Install ceiling fans. Yes, lowering your temperature in the winter and increasing it in the summer helps reduce your energy use via temperature change. However, ceiling fans can help distribute the air that may have risen to the ceilings of your home. The popular belief is that fans actually make the home cooler. However, fans simply help move the hot or cold air towards you.

We should probably back up first and explain Texas’ electricity rate structure. Texas is the only deregulated state to quote three rates for each plan. See our post for more details about why Texas has three electricity rates. The initial intent for requiring the three rates was to give electricity shoppers a best guess on what their actual rate would be for specific common usage levels (500, 1000, and 2000 kWh). However, this three rate pricing structure is gamed by some electricity providers in order for their plans to appear first on the Power To Choose plan search page as well as other comparison shopping sites. This ‘gaming’ of electricity rates is what we consider to be teaser rates.
Unlike with long-term plans, monthly, variable rate (no-contract) plans have no cancellation fees. You won’t have to pay a penalty if you decide to take your business elsewhere because you found a better deal. Plus, you won’t be left paying more than you should if the market rate for energy trends down. However, if the market prices rise, you’ll have to pay more than those who are in-contract.
**Turn off and unplug your coffee maker **before you leave for the day. Coffee makers, along with similar appliances, tend to have other features that run all day - such as a clock or timer. This means that even as it is plugged in, it becomes a “phantom load” where it uses energy even when it is not in use. Simply plug all of your kitchen appliances into a power strip to turn them off all at once.
Besides being the number one electrical contractor in St. Louis, we offer our customers a wide array of Value Added Services that are in addition to the services Sachs is best known for. Through partnerships with the trades, construction managers/consulting engineers and owners, we assist in the development of budgets, scope of work, and specification reviews to assure project constructability on time and within budget.
$30 a piece? Yikes. Are you buying the super-duper high allergen blocking filters? I’ve heard from a friend in the HVAC business that cheap air filters are just as good as more expensive filters, and that the expensive filters sometimes are too restrictive for your system. They seem to work fine for me, butm y family also doesn’t have serious allergies.
In states with energy choice, the open market is not only for residents. Businesses also can take advantage of pricing and plans available through an energy supplier. In some states, only business customers have energy choice. Across the United States, the average business consumes 6,278 kWh of electricity per month and receives a bill of nearly $655.  
Energy discounts can significantly reduce your overall power costs. However, it’s hugely important that you understand the benefit term of the plan you’re signing up to. The benefit term is the period of time that the discount on your energy plan applies. In most cases, the benefit term will be just 12 months, although some providers offer discounts over two years. Simply Energy is one example in our NSW comparison. After the benefit period ends, your discount could disappear and you’ll be left paying the non-discount price for the electricity you use. Some retailers, including Dodo Power & Gas, Click Energy and Powershop, offer ongoing discounts.
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I think the cold cold air in offices makes it harder to adjust when you leave – working from home (with no AC, though when it was 100 degrees out I did find an air-conditioned place to work), I adjust to hot temperatures really fast and my summer nights are very tolerable. When I used to spend 8-9 hours a day in freezing cold offices, it was a lot harder to adjust to the real temperature.
My experience is similar in the PNW- we get maybe a couple months of 80 degree weather, and usually one week of mid-upper nineties, that’s it. If I can get my family to deal with that one week a year, we make it through without even installing the window air conditioners for the year. 80 degrees is not be ideal, but it is doable. Its also nice, after sweating the whole afternoon, to enjoy a cold beer while watching the sunset outside. It wouldn’t taste as good if we’d spent the whole day in an air conditioned house :) Again – not applicable to Texas (or similar) residents…
The inclusion of renewable energy distributed generation and AMI in the modern electricity grid has introduced many alternative rate structures. Simple (or fixed) rate, tiered (or step) rate, TOU, demand rates, tiered within TOU, seasonal, and weekend/holiday rates are among the few residential rate structures offered by modern utilities. The simple rate charges a specific dollar per kilowatt ($/kWh) consumed. The tiered rate is one of the more common residential rate programs, and it charges a higher rate as customer usage increases. TOU and demand rates are structured to help maintain/control a utility’s peak demand. The concept at its core is to discourage customers from contributing to peak-load times by charging them more money to use power at that time.
Most common distribution network and generation is done with 3 phase structures, with special attention paid to the phase balancing and resulting reduction of ground current. It is true for industrial or commercial networks where most power is used in 3 phase machines, but light commercial and residential users do not have real-time phase balancing capabilities. Often this issue leads to unexpected equipment behavior or malfunctions and in extreme cases fires. For example, sensitive professional analogue or digital recording equipment must be connected to well-balanced and grounded power networks. To determine and mitigate the cost of the unbalanced electricity network, electric companies in most cases charge by demand or as a separate category for heavy unbalanced loads. A few simple techniques are available for balancing that require fast computing and real-time modeling.[135]

