The majority of the rates advertised by electricity providers are for new customers only. These rates aren’t necessarily teaser rates but it is something to be aware of. When it comes time to renew your electricity contract, your provider will notify you at least 30 days before your plan expires and include a new offer. Chances are the new rate won’t be as good as what you’ve been paying. Even though your provider may say this is the ‘best offer available’ and ‘act now’ before it expires, you should still shop around just to make sure. But whatever you do, don’t ignore the contract expiration notification.
As a result, the cost to cool our house is getting obscene. We could dial the temp up to 80 degrees, put a kiddie pool in the living room, and buy some Misty Mates from HSN, but I'm not willing to go there. I work from home, and I won't be miserable to save a few bucks. I'm also not going to buy a new refrigerator just to save $72 over the course of a year, install a programmable thermostat when ours works fine, or purchase a new washing machine with energy-efficient motors and pumps. If I needed new appliances, sure, I'd check out energy-efficient models, but ours are all sufficient.
Install a green roof. Many new office buildings in big cities are installing green roofs as insulation to absorb the heat from the sun and keep in warmth during the winter. They also help deflect any excess sunlight that may unnecessarily heat the building on hotter days. Green roofs have an estimated lifespan of 40 years, and it is estimated that an average sized green roof could save the owner over $200,000 in this time.
“Southern Electric was great for me. They did the wiring in my new home as well as installed a great room ceiling fan (20ft ceilings) a few months later. I purchased the fan through them and when they arrived to install it we realized we had picked the wrong metal to match our house. It was entirely our fault, but Southern Electric swapped it out, no problem, and came back to install the new model a few weeks later. No additional fees.”
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.
Unfortunately, most of us keep things plugged in for hours or even days between the times we actually use them. This includes TVs, computers, DVD players, DVRs, Xbox and Playstation consoles, our air conditioning or heating (when we are out), toaster ovens, and much more. These things are then using electricity even when you are not using them. I’ve read that DVRs and gaming consoles are especially electricity needy even when not in use.
Fund portfolios are actively managed, and holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. Holdings in the Global Resources Fund as a percentage of net assets as of June 30, 2014: Microsoft (0.00%), Amazon.com (0.00%), Expedia.com (0.00%), Boeing (0.00%), General Electric Co. (0.00%), United Technologies (0.00%), Landsvirkun (0.00%), Alcoa Inc. (2.42%), Rio Tinto Alcan (0.00%), Century (0.00%).
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I can’t speak for anyone else, since I haven’t been in the body of anyone else. But I personally am more bothered by humidity than I am by heat. That means that when it is 100 degrees outside (and it has reached that many days this summer), I can be comfortable at 80 degrees in the house, because the AC is constantly running and therefore getting rid of the humidity. But, for instance, today was a high of 80 in my area. Because of this, I was sweating profusely even when the indoor temperature was 76 degrees, mainly because the AC wasn’t running as often. But perhaps other people are less disturbed by humidity. But I think my point (and others’) still stands that with extreme air conditioning, we condition ourselves to want it to be cooler and cooler. Go to another culture where they don’t use it so often, and you will be surprised by how comfortable people look hanging outside in the summer. They are just used to “real” air and not processed air like we have. Having said that, I love my processed air in moderation :).

As a result, the cost to cool our house is getting obscene. We could dial the temp up to 80 degrees, put a kiddie pool in the living room, and buy some Misty Mates from HSN, but I'm not willing to go there. I work from home, and I won't be miserable to save a few bucks. I'm also not going to buy a new refrigerator just to save $72 over the course of a year, install a programmable thermostat when ours works fine, or purchase a new washing machine with energy-efficient motors and pumps. If I needed new appliances, sure, I'd check out energy-efficient models, but ours are all sufficient.
Unfortunately, most of us keep things plugged in for hours or even days between the times we actually use them. This includes TVs, computers, DVD players, DVRs, Xbox and Playstation consoles, our air conditioning or heating (when we are out), toaster ovens, and much more. These things are then using electricity even when you are not using them. I’ve read that DVRs and gaming consoles are especially electricity needy even when not in use.
Roughly half of an average home’s annual energy bill (gas and electric), about $1,000, is spent on heating and cooling. Air conditioners placed in direct sunlight use up to 10 percent more electricity. If yours sits in the sun, plant tall shrubs or shade trees nearby—but don’t enclose the unit or impede the airflow. Place window units on the north side of the house or install an awning over them.
All of these tasks should add up to noticeable savings and don’t require much time or money. (Fingers crossed that ceiling fan will be an easy fix!) Once I’ve taken these steps, maybe I’ll be ready for more. For now, it’s much too hot to think about new appliances, insulation, and replacing windows. Besides, I’ve got triple chocolate brownies to bake.
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.
On top of that, the introduction of the Federal Carbon Tax saw an increase in household electricity prices by up to 8%. When that cost was added to other expenses like higher wholesale electricity prices, the cost for renewable energy programs implemented by the government, and the charge for greenhouse gas restraining measures, households were warned they would see an average energy bill increase from $300 to almost $1900 per year for the 2013/14 period.
If the $259 price tag is a bit too steep, Evapolar also offers another cheaper model of its portable AC unit for $199. Called the evaLight, it's very similar to its newer, more powerful sibling, but has a bit less cooling power (1200 BTU), and can only cool about 32 square feet. It's also a touch smaller, measuring 6.87 × 6.70 × 6. 69 inches, and is just under three pounds without water.
But this year is different. According to the Lower Colorado River Authority, a nonprofit public utility in Central Texas, the 10 months from October 2010 through July 2011 have been the driest for that period since 1895, when the state began keeping rainfall records. Without rain, temperatures hit record levels in June and July, which were the hottest months on record statewide. As of August 5, Austin hit 100+ degrees 52 times this summer.

**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.

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.
Install a green roof. Many new office buildings in big cities are installing green roofs as insulation to absorb the heat from the sun and keep in warmth during the winter. They also help deflect any excess sunlight that may unnecessarily heat the building on hotter days. Green roofs have an estimated lifespan of 40 years, and it is estimated that an average sized green roof could save the owner over $200,000 in this time.
I can’t speak for anyone else, since I haven’t been in the body of anyone else. But I personally am more bothered by humidity than I am by heat. That means that when it is 100 degrees outside (and it has reached that many days this summer), I can be comfortable at 80 degrees in the house, because the AC is constantly running and therefore getting rid of the humidity. But, for instance, today was a high of 80 in my area. Because of this, I was sweating profusely even when the indoor temperature was 76 degrees, mainly because the AC wasn’t running as often. But perhaps other people are less disturbed by humidity. But I think my point (and others’) still stands that with extreme air conditioning, we condition ourselves to want it to be cooler and cooler. Go to another culture where they don’t use it so often, and you will be surprised by how comfortable people look hanging outside in the summer. They are just used to “real” air and not processed air like we have. Having said that, I love my processed air in moderation :).

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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