Many of us here in the Pacific Northwest, where the weather is often moderate all year round, don’t even have air conditioning. So tips like “Seal up the house” don’t work for us. If the weather is hot but not scorching, even those in other places may not need air conditioning. What works for that situation is to keep the windows closed during the daytime, then open them wide to get crossdrafts and the cooler air at night. My house is designed so that if we do that, it never gets above 80 degrees indoors even on the rare days that it’s 95 outside.
High electric bills can make you struggle with your budget. A bill that fluctuates from month to month can be unpredictable. However, you can get a handle on your electricity consumption and make electric bills go down every month through steady change and making improvements to your home. While not everything in your home uses the same amount of energy (see Resources), cutting back on how you use appliances and areas in your home can create a drop in your bill.
The local electric company is the utility – that’s the company who owns the infrastructure, including the poles and power lines that deliver electricity to your home. They are who you call if your power goes out or there's an emergency. But in almost every city in Texas, you must choose another company to supply that energy, called a Retail Electric Provider (REP). These REPs, like Spark Energy, allow you to choose electricity plans that offer competitive prices and plans to meet your needs.
With over 2.3 million residents, Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth most populated in the United States. Encompassing over six hundred square miles, Houston stands as the fifth most popular metropolitan area in the country and gets its name from the commander who won Texas’ independence from Mexico in 1836. The city lies in the southeastern portion of the state within a deregulated Electricity market and as such, allows residents to select an energy provider from the various service companies that serve the state.
The growth in wind power and natural gas fueled power will offset the loss in coal over time but for the summer of 2018, expected record demand for electricity will converge with power plant closures to put a squeeze on wholesale electricity rates. This, in turn, will cause the retail electricity prices paid by most Texas consumers to increase. The rise in wholesale rates could be particularly dangerous for consumers who have electricity plans that are tied directly to the wholesale price of electricity.
When I placed the evaSmart on my bedside table for the evening and filled its little tank to the brim with water, I managed to sleep through the night even with all the windows closed and the temperature outside slowly climbing. In fact, the only time I did wake up in the night was to turn down the unit a bit, as I found the fan to be a little too effective.
However, a few of the countries on the chart do have pricey electricity. Nuclear power accounts for close to three-quarters of France’s energy, and yet its electricity is on average $0.07 cents per kWh more expensive than that of the U.S. Again, diversification is key. Germany, which already has costly electricity, will soon see its prices soar even higher once it decommissions its nine currently operating nuclear plants, a gargantuan, politically motivated project that’s scheduled to be completed by 2022.
Summer is upon us! But that warm weather we’ve been waiting for all year also comes with substantial surges in our utility bills. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average household in 2015 spent $405 on electricity during the summer. However, cooling down your home doesn’t have to result in jacking up your energy bill. There are a couple tricks and tips—requiring minimal effort—that will help you save on your energy bill while also helping to save the planet.
We save money — we’re in the mid-Atlantic– by only airconditioning one or two rooms and using fans in the rest. A side effect is that when you’ve spent most of your time outside air conditioning, you can tolerate higher AC-less temps (assuming you’re reasonably healthy). The more AC you give yourself, the more you need. That also encourages us to use outdoor line drying and run heat-producing appliances at night. :)
You may be asking yourself: What the heck does “fixed rate electricity” mean and why should I even think about getting it? By choosing a fixed rate electricity plan, you’ll get more price consistency month-to-month and probably even save a little cash over time because your electricity rate stays the same for the duration of your utility contract.1
Simply unplug these things when you aren’t going to use them for several hours or perhaps even days. (And, in the case of the AC or heating, turn it off when you are going to be out for awhile.) If you’re concerned this is too complicated for you, there are several energy-saving plugs out there that can help you to cut this standby electricity usage without you doing a thing.
Do they offer any discounts or incentives? With the sheer number of electricity companies out there on the market today, companies are willing to offer little perks to new customers as a way of getting them on board. It might be in the form of a new customer discount, or something as simple as a subscription to your favorite magazine, or free coffees at your favorite café.
The average home in the U.S. consumes 897 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per month. Bills vary by state and region, as cost per kWh differs. To estimate average energy bills, multiply the average home’s electricity usage (897 kWh) by the cost per kWh in your state for that month. For example, the average cost per kWh in August for Maryland homes was 13.06 cents, which amounts to an average bill of about $117.15 (13.06 cents x 897 kWh) that month.
Many utility companies offer more than one time-of-use policies. These plans may have different hours classified as peak hours, or may even include some “partial-peak” hours that charge less than peak rates, but more than off-peak rates. Many rates will depend not only on the hour that you’re using electricity, but also the season. Summer rates are often higher than winter rates because of energy-intensive air conditioning systems running during hot days. You might also have a plan that has lower peak rates, or fewer peak hours, on the weekends.