I moved into a new, larger apartment this year, during the hottest and longest summer I've spent in Los Angeles. The heat was unyielding, and so was the air conditioning. When my first electric bill came, it soared to heights I didn't even expect. When I looked at common solutions, everything cost money. Solar panels cost a pretty penny and energy-conserving outlets aren't cheap either. While I could measure my energy costs, I'd need to spend a lot of time and money I don't have. I'd also have to significantly reduce the way I used my air conditioning, computers, and appliances. Nothing seemed ideal, so I decided to find out if I could lower my bill simply by using everything more efficiently. I found out that I could, and you can too.
Like any seasoned Tejano, you’ve probably heard tell of variable rate electricity plans. Just like fixed rate electricity plans, variable rate plans have pros and cons. Basically, as market prices go up and down, so does your electricity rate. This can be good if you ride the right energy market waves. Be careful, however, because variable rate plans can also burn you if prices shift dramatically like sometimes happens in the wake of natural disasters and other unforeseeable events that impact energy supply costs.
If you want to keep the cost of electricity even lower, consider investing in your house itself. Many energy companies offer free energy audits, in which an employee will inspect your house and make recommendations. These recommendations commonly include installing fresh weatherstripping around doors and windows and adding insulation. Although you may pay out a sizable chunk of cash retrofitting your home, it will show in a lower electric bill. In some cases, an energy company may even help you pay for energy efficiency measures; other improvements may qualify for a tax credit.
Air-dry clothing. I like this idea in theory. J.D.’s wife Kris credits line-drying her laundry with reducing their average daily electricity cost from $2.50 to $1.85. I’ve yet to try it because I’m concerned about allergens in the air getting into our clothing, and here it’s always allergy season. But if you have the room to spare, you could dry clothing inside on hangers. We’ve enough space in our laundry room to hang quite a bit of clothing, so I’ll start air-drying more.
The SCC issued an order in a November 2014 ruling in the company’s biennial review that left base rates unchanged. Based on a review of 2012-2013 earnings, the SCC also required a $5.8 million refund credit to customers over a six-month period beginning in late January 2015. During the 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly, legislation was approved that will keep Appalachian’s base rates (which comprise about 60 percent of the bill) unchanged until at least 2020.
The electric power industry covers the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electric power to the general public and industry. The commercial distribution of electric power started in 1882 when electricity was produced for electric lighting. In the 1880s and 1890s, growing economic and safety concerns lead to the regulation of the industry. Once an expensive novelty limited to the most densely populated areas, reliable and economical electric power has become an essential aspect for normal operation of all elements of developed economies.
Overwhelmed by all those charges on your electric bill? Confused by the crafty contract jargon? The Truly Fixed Plan bundles your electric costs and pricing, including Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) charges, into one rate. Not only does this simplify your electricity bill, but it also makes predicting future utility costs easier than ever.
In finding you the best Texas electric rates, we only list electric companies that have great business stability, excellent service, environmental awareness, and transparent pricing. This protects you from providers that could soon go out of business, are unattentive to customers, are environmentally unsound, or may end up charging you a higher rate than advertised.
If you live in a 2,500 square foot single-family home, there are far more factors that go into your electric bill. For starters, you have more space, which comes with added lighting, heating and cooling. It’s likely that you also have more appliances and odds are you use all of them more often. In a single day, you could end up spending double or triple the amount of energy than the average renter of a one-bedroom apartment.
The electric power industry is commonly split up into four processes. These are electricity generation such as a power station, electric power transmission, electricity distribution and electricity retailing. In many countries, electric power companies own the whole infrastructure from generating stations to transmission and distribution infrastructure. For this reason, electric power is viewed as a natural monopoly. The industry is generally heavily regulated, often with price controls and is frequently government-owned and operated. However, the modern trend has been growing deregulation in at least the latter two processes.[5]
One option is to look out for fixed and variable rate plans. Most plans are offered in variable rates, but some providers offer a fixed rate over a set period of time. It’s impossible to say how variable rates may rise and fall, but if you look at energy rates over time, you may feel that a fixed rate plan will offer cheaper electricity in the long run.
Power to Choose has pages of search results with tiered energy rate electricity plans that follow a similar formula. When the Power to Choose site added a filter to exclude plans with minimum use fees/credits because of the public outcry against misleading electricity plans, providers came up with this new way to manipulate their advertised rates. Tiered rate plans can be incredibly complicated. When you look at an Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for a tiered energy use plan, you may see as many as three or four tiers of energy pricing.
One thing about drying clothes in the house – if the house is sealed enough to be energy efficient – you are releasing a lot of moisture into the house. When I lived in Europe, the clothes drying setup tended to be in the attic in older houses (beyond the insulation) or in a basement where casement windows could be opened to vent the moisture. Also, houses without clothes dryers usually have a “pressing closet,” with a bit of heat and moisture to ease any stiffness out of the line-dried clothes. Ours was built around the water heater – probably wouldn’t work with a modern one!
Net metering is another billing mechanism that supports the development of renewable power generation, specifically, solar power. The mechanism credits solar energy system owners for the electricity their system adds to the grid. Residential customers with rooftop PV system will typically generate more electricity than their home consumes during daylight hours, so net metering is particularly advantageous. During this time where generation is greater than consumption, the home’s electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit on the homeowner’s electricity bill.[3]
 Some energy suppliers offer time-of-use plans that charge you based on the time of day you use electricity. Lower rates are available during off-peak hours and higher rates are charged during peak hours for the energy market. Specific peak and off-peak hours vary by supplier, but a general rule of thumb is off-peak hours are at night, while peak hours occur during the day. Electricity used during the peak hours of the late afternoon will be more expensive than electricity used in the early morning.
Whether you’re considering time-of-use plans or not, going solar will help you save money on electricity. The EnergySage Solar Marketplace makes it as easy as possible to compare solar pricing from a variety of installers in your local market. Alternatively, if you want to start investigating solar with some estimates of what it may cost and save you in electricity bills overtime, check out our Solar Calculator.
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