Ways to Save Energy in your Home during the Spring Season

Looking for ways to save some energy this spring? We have a few ideas for you! These 8 areas of your home can start helping you save energy if you follow our tips. Pretty soon, you’ll be saving some green while you enjoy all of the other bright colors beginning to bloom!

Ways to Save Energy in your Home during the Spring Season1. Thermostat — Programmable thermostats help regulate your home’s daily temperature. During the spring, we don’t need heat anymore and AC isn’t needed yet, so set your thermostat to the cooling mode, but set the temps a bit higher than you normally would for summer. This will help keep your home cool on hot days, but allow you to take advantage of natural air on more comfortable days.

2. Sunlight — Keep sunlight from warming up your home by using curtains or blinds during the day on the south and west sides of your home. If you want to keep the light but not the heat, window treatments can help you out. Some treatments can be applied that let in nearly all of the light, but reflect the UV light that warms up your house.

3. Energy Star — In the spirit of spring cleaning, ditch some old appliances and electronics in favor of Energy Star qualified ones. These new items will use 20-30% less electricity, saving you up to $750 over the life of the appliances.

4. Lighting — Every incandescent bulb you replace with an energy efficient bulb can save about $15/year in lighting. Switch some of your most used lights — hallways, restrooms, and playrooms — to LEDs and see the savings! They’ll even last you a couple of decades!

5. Power Strips — Use power strips to effectively cut power to several devices at once. Any electronic device that is plugged in is drawing power. The only way to stop this is to cut power to it. Get a remote activated power strip to conveniently shut off power to devices in inconvenient locations.

6. Water — Reduce your electricity use by insulating hot water pipes and heaters. You can also reduce the setting on your tank to 120°F to save even more!

7. HVAC Maintenance — Now is the time to tune up your AC! As it gets warmer, tune ups and repairs will become more costly. Getting it done now means you’ll be ready for the hot weather to come!

8. Energy Audit — Getting an energy audit will help you find other areas of your home that need improvements to make it more energy efficient. They can find easy to miss air leaks and other issues. Once you have the audit done, you’ll know what to take care of over the summer before winter hits again.

Smart Electricity shopping for appliances

When shopping for an appliance, first we look for ones that meet our needs. Then, under that group, we look for the cheapest of the bunch. But are we really getting a good deal? Every appliance and electronic device comes with two price tags: one you pay when you buy it, and the one you pay every month to operate it. Depending on how efficient the model is, you could end up paying more for a cheaper model than if you had gone with a more expensive, but energy efficient version.

Smart Electricity shopping for appliances

How can you be certain how efficient your appliance is? Most new appliances come with a bright yellow tag called an Energy Guide. This tag will tell you the estimated yearly operating cost of the product and show you on a scale where that fits into the range of other models doing the same task. The tag uses the national average for electricity costs per kilowatt hour (kWh) and also lists the estimated yearly usage. The label also will tell you if the appliance is Energy Star certified, which can save you even more.

Energy Star certified appliances are generally 20-30% more efficient than an uncertified model, so while they may cost a little more up front, they could save you more money down the line than if you had purchased the cheaper model. Energy Star certifies all sorts of appliances from refrigerators to computers. Look for this certification to save yourself money over the life of your appliance.

History of Texas Deregulation

As of January 1, 2002, Texas became a deregulated energy state. This means that utilities were no longer allowed to supply , transmit, and charge for electricity. The utility still transmits the electricity, but you purchase it from separate companies. These retail energy providers (REPs) compete to offer the best rates, and give you a lot of choice in the matter. What once was a monopoly of a single company became a cooperation between three companies.

History of Texas Deregulation

Power Plant

The power plant supplies the electricity. They generate it through a variety of means, including coal, natural gas, wind, solar, and nuclear energy. After Texas became deregulated, more power plants opened up, providing lots of different means of generating electricity, including renewable energy.

TDSP

The transmission and distribution service provider, or TDSP, is responsible for maintaining the power lines and transmitting the electricity from a power plant to a home or business. They also read the meters at this location and report that information to the REPs for billing. When the power goes out, the TDSP is responsible for restoring it.

REP

The retail energy providers are the companies that you purchase power from. The REPs purchase shares of electricity from power plants, which they then sell rate plans to customers for. They may offer several different rate plans, including variable rates, fixed rates, and renewable energy options. As a customer, you have the power to choose what plan and even what provider you want, so it pays to shop around.

Take Control of your Electricity Costs

If you ever find yourself dreading to open your electric bill; stress no more. You probably know that the state of Texas has electricity choice, and that you the customer have the power to choose the electric company you want. But have you really ever switched electricity providers?

Take Control of your Electricity Costs

Most people have been with the same electricity company for years and years; and find themselves overpaying for electricity and they do not even know it! They think that the rate they are paying monthly is what is considered “average”, another common misconception is that that they will get disconnected when they switch providers.

 

The electricity that is powering your home or business is the same! The only difference is in the savings on your monthly electric bill!

 

You will still get the same electricity as you would with your old provider if you switched, the only difference is you will be paying much less per month on your bill. Imagine what you could do with all that extra money in your pocket!

