Energy Efficiency on a Bike

New York City has taken energy efficiency to the streets to encourage more people to leave their car at home for the day. Cities in general have high pollution levels due to their high traffic content and tall buildings consuming vast amounts of energy. To help curb the traffic related pollution, Citi Bike was created to allow people to bike to work, the gym, the park, or dinner while eliminating a vehicle from the road. With all the traffic in New York City, carbon emissions pour into the atmosphere at staggering rates, especially when much of that traffic gets stuck in long lines at lights downtown. Citi Bike recently celebrated its first anniversary and hosts over 100,000 members.

The first bike share program, called Bycyklen, started in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1995. The bike share program worked similar to some grocery store carriage returns. You place a coin into the lock, use your bike until you are finished with it, and when you return the bike and lock it, you get your coin back. The bikes were uncomfortable to ride and primarily became a tourist attraction. Bike share programs have been picking up around the United States recently, however. Seattle, WA is the most recent US city to announce a bike share program, and it will begin in September of 2014. The program will begin with 50 bike docks and 500 bikes.

More than 30 US cities have a bike share program, and Portland, OR, Tampa, FL, and a San Diego, CA will be adding to that list in the coming years. Despite the initial stigma surrounding the first bike share program in Denmark, the current generation programs are really picking up all over the world. Perhaps it’s because more people are concerned with the state of the environment and don’t see these bikes as gimmicks anymore. Regardless of the reason for their increasing popularity, they will provide benefits such as reducing the amount of vehicles on the roads and improving public health.

When it comes to tackling the office buildings in these big cities, one of the best ways to reduce to pollution caused by their constant use of electricity is to enroll in renewable energy plans. Many Dallas electricity companies offer cheap electricity for businesses that feature green plans. If you are a business owner in Dallas, you have the power to choose what kind of electricity you want for your business, and Shop Dallas Electricity can help you find the energy provider that will work best for you.

Advantages of Texas Electric Deregulation

The energy market was deregulated in Texas as of 2002. This means that Dallas now has the power to choose your own energy provider. By choosing your own provider, you can be certain to get cheap electricity, since the utility company is no longer able to set the price to whatever they want. The market is open for competitors to vie for your customer ship. Having a deregulated energy market also benefits you in a few other ways.

 

Switching to a new Retail Energy Provider (REP) can get you in on some extra benefits or advantages. The biggest advantage is getting cheap electricity. When REPs compete for your business, the average rates for electricity drop. Some REPs may also offer introductory offers that will get you an even lower rate to start out. All REPs offer different plans with varying contract lengths, rates, and options. Renewable energy is one of these possible options, and you can look for plans that feature partial or full renewable energy to power your home. You may also find a REP that offers loyalty programs. These programs offer extra incentives to you depending on how long you are a customer. You may receive gift cards to local restaurants, discounts on your energy bill, or even chances to get a dream vacation. In an unregulated market, there is no reason for a provider to offer these kinds of deals because you would have nowhere else to go.

 

Even if a sole provider did offer a rewards program, if their customer service was nothing remarkable, you may not even care what the rewards are. In this deregulated market, if you don’t like your energy provider, you can switch to a new one. This is another point where the power to choose your provider really stands out. Sometimes, an extraordinary customer service will outweigh a slightly higher rate for electricity, but you could still conceivably find low Dallas electricity rates and great service. The key to it all is shopping around.

 

Shop Dallas Electricity helps you through the selection process by narrowing down your choices based on your search criteria. Whether you’re looking for a low rate, renewable energy, or a fixed or variable rate plan, we can help you get the best plan for you. When you choose a new provider or plan, you don’t have to worry about losing service while the transition is made. The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) ensures that once you select a switch date, your service will continue uninterrupted as you switch from one provider to another.

Tips for Electric Savings during the Hot Summers

SDE

 

Summer brings warm temperatures, pool parties, barbecues, and a lot of energy use. You can cut back on that energy use and still keep cool by following these simple tips. Some tips will cost nothing to implement, others suggest you replace outdated appliances to maximize energy savings. All in all, these tips will save you energy and money in the long run.

