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Average Electricity Costs? Try Energy-Saving Tips

May 31 2022

Summer heat can raise your average utility bill

It’s summertime in Texas, and you know what that means … the air conditioners run 24/7 and can single-handedly cause your monthly average electricity costs to spike. True, summer doesn’t technically start until June 21. But, the weather in the Lone Star State tells a different story. Average June highs across the state are:

Amarillo, TX 80° 
Austin 93° 
Bryan – College Station 95° 
Corpus Christi 92° 
Dallas-Fort Worth 92° 
El Paso 89° 
Galveston 88° 
San Antonio 93° 
Houston 91° 
Waco 93° 

In many other cities across the country, these temperatures would be considered extreme. But for Texans, it’s only the beginning of the summertime heat.

For this reason, you might be asking yourself, “How can I save on electric bills this summer?” or “How can I cut energy costs around the home?” Luckily, there are many things you can do to cut down your usage and help lower your energy bill without melting in the sun.

Energy-saving tips to lower your average electricity costs

Conserving energy is one of the top ways to save money on your electric bill. Since much of your bill depends on how many kilowatt hours (kWh) you use each month, reducing your usage in small ways can add up to significant savings. Follow these tips to become more energy efficient. 

Show some filter love.

Your AC works hard for you, honey, so you’d better treat it right. Clean or change its air filter every month for greater efficiency. It’s one of the best ways to use less energy, since the more dust and debris stuck in the filter, the harder your AC has to work to cool your home.

Although the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors recommends swapping filters at least every 90 days, doing so more often is even better, especially during Texas summers. With all the work your AC does in the summer months, a monthly air filter change will keep it running efficiently and keep the air you breathe cleaner. Buying your filters in bulk can help lessen the cost of frequent replacement.

Take an energy break.

Why cool an empty home? Save some kWhs by making it a habit to adjust your thermostat before you leave home. 

If the house will be empty for more than a few hours, raise the temperature. While you may or may not agree with Energy Star’s recommendation of 85° while away, every degree helps conserve energy. Plus, if you have a smart thermostat, even better! You can lower the temperature from your mobile device before you head home. Then, you’ll be greeted by a comfortable climate.

Avoid thirst traps. 

When not in use, unplug computers, game consoles, mobile devices and other electronics. After all, nobody likes energy vampires. That is, electronics that use power even when in standby mode or turned off but still plugged into the wall. This type of energy usage is also called phantom load. It can cost consumers an average of $165 per year, according to one study. And while the savings you’ll achieve for each item you unplug may only come out to cents per month, it all adds up. Plus, every bit of electricity not used helps the environment by not emitting harmful CO2greenhouse gasses.

Shake & (don’t) bake.

If your home feels like an oven on hot days, don’t turn another one on! Instead, choose more energy-efficient options like a pressure cooker, slow cooker, microwave or outdoor grill. They’ll help you cut down on your electricity usage and avoid adding a lot of heat to your kitchen.

And if you do use the oven, make use of the oven light to check on the status of your food. Opening the door lets hot air escape and requires more energy to heat back up to your original temperature.

Tennis, anyone?

Throw some clean tennis balls into your dryer to speed up the drying process (and reduce wrinkles and static). You can also use wool dryer balls. Either way, their presence causes more movement and space, letting more heat circulate between items. This is an especially helpful energy-saving trick for bulky items like towels, pillows and blankets.

For an even more energy-efficient way to dry your laundry, try hanging wet items on a clothesline outside. Imagine how quickly they’ll dry in the Texas summer sun!

Cut down on shower hour.

It takes energy to heat all that H2O, so aim for a quick scrub to conserve electricity (and water). A 2016 study lists showers as the second-largest use of water in a household (tied with faucets). The study reports that the average shower lasts around 8 minutes. Can you cut yours down by one minute? By four minutes? Make it a household challenge to see who is the speediest scrubber.

Another way to conserve water is to install low-flow showerheads that contain the Water Sense label. This indicates they use less than 2 gallons of water per minute (gpm). Low-flow showerheads use 20% less water than a standard showerhead, which uses about 2.5 gpm. 

Smarten up your home.

Get connected and stay in control of everyday energy usage with smart thermostats, smart plugs and smart light bulbs. These modern products offer ways to control them from afar. For example, you can control them by remote, mobile app or through platforms like Amazon Alexa or Google Home. 

Imagine being on vacation and using your phone to adjust the temperature to an efficient setting. Or, turning certain appliances off and switching on outdoor lighting at specified times. Some smart plugs can even show you how much energy a device is using. Meanwhile, others can be connected to your smart doorbell or smart security cameras.

The more, the merrier.

Make energy efficiency a game and let your children get involved by turning off lights, going screen-free and monitoring the thermostat. The benefits are threefold:

  1. It helps you use less electricity, which can help lower your average electric bill. 
  2. It reminds everyone to be energy aware throughout the day.
  3. It models positive behaviors that become habits as children grow older.