 

Since it is January, now the electricity rates are a little lower than they would be in the summer months. Here are a few tips to a lower electricity bill:

 

  • Figure out what your electricity needs are! Are you renting and want a contract free month to month plan until your lease is up? Or are you a home owner looking to lock in that low rate for one to two years?
  • Remember with ‘fixed rate plans’, the electric rate per month does not change. Refer to your Electricity Facts Label document when you sign up to see what the rate is at 500 kwh, 1000 kwh, and 2000 kwh.
  • Large homes use about 1000-2000 or more per month, while small apartments use about 500 kwh or less per month. You may also refer to your old electric bill to see what your average usage is.
  • A month to month plan (or variable rate) is a contract free plan. However, the electricity rate per month will not stay the same. For example: in March your rate can be 8.5 cents while in June you rate can be 10.1 cents. For those customers who want that extra security and peace of mind; they will usually go for the fixed rate plans.
  • Are you currently in a contract that comes for renewal in summer? If you contract expires in August, if you want to renew with the same company the rates will probably still be high from summer. An alternative option is to go in a month to month plan instead of renewing, that way you can sign up for a fixed rate in winter when the rates go lower.
  • If you do not renew with your current electricity provider, you will automatically be put on a month to month plan. Research what the current rates are on our website, and determine if the is a good time to switch, especially if it is not summer.

 

Visit our website http://www.shopdallaselectricity.com/ to compare and shop electricity plans all in one place. Your electricity bill should not be stressful, once you have a plan to switch.

Electricity is essential

Electricity is one of the essentials of life.  No one can imagine a world without electricity, which has become very expensive.  There are companies that offer reasonable price for this power.  Shop Dallas Electricity is one of them.  It offers variety of tariff plans to its customers for both residential and commercial purposes.  The company has several reputed provider under its wings.  The customers have the choice to compare and choose the providers.
electricity-is-essential
Texas market has gone through deregulation of electricity.   There are different companies that thrive to provide reasonable electricity to its customers.  Shop Dallas Electricity is the company to visit.  The company offers amazing and abundant electricity rate choices as they have number of different providers listed with them.  Compare the prices and choose the plan and provider that best suit your home or business needs.

Now get the best deals and offers for all your electricity needs.  Conserve energy and pay less on electricity bills.  You have the option to switch your provider if the electricity bill is still high.  Shop Dallas Electricity also gives tips on conserving energy and how to save on electricity bills.

To get further details visit www.shopdallaselectricity.com.

Questions to ask before signing up for Electricity Service

Power-to-choose

 

 

 

You have the power to choose your electricity company in Texas, and with great power comes great responsibility. That responsibility is to yourself to make sure you know what questions to ask yourself or your energy provider regarding your electricity service. Knowledge is power, and questions are the key to gaining knowledge.

 

 

 

  • What does it mean to be crammed or slammed?
    • Cramming is when your retail energy provider (REP) is adding charges to your bill that you did not authorize.
    • Slamming is switching your electricity service from one provider to another without your permission. There is an exception to this, which is if your REP closes down, you are switched to a Provider of Last Resort (POLR) automatically if you do not choose a new provider.
  • If I am switched without authorization, what can I do?
    • The first step is to contact the REP you were switched to and ask them why you were switched. Ask them for a copy of the authorization given for the switch. If they cannot provide one, contact the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) toll free at 1-888-PUC-TIPS or www.puc.texas.gov/consumer.
  • What happens when my contract is near expiration?
    • You must be notified of expiration at least 30 days before the contract is up for renewal.
    • You may switch your provider or plan without penalty within 14 days of the expiration date.
    • If you do nothing when up for renewal, your current REP will continue service with a monthly plan.
  • Can I be back-billed or re-billed?
    • If there is an error on behalf of the REP or you did not receive a bill, the REP can re-bill you within 180 days of the original bill date.
    • If a correction of charges is greater than $50, you can request a deffered payment plan.
    • If your electricity meter was tampered with, the REP can re-bill you even after 180 days.
  • Is it possible my bill has been estimated?
    • If your REP does not receive a meter reading from your utility, they may estimate the amount of energy used based on your usage history. As soon as the meter is read again, your next bill will be adjusted to account for the estimate versus the actual usage.
    • Generally, you cannot receive an estimated bill more than three billing cycles in a row.
  • A deposit has been charged to my bank! What can I do?
    • Your REP may require a good credit history to provide service. In this case, a deposit of no more than 1/5th the estimated annual billing or the sum of estimated billings for the next two months.
  • What is the AMS meter charge?
    • If your home has a smart meter, utilities can assess this surcharge to recover the cost of the meter.
  • What are the causes of service disconnection?
    • If a bill, payment plan, or deposit is not paid, service may be disconnected after proper notice. The service cannot be disconnected on or before the disconnection date listed in the notice.
  • What can I do if I have trouble paying my bill?
    • If you are having trouble paying your bill, contact your REP to set up a payment plan before your service is disconnected. You will be eligible for a deferred payment plan if you have not received more than two termination notices in the past year. If you are unable to keep up with the payment plan, however, your service could be disconnected.
    • If you have a medical condition that requires electricity use, you can have your physician that ordered the electric device contact your REP by phone and send a written statement. You will then be able to enter a deferred payment plan for the balance due.
  • I want to choose a better date to pay my bill by, can I do that?
    • Most REPs allow you to set your own due date, but if they do not, it will be due 16 days after the date the bill was issued.
  • If I cancel my service before my contract ends, will I face a penalty?
    • Your REP will list any early termination fees in the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) in your plan’s documentation. However, you can change your plan or provider within 14 days of the contract end date and not face a penalty.
  • Can I prepay for service?
    • If your REP offers prepaid billing, you can pay for the estimated usage before the billing cycle, and your REP will account for under and overpayments periodically.
  • Who can see the information I provide to my REP?
    • Your REP will share your information (including name, address, and billing information) with your utility and potentially a billing company, if the REP does not do their own billing. Any company this information is shared with must sign a nondisclosure agreement to prevent leaked information.
    • Your information could also be shared with PUCT regarding oversight of your REP, a consumer reporting agency, an energy assistance agency, or local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
    • Your REP may share information regarding name and address for the purposes of marketing other products and services to you. The REP must provide an opportunity for you to opt out of this type of information sharing.
    • Some REPs may require you to release information for the purposes of marketing before providing electricity service, but you always retain the power to choose a REP that does not require this.