  • Upgrade your AC — If your AC is more than 20 years old, it is not nearly as efficient as it could be. Upgrading your AC to a newer, more efficient model will save a lot of electricity in the coming years. Be sure you get a unit that is appropriately sized for your home; oversized units do not cool your home any faster, but they do use a lot more electricity.
  • Cooking — Use the smallest cooking appliance to get the job done. Ovens use a lot of electricity, and they also add more heat to your home, which in turn causes your AC to work harder. Use microwaves or crock pots to cut back on energy use and heat gain. If you do need to use the oven, consider baking in the morning when it’s
    usually cooler.
  • Thermostat — Installing a programmable thermostat can help cut down on energy use throughout the day. These thermostats let you set what temperatures you want for different parts of the day. You can have a nice cool home starting just before you get home from work, let the system shut down overnight, cool down in the morning, and shut down while you’re at work.
  • Sunlight — Keep sunlight from overheating your home by closing curtains or treating your windows with a low-e film. You could also consider planting trees on the south and west sides of your home. They will shade your home during the summer, but let light through in the winter when you need the extra warmth.
  • Fans — Using fans in conjunction with your AC will allow you to set the thermostat a bit higher, as the fans create a wind chill when blowing directly on you. On cooler days, open the windows and use fans instead of the AC.
  • Water Use — Lower your water heater from 140° to 120°F and use less hot water while showering. Either turn the heat down or take shorter showers. You could also consider installing a tankless water heater, which is far more efficient.
  • Lights — Old incandescent bulbs have been called “heaters with light as a byproduct.” These old bulbs let off a lot of heat and consume a lot of electricity compared to CFLs or LEDs. LEDs are 80-90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs and they emit much less heat, which will help keep your home cooler.
  • AC Service — Tune up your AC every 6-12 months by having a professional service it for you. They will keep it running efficiently, ensuring your home stays cool while using as little electricity as possible. You should also clean or replace the air filter every 1-3 months to keep airflow at its maximum.

 

  • Ductwork — Ensure that the ducts and pipes for your AC are well sealed. Any cracks or gaps will let the chilled air escape throughout your home’s infrastructure, which will keep it from cooling efficiently.
  • Go Outside — Spend time outside and leave the AC off. This will keep you from using electricity in your home and allow you to soak up some rays and enjoy the outdoors. Take a dip in a pool to help keep yourself cool and grill outdoors to keep from adding excess heat to your home.

As the days heat up, so do the Dallas electric prices. You have the power to choose a Dallas electricity provider that gives you the cheapest electric rates. Switching to a new provider before the temperatures rise will ensure you get a good low rate for your electricity. Shop Dallas Electricity will help you sort through the providers and plans available to you, so you can pick the best plan for your home.

Electricity Tips Simplified

There are a large number of ways you can cut your home energy usage. Cutting back on energy usage saves you money and is good for the environment. Many of the tips we’ll share with you today don’t even require you to spend any additional money to upgrade your home. Something as simple as moving a piece of furniture can actually yield energy saving benefits!

 

  • Consolidating your entertainment center into a single outlet with a power strip will allow you to shut all of the electronics in it off at the same time. Electronics drain electricity even when they are off, but by switching the power strip off, you will stop the flow of electricity to these devices.
  • Switching to more energy efficient lighting like CFL or LED bulbs will save 80-90% of the energy used in lighting.
  • When looking to replace electronics or appliances, look for Energy Star certified products. Energy Star products are 20-30% more efficient than other products of the same type.
  • If you print a lot, consider getting refillable cartridges. They will save on waste and refilling the ink yourself is much cheaper than buying new cartridges.
  • Only run full loads of clothes and dish washers. They use about the same amount of energy for small loads as they do for large ones.
  • Find and seal any leaks in pipes or air ducts. These leaks can have a major impact on your energy use, regardless of how small they may be.
  • If you have a small yard with grass that’s not very thick, consider using an electric mower. You’ll save on gas purchases and eliminate a good portion of carbon emissions.
  • Clean the condenser coils on your refrigerator. Clean coils allow the compressor to work more efficiently.
  • Clean or replace the air vents on your air conditioning and heating systems every 1-3 months. Clogged vents reduce airflow and make the system work harder.
  • Ensure furniture is not blocking any air vents in your home. Blocked vents make it take longer for your air conditioning and heat to make your home comfortable.
  • Close off vents and shut doors to unused rooms that you don’t want climate controlled.
  • If you have children, consider installing occupancy sensors in their bedrooms and playrooms. Children may not always shut the lights off when they leave a room, but an occupancy sensor will do it for them after they leave the room for a time.
  • Use reusable containers to carry food or drinks with you to work to help cut back on waste.
  • Whenever possible, use electronic bill paying methods. Some Dallas electricity providers offer cheap rates on plans with electronic payment.
  • Lower your water heater from the factory default of 140°F to 120°F to save a good deal of electricity.
  • Take care of chores like clothes and dish washing, vacuuming, and meal prep early in the morning. These chores can add to the heat in your home, which will make it more uncomfortable if done at night in the summer.
  • Use the smallest appliance necessary to cook food. Ovens use significantly more electricity than microwaves, toasters, or slow cookers.
  • When cooking on the stovetop, make sure to use a pot or pan that completely covers the heating element. Not only is this more efficient, but it can prevent ceramic element covers from breaking.
  • On particularly warm days, consider grilling outside to keep from overheating your home.
  • Use a bucket or trash container to collect rainwater for use in gardening or cleaning.

 

There are still a myriad of other ways to reduce your energy usage. While saving energy can save you money, so too can switching your energy provider.Shop Dallas Electricity will help you compare several energy companies at once, so you get the best deal on electricity. You have the power to choose an energy plan that fits your needs, including plans with e-billing discounts or renewable energy.