Too hot to handle?

Did you know that water heater manufacturers typically set the default water temperature to 140°? Your water doesn’t need to be that hot. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend a setting of 120°. This will get the job done but also save energy (and prevent scalding). 

Note: This is one energy-saving area you don’t want to go overboard with by dropping the temperature below 120°. That’s because lower temperatures can promote microbial growth. 

How much can you save by reducing electricity use?

While the tips above probably won’t help you slash your average electricity costs in half, they can have a significant impact. By being more energy efficient in your day-to-day life, you can expect to see your usage decline. Not only will you be helping to tame those summer electric bills, you’ll also be doing something positive for the environment. And there’s no downside to that!

Why has my electricity bill suddenly increased?

Even the most energy-efficient household has probably seen their average electric bill go up in recent months. That’s due in part to current world events, inflation and high demand. The increased price of electricity further shows how important it is to take steps to save energy in your own home.

How can I lower my electricity bill?

In addition to following these energy-saving tips and making small lifestyle choices, you can also look at the big picture to reduce your average electricity costs. Summer is the perfect time to shop and compare electricity plans. Find one that fits your lifestyle and can help you lower your average electric bill. Check out how simple it is to find your perfect energy match with Everything Energy’s free search tools.

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Top 5 Things to Know About Electricity Rates

May 24 2022

You may think about your electricity bill during a particularly hot summer day. But do you know just how much you’re paying to power your home? It can be a bit intimidating to dive deep into your energy bill if you’ve never examined it closely before. However, it’s a good exercise in knowing where your money is going and what you pay per kilowatt hour (kWh) of usage. (A kWh is a unit of measurement equaling the amount of energy you’d use if you kept a 1,000-watt appliance running for an hour.)

Once you have that information, you’ll be able to shop for better electricity rates and compare plans more effectively.

So, if you’re up to the task, let’s take the mystery out of electricity rates once and for all. We’ll start with the five most important things to know.

1. You can find your electricity cost on your EFL

The Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for the electricity plan you’re enrolled in has a lot of useful information (and a lot of lengthy but necessary legal language). The trouble is, many consumers don’t take the time to read through this part of their contract. But once you’ve seen and understand one EFL, you’ll be able to navigate this document swiftly. That’s because the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) standardizes the format of EFLs to help residential and small business customers avoid unexpected surprises on their electricity bill.

When you pull up the EFL for your plan, you can see a lot of different items included on it. These items will help you determine your actual electricity rate. You can use that information to compare it to other energy plans available to you.

2. Your type of electricity plan is important

Do you have a steady electricity rate every month, or does your rate fluctuate monthly? It depends on what type of electricity plan you signed up for. On a fixed-rate plan, you have the same energy charge for the entire length of the contract. On a variable-rate plan, however, the price you pay per kWh is determined by market or other factors considered by the electricity provider. Some people like to lock in a rate. Others prefer the flexibility of going month to month and being able to switch whenever they want. 

For customers who sign up for a fixed-rate plan, pay attention to the contract expiration date. If your electricity contract expires and you take no action, electricity providers may enroll you on a default month-to-month plan with a variable rate. 

You’ll want to know what type of plan you’re currently on before you start comparing your plan to other electricity rates. If you don’t know, just check your EFL! 

3. Your bill may have more charges than just cost per kWh

You’ll be able to find your cost per kWh pretty easily on your EFL (usually called the Energy Charge). However, that’s only part of the story of your electricity rate. You may also run into items such as a base charge and delivery charges that need to be factored in when calculating your rate and comparing plans. So, let’s break it down:

base charge is a flat, monthly fee sometimes charged by your energy provider, regardless of how many kWh you use. 

Delivery charges, also called TDU (Transmission and Distribution Utility) delivery charges, come from your utility company to cover the cost of moving electricity from the generation plant to your home.

For additional terms and charges you may see on your electricity bill, check out this guide from the PUCT.

4. Your monthly usage may affect your average electricity rate

On your EFL, you’ll find a Pricing Disclosure section. It lists the average price per kWh if you used 500 kWh, 1000 kWh and 2000 kWh. Unless otherwise noted, the average price per kWh includes any base charges and delivery charges. That’s why the lower usage rates often have higher average kWh costs: they have the other charges factored in and averaged out over a smaller number of kWh.

Knowing your average monthly electricity usage will allow you to make accurate plan comparisons. Plus, it will help you avoid unexpectedly high bills for the length of your contract term.

FYI: When you shop electricity on Everything Energy, you can filter plans based on your monthly usage.

5. You can shop for better electricity rates online

Thanks to the deregulation of the Texas energy market more than 25 years ago, you get to choose your electricity provider. That means providers compete to earn your business! So not only can you shop and compare energy plans to get the best electricity deals, you can also search by other factors important to you. From plans that use wind and solar power to those that offer free nights or weekends, gift cards, airline miles, energy-saving gadgets and more, the perfect plan for your family and lifestyle is out there. 

