Fluorescent bulbs may be more expensive initially, but they are definitely worth the investment. A single standard incandescent lightbulb can cost the same to operate as six to 10 fluorescent bulbs—and the fluorescents last about 10 times longer. There are lots of new shapes and types, including attractive compact units that give off a pleasing, soft illumination like traditional bulbs. But "be sure your electric eyes and timers are rated for fluorescent," says Alan Muenzel, owner of DAM Home Inspections, Salt Lake City.
**Install a hot water heater timer with temperature controls. **Hot water heater timers are designed to schedule when to supply hot water to your home. This helps limit your consumption of hot water, and it could save you upwards of $200 a year if you decrease the temperature of your hot water as it is released. If you rent or live in an apartment building, ask your landlord if they use one and if they would be open to it.
Running your heater and air conditioner frequently uses a lot of electricity, so look for ways to reduce your dependence. In the winter, open your drapes or curtains to let the sun help warm your house; keep the curtains closed when the sun is down to help with insulation. During the summer, keep your curtains closed during the hottest part of the day so the sun can't shine in. Open your windows for ventilation in the summer as much as possible, rather than using air conditioning. Use a fan for air circulation in winter and summer to maintain temperatures without using forced heating and cooling systems.

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Since the 1990s, many regions have opened up the generation and distribution of electric power to provide a more competitive electricity market. While such markets can be abusively manipulated with consequent adverse price and reliability impact to consumers, generally competitive production of electrical energy leads to worthwhile improvements in efficiency. However, transmission and distribution are harder problems since returns on investment are not as easy to find.
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Lower your cost per kilowatt hour. In many states, you can choose a company, called an energy supplier, instead of your utility to supply your power. Just like how you can choose your own cell phone company. Your bills would still come from your utility since the utility owns the power lines to your house, but the actual cost for your power is under your control. There are comparison websites where you can see several options for lower electricity rates per kilowatt hour with multiple energy suppliers and sign up within minutes. Be sure to read the fine print as some contracts have hidden fees or have a rate spike after the end of the contract term. You can research on your utility's website and the internet to find reputable companies to choose from.

An inexpensive white, elastomeric coating will do the job and can be found at most hardware stores in states in the southern half of the U.S. Elastomeric coating is a blend of polymers that is durable, flexible and waterproof, and offers the fringe benefit of helping to increase your roof’s life span and water resistance. All you’ll need to apply it is heavy-duty paint rollers on an inexpensive old paint roller frame, with an extension pole attached to save wear and tear on your back.
To achieve a lower electric bill, start by finding out how much you pay for energy. Most utility companies start subscribers off at a base rate that can sometimes be very high. If you don't make much money, you may qualify for low-income subsidies, so you should ask your electric company about how to apply for them. You may also want to consider joining a time-of-use meter program, if available, which offers different energy rates depending on what time of day the power is used, with a substantial savings in off-peak hours. If you are disabled and you rely on life support equipment or need a very controlled temperature, you may qualify for monthly energy rebates.
**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.

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.

