting your thermostat at 78° F or higher in the summer and 68° F or lower in the winter can help you save precious dollars on your utility bills. Here are some questions to ask during your home energy audit to find out how much of energy your heating/cooling systems are consuming:

  • What type of heating and cooling system do you use?
  • What fuel does your heating/cooling system use? (you can pick your answer from oil, electricity, natural gas, and propane)
  • What’s the age of your heating system?
  • Do you use a programmable thermostat to control the temperature?
  • During the heating or cooling season, what are your thermostat settings?
  • During summer, do you use fans in place of air conditioning?

 

Water Heating

In your home, the third largest energy expense is attributed to water heating. You can cut down water heating bills with some simple steps like insulating your water heater, using less hot water, keeping the water heater’s thermostat down, or by purchasing a more efficient model.

Some questions related to water heating systems, which you should answer during your home energy use audit include:

  • What type of fuel is used to heat water in your home?
  • What’s the age of your water heater?
  • What’s the temperature at which your water heater is set?
  • Are the pipes and your water heater insulated?

Clothes washers, refrigerators, and clothes dryers are some other appliances that consume a lot of energy. So, you should try to buy appliances with ENERGY STAR labels as they are more efficient than other products.

So, use the above questionnaire to perform an effective home energy use audit, which would help you get started on steps for cutting down your electricity bills.

 

 

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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Electricity Usage Report – how can it help?

Excessive power consumption in domestic and commercial settings, and their implications are the reasons of much hue and cry in Texas these days. Putting a restriction on unnecessary electricity usage and enhancing power conservation is the need of the hour. Owing to the rapidly depleting resources and consequently rising costs of power usage, it might be a good idea to have an electricity usage report at your disposal. Not only does the report give a detailed picture of your power utilization, but also highlights times when your consumption increases and denotes areas where the consumption has spiked.

 

What is an Electricity Usage Report?

It is just a detailed sheet of facts and figures, depicted with easy-to-read graphical presentations and charts, which give a clear idea of your power usage. It takes into account all the appliances and electrical connections that are in use to provide you with useful insight into your electricity usage, and control your energy consumption. The report can be availed on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis.

 

Benefits of keeping an Electricity Usage Report

Owing to the shortage of conventional sources of energy, and a limited number of power generation plants, the surging costs of electricity is a known and acknowledged fact today. This is where an electricity usage report can come handy, as by showing how your consumption increases during a particular weather/time of the day, it can help you curb usage and facilitate electricity conservation. Since you need to steer clear of indiscriminate use of power to avoid blackouts and grid failure, the electricity usage report can serve as an effective tool.

 

Power Usage: Life in Texas

According to certain statistics collected in the year 2005, Texas stood second in terms of population and was ranked first as per the criteria of residential energy consumption. The state’s per capita carbon score rating was pegged at 10, and each resident of Texas was known to produce an average of about 32 tonnes of carbon each year. As years passed by, Texas has emerged as a state with a whooping population cover, and an economically and industrially intensive region, which naturally calls for a high power demand (accounting for one tenth of the total US energy consumption).

 

Looking at this Texas picture, an electricity usage report will surely help by letting Texas electricity consumers know about how much electricity they use and the way of such usage. Armed with such knowledge, these people will have more control on their electricity usage, and save on their monthly bills, not to mention helping the environment as well. So, you too can sign up for a weekly or monthly report to save on your electric bills.

 

If you look beyond the immediate benefits, such a step would help you to build a better future through intensive power conservation, thus bringing down your carbon footprints and making the state a greener and pollution-free place for future generations.

 

So, sign up for your free electricity usage report today to make a difference.

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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Tips for Texas Electric Shopping

With Texas energy deregulation, consumers have got a choice to select their electric providers and plans that suit their needs and budget. But since a wide variety of electricity deals available in your zip code, which may vary either by the length of contract or price, it becomes quite difficult to compare them. Since most Texas electricity contracts don’t have any uniformity among the contract terms, and even the ones that do only have a limited amount of uniformity, you need to consider certain factors while shopping for Texas electricity plans, as mentioned below:

 

  • Frequency of bills: Unless your electric service is provided for a period less than a month, your REP would issue bills on a monthly basis. However, in case you and your REP agree to bills issued less frequently than monthly, the same can be done as well. So, check the options your shortlisted REP offers before you sign the contract.