We also have a new frontloading washing machine, which must save water, (although honestly I haven’t noticed a drop in our water bill), but I suspect it uses more electricity since it takes at least twice as long to clean clothes. We do spend less time drying the clothes as they don’t get nearly as wet (it’s sort of amazing they can be so clean with that little water) so there is definitely some saving in gas for the dryer.
If there’s one thing that remains consistent with any home or apartment, it’s the fact that you’ll be paying utility bills. Whether you’re splitting them with roommates or dealing with them on your own, the utilities have to get paid. If you feel like you’ve been spending too much of your hard-earned money on running water and keeping the lights on, there are some ways to lower your bill and save a little cash. Here’s our rundown of how to lower your monthly utility bills.
Now, beyond the big boy, probably the next best step you can take is ditching your incandescent light bulbs for LEDs. Yes, previously, CFLs were the hot green option for lighting. However, the cost of even more-efficient LEDs has come down tremendously in recent years, and a couple of $5 or $10 LED options are probably your best options for low-cost, high-efficiency, green lighting.
If you have central air conditioning and/or heat, check the vents in your home. Some may be closed. It never occurred to me that any vent would be closed because I would never close them. I just assumed they were open. In reality, nearly every vent in my home was closed. After opening them all up, the air conditioner no longer struggled to keep the apartment cool or kept running after reaching its target temperature. Some believe that closing vents can reduce energy consumption by preventing the need to cool or heat a particular room. That's actually a myth: closing vents will actually raise your energy costs.
In states with energy choice, the open market is not only for residents. Businesses also can take advantage of pricing and plans available through an energy supplier. In some states, only business customers have energy choice. Across the United States, the average business consumes 6,278 kWh of electricity per month and receives a bill of nearly $655.  

**Keep your fridge and freezer full. **When you completely stock your fridge and freezer, they require far less energy to keep cold. It helps regulate the temperature inside and requires much less energy to maintain. If you cannot keep them full, put bags of ice or pitchers of water in any open spaces to make sure the fridge stays efficient. You can even reorganize your fridge to make it more energy efficient.
I read on this blog last year about making some makeshift curtains from emergency blankets and tension curtain rods. Because I live in a short-term rental, I didn’t want to shell out alot of money for blackout curtains, so I bought the tension curtain rods at a yard sale and some of the space blankets and set them up in the windows where the hottest sun comes in. Even on 90 degree plus days, I haven’t used my air conditioning once. I have used it one day when the outside air temp hit over 100, but even then I could have it set warmer than I usually do. Also moving all cooking outside with electric appliances such as a toaster oven (I have even used it to make pies) and maybe an electric skillet or burner an radically reduce cooling needs if you have an outside outlet. My electric bills are nearly half what they were last year.
On the other hand, month-to-month variable rate (no-contract) plans don’t have cancellation fees. You won’t be penalized if you find a better deal elsewhere and want to make another switch.  And, you won’t be stuck paying more than you should be if the market rate for electricity trends down.  But, if it goes up, you’ll be paying more than your in-contract neighbors, and you’ll likely want to shop around again for a better deal.
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