A programmable thermostat is a very energy-efficient tool. It allows you to program what hours your home will be vacant and when you will be asleep. During those times, it will adjust the temperature of your home accordingly. This removes the hassle of constantly adjusting your thermostat and the dread of coming home to a scorching house. A great model in the programmable thermostat industry is the Nest. While the retail price for the Nest is $250, the company claims that it can lower electricity bills by 20%.
With four air speed settings and a 6-foot-long power cord, this fan is truly versatile. If you're looking to keep down the noise, this is a great option, too. When placed at its lowest power setting, it's practically silent. And although it'll make a bit of noise if you turn it up to its most powerful level, it'll also bring you the cooling power you need without having to turn to your AC.
Yes, the big changes cost a lot upfront but they can pay off big in the long run. I don’t know if this is true for appliances but it certainly is for heating and cooling. We had a 20 yr old furnace and AC when we replaced it with a 95% efficient unit this past December. We paid $5,000 after the federal credit. So far we have already saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and that is even after we kept the house at a more comfortable temperature in both seasons. If we had stuck with our previous 65 degrees and 79 degrees, we would have saved even more. Yes, we still have years before we make it back, but our house is MUCH more comfortable and with an older unit it could die at any time anyway.
If you have fans in your house, use them. If you don't, considering installing a few. Fans can go a long way to cooling down a room and take up a lot of less energy than having your air conditioning on full blast. Having fans in your house allows you to program your thermostat up to 4 degrees higher because of the air circulation they provide. Make sure your fans are set to spin counterclockwise at higher speeds to save even more.
A lot of people are looking to save money these days. No one knows what the future holds, and we all know that the world has been marred with economic troubles in the past decade or so. A major household expenditure for most of us is our electric bill. And our electricity usage is a great place to start when we’re looking at how to lower our bills.
Where you places your dishes matters. The bottom rack works best for plates, and plates should face into the center of the dishwasher. Utensils obviously go in the dedicated carriage on the bottom rack, but how you place them might seem counterintuitive. Place all utensils with the handle at the bottom. This means the sharp end goes up, so be very careful that you don't hurt yourself. The handle doesn't get as dirty, so it doesn't need as much attention as the other end of your utensils. Facing the sharp ends upwards allows more water to reach them.

That said, you don't always have to keep your grill at searing temperatures. Rather, the F21C is nuanced enough to accommodate quite the range of temperatures — specifically, between 250 and 650 degrees Fahrenheit. This is achieved via the Fuego's concentric circle dual ring burner — the outer zone provides indirect heat, which lets you cook low and slow. The inner zone, on the other hand, will give you up to 650 degrees of direct heat for your meats and seafoods.
According to LG Electronics, who makes washers and driers (among other things), "heating the water in the wash drum accounts for about 90% of the energy your machine uses." While most of us know that washing our clothing on the cold water setting will reduce energy costs, the amount was higher than I expected. I've always washed my clothing on cold out of pure laziness—because cold water won't cause colors to run quite so easily and that means you don't have to separate lights and darks. On top of saving energy, using a cold wash reduces the amount of work you have to do.
Use smart power strips: Some electronic gadgets never truly power off; instead, they sit in standby mode using a trickle of power that can add up over devices and time. These are usually — but not exclusively — items with a remote control, because the remote sensor needs power while waiting for your input. Plug these electronics into a smart power strip, which cuts off the current when the devices aren’t in use.
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.
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 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. :)
EC&M 's Top 50 Electrical Contractors listing was established in 2000 by sister publication CEE News to honor excellence in electrical contracting in the construction industry. The Top 50 list showcases the top electrical contracting companies in the nation and acts as a gauge by which other companies measure themselves. To give our readers an inside view into these large companies, we continue our mission of surveying the nation’s largest electrical contracting companies and ranking them by total revenue related to electrical and datacom services.