 

  • Delivery of Texas electric bills: The electric bills are issued in writing to the residential customers by their respective REPs, which are then delivered by the United States Postal Service. In case you and your REP agree, you may also get electronic bills sent by your REP at your email id registered with it. Most people these days prefer to get their bills online. In case you too belong to this league, check if your chosen REP provides this service or not.

 

 

  • Actual vs. Estimated bills: If for some reason, the REP is incapable of taking the actual meter reading, it may issue a bill based on your estimated usage. In case of an estimated bill, you will be informed about the cause why such a bill was sent by your REP. Make sure to know the circumstances when such a bill can be raised before you sign an electric contract.

 

  • Bill content: Make sure you know what elements form an integral part of your electric bill content, and check if your REP sends bills that adhere to the same.

 

 

  • Getting copy of electric bills free of charge: An REP usually maintains monthly records of billing and payment data for a minimum of 24 months after the bill has been mailed. You can obtain a free copy of your electric bill upon request. However, during every 12-month period, you can get such free copies of bills only for once.
  • Customer service: Check if your shortlisted REP has a good and prompt customer service desk that attends to your queries and problems quickly, and resolves them at the earliest.

 

With the power to choose in the hands of the consumer, you can now shop around for favorable energy plans for your business or home. Since most electric companies vie with one another to lure consumers, they offer lower rates and additional deals, which spell value for money.  In today’s competitive energy markets, you need to make a knowledgeable choice to benefit the most. Use the tips mentioned above while shopping for Texas electricity to make an informed decision, and get plans and services worth every dollar of your hard earned money.

 

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Why should businesses shop for electricity?

As compared to ordinary residential areas, more electrical power is used by business establishments. What’s more, as the business expands and grows, electrical consumption increases too, which in turn causes the cost of operations go north. Since energy companies often inflate their prices, businesses may easily suffer by paying overpriced utility bills and find it tough to handle their increased costs of commercial energy usage. In case you have been wondering – why should businesses shop for electricity, this scenario gives you the answer.

Power of choice for businesses

Unlike the past where business establishments didn’t have much of a choice when it came to changing their suppliers, the energy deregulation in Texas has given them the power to choose. So, now you can take your pick from several power business plans based on how much electricity you consume, your forecasted growth, and your budgetary constraints. Since all the retail Texas electricity providers will be competing to get you onboard, they will be willing to offer customized plans to meet your business needs – that too without overshooting your budget.

Business shop owners who ask – why should businesses shop for electricity, would do well to remember that even after they have selected a provider and used its services, they can change their supplier if they are charged with inflated bills or the supplier doesn’t attend to their problems and queries. However, it’s best to consider intangible and tangible benefits, if any, offered by their Texas electricity providers, before making a switch and not base the decision on the cost factor alone.

With such an open market, customer is definitely the king and controlling the business electricity costs has become easier.

Why should businesses shop for electricity – advantages at a glance

Wondering why should businesses shop for electricity and what benefits they will get? Well, here’s a quick glance:

  • Comparing all registered commercial  electricity suppliers online to get a basic idea of how much it will cost to meet your business energy needs
  • Variety of payment and services schemes to choose from, depending on what suits your business the best
  • Chance to get intangible and tangible benefits, in addition to cheap electricity rates
  • Ability to choose a green energy plan to reduce your carbon footprints
  • Finding cheap electricity options become easier as you need to put in less time and effort, by either using the online mode or hiring electricity brokers
  • By bringing down your business shop’s cost of commercial  electricity, you can boost your profits

Steps to remember while businesses shop for electricity

Experts, while answering – why should businesses shop for electricity, talk about some steps to remember in order to get a good deal and not end up paying more than what you had signed up for. First of all, find out if there is a deregulated energy market in the area where your business is located. Though major cities of Texas like Dallas, Houston, and Forth Worth boast of deregulated markets and give businesses the right to choose, the same isn’t true for cities like San Antonio and Austin which are yet to have a competitive market.