What you should know about Wind Energy

Electricity-Providers-in-Texas

Harnessing wind is not a new concept, really; it has been around for thousands of years. Windmills as a practical device, harnessing wind energy to mill grain, have existed since between the 7th and 9th century. A Greek engineer by the name of Heron of Alexandria built a wind powered organ in the 1st century. This is the first known instance of using a windmill to power a machine. But even before then, wind energy was harnessed to sail ships as far back as 5000 BC. Today, wind turbines are a common sight, harnessing wind energy to produce cheap electricity.

Wind turbines are very large. Some of them are about 328 feet tall, which is larger than the Statue of Liberty in New York City. They are also comprised of over 8,000 different components, making them very technologically complex. Most of these components are manufactured in the US among 500 manufacturing facilities employing 50,000 people. The main components we see are the blades, which can reach a staggering 260 feet long, the rotor, which is the hub the blades are connected to, the nacelle, which contains all of the electrical and mechanical components, and the tower the nacelle sits atop. Inside the nacelle, there is a low speed shaft, a gear box, a high speed shaft, and a generator for making electricity. There are also various computer systems to tell the wind turbine how to align itself relative to the wind to maximize energy harnessing and minimizing risk of damage in high winds.

Higher speed winds allow the turbine to generate more electricity. The low speed shaft only spins up to about 30-60 RPMs, but the turbine requires about 1000-1800 RPMs to generate electricity. A gearbox changes the RPMs from the low speed shaft to the high speed shaft, and it is the most expensive parts of the turbine. Higher winds mean the gear spin faster, but winds over 55 mph can damage the blades. Higher speed winds are located higher above the ground, which is why wind turbines have grown 103% in size since 1998.

Wind energy accounts for 33% of new energy production in the United States in the past seven years. If we were to line all of the coastlines of the US with wind turbines, we would have four times the amount of electricity needed for the entire country. Unfortunately, it’s not really practical at this point to do that, but it provides insight into lining coastal waters near highly populated coastal cities. However, the total capacity of wind turbines in the US is over 61 gigawatts, which could power more than 16 million homes, more than all the homes in California.

Wind energy is cheap and renewable, costing as little as 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour for energy companies to purchase the electricity. Tax credits for using renewable energy are part of the reason for these low prices, and the more people choose to use renewable energy, the lower the price will get. Remember that you have the power to choose not only your energy provider but also your energy plan. Check with your REP to see if they have green plans available that take advantage of wind energy.

Everything One Should Know on Texas Deregulation

The Texas energy market went through a major revolution in 2002. Senate Bill 7 went into effect, which resulted in the deregulation of the energy sector. No longer could utilities determine the price of electricity. As supply and demand affects all other aspects of business, it now also affected the energy market. Prior to deregulation, utilities managed the price of electricity as well as its distribution, but after SB 7 took effect, retail electricity providers (REPs) could sell electricity to consumers. This drove Texas electric rates down, thanks to the competition between retail energy providers.
REPs all offer different plans and different rates. Some of the plans are month to month variable plans, where each month, your electricity rate per kilowatt hour could go up or down based on the market. They also offer fixed rate plans, where you lock in your rate for a set period of time, usually anywhere between three months and three years. Even if the market conditions change, your rate will stay where it is. These plans make it easier to budget your monthly expenses, but if you decide to back out of you plan before your contract expires, you could be hit with a cancellation fee.
In addition to the standard plans, REPs give you the power to choose green energy plans as well. Each plan on a REP’s website has an Electricity Facts Label (EFL) and this includes information on how much of the electricity coming to your home or business comes from renewable sources.
The primary goal of deregulation was to break the hold that utilities had over energy consumers. With more choices, people have more control over their electricity. Everything from cost to the type of electricity used can be picked based on your preferences. And Shop Dallas Electricity can help you jump into the market and pick the plan that works best for you.