What to know when electricity shopping

There are two points on which every customer should judge an electricity provider: cost and reputation. Before deregulation, there was only one provider for electricity and you paid whatever they wanted you to pay. It didn’t matter how they treated you because there was nowhere else to go. Now, you can actually choose your own electricity provider and subsequently the rate you pay.

What to know when electricity shopping

Some companies out there may offer a great low rate but terrible customer service. Some offer great customer service but high rates. When you find that unicorn company that offers both, you have a winner. It’s best to switch providers just about every year because market conditions constantly fluctuate and what was a good deal last year may not be so good this year. Each year, just before your contract renews, start researching new electricity providers. Look for both low cost plans and customer reviews of the provider. We can help you by comparing several companies at once.

 

You’ll also definitely want to refer to each promising plan’s EFL because this document will give you all the details about the plan including a pricing breakdown, electricity content, and whether the plan is fixed (locked in rate for a contract length) or variable (rate changes every month based on market conditions, but no contract). Don’t feel like you have to go with a big name company because you heard their actual electrical service is more reliable. Electricity is the same, no matter who is selling it. Your local utility is the one that ensures electric stability, not the provider. So if you find a plan that has a wonderfully low rate and good customer reviews, go for it!

Why should we care about Texas electricity deregulation

Texas legislation gave customers electricity choice in 2002. This means that customers are no longer held in contracts with one company. Now, they can shop around and look at the most affordable rates for their individual electricity needs. From homes, offices, and even large businesses, electricity options are for everyone.

Why should we care about Texas electricity deregulation

Chances are if you have been with the same company since the early 2000’s, then you are probably overpaying for electricity service without even realizing it.

REPs are the newest part of the deregulated market. Retail Electricity Providers directly sell you electricity, based on market conditions. These market conditions affect the cost of your electricity. If trade routes or supply becomes stringent, new or variable rate customers will see higher rates for their month to month bill. When you have a fixed rate plan, your rate won’t go up or down until your contract is up for renewal. Contracts can last between 3 and 36 months, usually. Fixed rate plans give you security against sudden rate hikes due to weather, conflict, or supply disruptions, but should market conditions become more favorable, you are still locked into the higher rate.

As a customer, know that you have options when it comes to powering your home or business affordably. Grab your electric bill, and check out our website to compare your rate against others.

Go the Extra Mile and Lower Energy Costs

So if you have an electricity rate that meets your homes need, but still want to lower your bill even more, then listen up! Go to the extra mile with some simple steps to lower your electric bill and save energy at the same time.

Go the Extra Mile and Lower Energy Costs1. Switch your light bulbs in your home/office:

What to look for:

LED Bulbs
CFL Bulbs

 

2.Check your thermostat:

What to look for:

    • Set your thermostat as comfortable possible to about 73-75 degrees.
    • If you have an auto setting, or eco-mode on your thermostat, then make use of it, if you are not already.

3. Check windows/bottom of doors for air leaks:

What to look for:

    • Check corners of windows for air leaks.
    • Check bottom of doors for air leaks.
    • Go to the hardware store and purchase weather stripping caulking glue.

4. Unplug gadgets if you are not using:

What to look for:

    • Lamps, Toasters, Miscellaneous items that are not in use
    • Use a power strip to manage all cords in one place, and power it off when you leave the room.

5. Clean out filters:

What to look for:

  • Replace/Clean Air Filters in AC units
  • Replace/Clean Air Filters in Dryers

By using these Energy Efficient tips you can save a couple of extra bucks in your monthly energy costs.

Renters can also save on electricity costs

If you’re renting an apartment or condo and utilities are not included in your rent, you can cut back on utility costs by following a few simple steps. You don’t need to go crazy spending money to remodel a domicile that you don’t own, but just installing a few small things here and there, being more efficient about water and energy use, and even a little feng shui can help you save money. Even if your utilities are included in rent, consider implementing these tips to be one of those renters that landlords love.

Renters can also save on electricity costs

Water Use:

Installing a low-flow showerhead can save a lot of water from being wasted. Showers use 7-10 gallons of water per minute, and a low flow showerhead can reduce that to as low as 1.5 gallons per minute while maintaining water pressure. When waiting for your shower or sink to warm up, use a container to collect the water used waiting for the right temperature. This collected water can be used for houseplants, manually flushing a toilet, or do some general cleaning. Make use of the water used while washing clothes and dishes by only doing full loads. Though most clothes washers allow you to adjust the amount of water used for smaller loads, dishwashers use the same amount of water and energy for four dishes as they do for 40.

          Thermostat:

Check if you have a programmable thermostat for it will help you in adjusting the temperature easily. If you don’t, just keep the heating at 68 degrees and cooling at 78 degrees. Simple and easy, this will help you on your next electricity bill.

          Use Natural Light:

Leave the blinds open and the curtains drawn to avail the sunlight during the day and to help you keep the house warm. This is especially effective if you have south facing windows.