The next step while shopping for electricity is to consider the cost, as well as intangible and tangible benefits, if any, to decide whether you are satisfied or need to change your supplier. Without proper assessment, investing time, money and effort for the search would be a wastage.

Lastly, evaluating the payment schemes, their flexibility, terms of services, service contract with your present supplier and whether it forbids you to opt for a change etc and green energy options are other factors worth considering.

Conclusion

Conducting a business is an extremely expensive operation. So, you should ensure you don’t pay for overpriced electricity. In fact, expenditure on account of inflated energy bills throughout the financial year can make all the difference between your business making a profit or going for a loss. So, make a prudent decision and shop for electricity wisely.

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 Money on Your Energy Bills

Texas residents probably still remember vividly how the state underwent a rash of Texas electricity emergencies after the extremely hot summer heat forced consumers to use more electricity, threatened grid reserve levels, sparked increases in electricity rates, and put the state on a brink of rolling blackouts.  The Texas grid operator called on the public to do their part and conserve electricity right in their own homes.

 

The threat of another hot Texas summer is still in the horizon but Texas consumers need not wait for such extremes to happen before they can start conserving energy. As a Texas electricity consumer you can do so by following cheap and easy solutions first, simple ways where you can save money on your electrical bills – and you can start with the following list:

 

  • The lighting of the future will focus more on using compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED bulbs. Other lighting technologies are being developed now that could save even more electricity. But why wait for these new things to come when you can save energy now by using CFL lamps available in the market. They are a bit pricier than incandescent but the overall savings you can get with prolonged use can more than compensate for that

 

  • Phone chargers and other small electric devices that are constantly plugged in can consume trickle amounts of electricity even on standby mode. It would not amount to much if you’re looking at such consumptions individually but this minute amounts can be substantial if you add them all up

 

  • Microwave ovens and other appliances can still consume leakage currents when not in use and plugged into the electricity outlet. Pulling or unplugging them out one by one each time you are not using them can be tedious so it would be best to use power strips with individual on/off switches per outlet. The power strip can practically isolate the appliances from the outlet when the switch is turned off, thereby preventing leakage currents from seeping through

 

  • You don’t need to have your thermostat at full blast all the time, especially when you’re not at home. A programmable thermostat is what you need to automatically adjust the temperature only when needed and according to a schedule. In relation to this, you can also raise the thermostat setting just enough to make it comfortable. These things can save you on cooling costs quite significantly if done regularly.

 

  • Air conditioning is one major source of Texas electricity consumption so you would want to use more energy efficient models. If changing units is not viable for you at the moment, you can ensure that your air conditioning unit is running at optimum condition by making sure that the filters are properly cleaned or replaced. Clogged filters means your air conditioning unit will work doubly hard – and in the process consume more electricity.

 

  •  Air leaks can affect your air conditioning system, making them consume more electricity when compressors work extra hard to compensate for loses in the cool air. You should properly insulate you doors, windows and floors for any leaks that may drive cool air out of the house instead of cooling people inside

 

  • The use of thermal curtains can prevent the heat of the sun from dissipating into the room, increasing room temperature and triggering the air conditioning system to work some more. The materials used for thermal curtains can reflect solar heat back instead of being absorbed by your home.

 

  • Speaking of reflection, painting your roof flat white can help reflect the sun’s rays back. Roofs are directly exposed to the sun, heating your ceiling and the top floors and eventually increase the overall temperature in your home, and painting your roof white can be a cost-effective way of doing this.

 

  • Washing dishes or cleaning clothes need not be done in super heated water. You can lower down the temperate during cleaning operation or you can eventually stop using hot water for cleaning. Cold water can get clothes and dishes as clean as like washing them in hot water. Formulated detergents are available that will work well with cold water, so a simple switch can save you hundreds of dollars in savings from your yearly Texas electricity bills.

 

  • Lastly, you can save money of your Texas electricity bills by simply exercising your power to select electricity providers that offer better electricity rates. So shop for Texas electricity providers now and choose one that offer good services, competitive electricity rates, and lots of perks and freebies just for making the switch.

 

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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