Unplug electronics. I know, I know. It should go without saying. I seem to forget about phone chargers and camera battery chargers, though. Because of this, they stay plugged in, sucking change from our bank account. By using power strips, I could shut off electricity to these devices all at once. Consumer Reports also found that you can save $25 to $75 each year just by putting your computer on standby.
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.
If you're lucky enough to have a ceiling fan, running it in the correct direction makes this easy. When it's hot, the fan should spin counter-clockwise to push the hot air up and out. When the weather turns cold, instead spin the fans clockwise to trap heat inside. You'll often find a switch on your ceiling fan to choose a direction, so consult your fan's manual to find out where it is.
I grill extra on the weekends, then reheat in the microwave during the week. Saves time and less heat in the house, but probably a toss up on electricity savings. Also, that extra basement or garage freezer will use less electricity the fuller you keep it. But use bags of ice to fill it so you don’t lose a fortune in food if the power is out for an extended period. Plus you won’t run out of ice when friends drop over. When you return from errands on really hot days, park your car in the drive for a couple hours to let it cool there instead of in your garage. use the delay timer on the dishwasher to run it at night. Plant trees to shade your outside AC unit if it is exposed to afternoon sun. Also helps reduce outside watering needs in other areas.
Closing the curtains and lowering the blinds on the sunny side of your house will help keep you cooler on hot days. If you don't want to obstruct the view, consider applying window film to the glass. Both the do-it-yourself cut-and-stick type and the professionally applied films will reduce radiant heat while allowing you to see through them. Similarly, the Rocky Mountain Institute suggests using outdoor awnings and, if you live in an area that is warm all year round, even painting your house a light color to reflect heat away.
Since the 1990s, many regions have opened up the generation and distribution of electric power to provide a more competitive electricity market. While such markets can be abusively manipulated with consequent adverse price and reliability impact to consumers, generally competitive production of electrical energy leads to worthwhile improvements in efficiency. However, transmission and distribution are harder problems since returns on investment are not as easy to find.
I too have a KillAWatt meter and was surprised at how efficient my new fridge is. Thing is, the old fridge that I replaced was not a huge energy user, so replacing a 20 year old fridge to save big bucks on energy usage is not going to happen. So, it pays to attack the big energy hogs first, like heating/AC unit efficiency, and managing heating and cooling loads thru attic insulation and ventilation.
My husband has three chargers plugged into a power board which he often leaves switched on even when the phones are not connected to the chargers. One day I decided to do a little research on the energy usage and found conflicting information. Energy companies say switch them off to save power. People who have tested it with a meter have found that they (and TVs on standby) use very little power and thus make very little difference to your power bill and the only significance would be global if a million people switched off.
Are you a journalist or researcher writing about this topic who needs to know more about historical rates? Send us details about what you need and we'll get back to you with an answer and a relevant quote from one of our rate experts. You should also check out the Choose Energy Data Center for more statistics and analysis centering on energy in the U.S.
A programmable thermostat is a very energy-efficient tool. It allows you to program what hours your home will be vacant and when you will be asleep. During those times, it will adjust the temperature of your home accordingly. This removes the hassle of constantly adjusting your thermostat and the dread of coming home to a scorching house. A great model in the programmable thermostat industry is the Nest. While the retail price for the Nest is $250, the company claims that it can lower electricity bills by 20%.
Go retro with a crock pot. Speaking of ovens, there’s nothing that heats up our house faster than a preheating oven and a few pans on the stove top. Slow cookers, on the other hand, use less energy and won’t turn your kitchen into, well, an oven. I think the crock pot often gets a bad rap thanks to the old way of slow cooking: bland recipes created from canned and prepackaged ingredients. But the slow cooker is enjoying a quiet revival, and with it we’re seeing better recipes, such as this pulled-pork sandwich and these triple chocolate brownies.

I used this method, and with a programmable thermostat for my central air and heat, I was able to lower my bill to about $75. The only exception to this was I left my lamps plugged in. Everything else was unplugged as soon as I was done with it. Of course, I worked all day and no one was at home, either, but before I started, my bill ran around $125.

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.


Short-term prices are impacted the most by weather. Demand due to heating in the winter and cooling in the summer are the main drivers for seasonal price spikes.[121] In 2017, the United States is scheduled to add 13 GW of natural-gas fired generation to its capacity. Additional natural-gas fired capacity is driving down the price of electricity, and increasing demand.


Wind and solar power are non-dispatchable. Such power is normally sold before any other bids, at a pre-determined rate for each supplier. Any excess is sold to another grid operator, or stored, using pumped-storage hydroelectricity, or in the worst case, curtailed.[116] Curtailment could potentially significantly impact solar power’s economic and environmental benefits at greater PV penetration levels.[117] Allocation is done by bidding.[118]
Gone are the days when you had to contact electric companies to discover their rates, and negotiate a better deal on your own. Today, Vault Electricity does the work for you, handling the entire process of finding the best Texas electricity rates and plans from providers that have a pedigree of business stability, customer service, eco-friendliness, and financial transparency. This allows you to shop for electricity in just a few minutes, right from your computer.
If you live in the greater Houston area, there are over 60 different energy suppliers competing for your business. Many of these providers have websites that are confusing and difficult to navigate, their rates buried in misleading advertising and dense jargon. Who has the time to sort through and keep track of options across all these different sites?
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