Now that you know the five most important things about electricity rates, you can shop, compare and enroll. Check out Everything Energy’s advanced search tools that help you zero in on your next electricity plan.

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Moving? 4 Things That Impact Your Cost of Electricity

May 17 2022

Peak moving season has arrived. College students are on the move, families use the months off of school to get situated and better weather means smoother loading and unloading. Are you one of the many planning to change your location in the upcoming months? If so, you’ll want to consider a few things that could impact your monthly cost of electricity before you sign that apartment lease or home purchase contract.

1. Home size affects your monthly electricity price.

We all know everything is bigger in Texas. But that’s not always a good thing when it comes to where you hang your hat. The size of your living space can affect your electricity bill more than you may think. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of a new house built in 2020 was 2,261 square feet. That’s nearly 1,000 square feet larger than the average home size in 1960. More square footage means more space you’ll need to cool during the long, hot Texas summer. And while high ceilings may appeal to you, the bill for cooling all that air might not.

The key question to ask is not, “How much house or apartment can I afford?” It’s, “How much room do I actually need?” After that, you can estimate your average electricity bill for that amount of space. (And compare it to where you currently live.) A Goldilocks approach will help narrow it down to something not too big, not too small, but just right!

2. Appliances can impact your monthly cost of electricity.

If your new pad comes stocked with appliances like a refrigerator, dishwasher and washer/dryer, take note. Older models tend to be less efficient. Meanwhile, Energy Star-rated models can help you save on your electricity bill with their efficiency — and help you lessen your carbon footprint. For example, Energy Star dryers use about 20% less energy than similar models without the Energy Star certification. 

Factoring in the energy efficiency of the large appliances that come with your new space will help give you a better idea of your monthly cost of electricity.

3. Good insulation can help you save energy every day.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that better insulation could save the typical U.S. home 15% on heating and cooling costs. That includes sealing air gaps and adding insulation in attics, floors over basements and accessible basement rim joists. 

For homebuyers, have your home inspector measure the R-value of insulation in these areas. That way, you know whether this is an improvement you need to consider making. 

If you’ll be renting, check for air gaps around windows and doors. If you find any issues, request that maintenance personnel seal those areas prior to your move-in date.

Whether you own or rent, take the necessary steps to ensure you’ve minimized these air escape routes to the best of your ability, so you can have the best electricity bill possible.

4. High or low, location matters.

If you’re looking at, say, a third-floor apartment, don’t forget — heat rises! It will take more energy to cool off from the sweltering Texas heat. On the flip side, if you’re renting a basement apartment or have significant living space below ground level, you can expect a cooler area. That’s great for summer, but it also may require extra heating to remain comfortable in cooler weather. Consider where you’ll be doing most of your “living” as you look for a new place, and how this might affect your energy bill.

It’s easier than ever to estimate your cost of electricity.

To find electricity for your new place, including monthly bill estimates based on your typical usage and home size, make sure to shop around to find the best plan for your lifestyle.

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Electricity Companies in Texas You Can Trust

May 11 2022

Electricity companies in Texas abound

How many electricity companies in Texas do you think there are? 5? 15? The Public Utility Commission of Texas lists more than 135 active electricity companies in Texas!

So, how can you be sure that the Texas power company you choose can be trusted to power your home? Meet your lifestyle needs? And provide great customer service along the way? Certainly, knowing how to find and assess electricity providers will help you narrow down your search.

What to look for in Texas energy companies

Some things to look for in an energy provider when shopping for an electricity plan include:

Years in operation

Electricity companies in Texas that have stood the test of time are a great place to start. Think about how competitive the deregulated Texas electric market is. So, companies that have been in business for over a decade have demonstrated their credibility and experience many times over.


Unhappy customers share their experiences much more often than satisfied customers. Therefore, don’t just rely on Internet reviews. Make sure to also seek out positive reviews from friends and family members. And, see what electricity companies they recommend.

Plans that match your life

No two households are the same. And, good electricity companies in Texas know this. For this reason, they strive to adapt to different lifestyles, routines and needs with their electricity plan offerings. From term length and rate type to special products and related services, trust an electricity provider that caters to what customers want.

Ease of enrollment

In most cases, switching electricity providers or enrolling in a new plan should be a fairly simple process. That is to say, you can usually enroll either online or by phone. Texas electricity companies that clearly explain how to enroll — and have customer support available to help if you have any questions — set a positive standard for future interactions.

Online account management

This far into the 20th century, any electric provider in Texas deserving of your trust should offer online account management. For instance, many people want the option to safely pay, view usage and manage their account in other ways online. That’s why having an outdated website without this option can be a red flag. It may not inspire confidence in a provider’s service ability.

You have the power to choose, Texas

Over two decades ago, the Texas Legislature passed a law deregulating the Texas electricity market. It promoted competition in Texas electricity rates and forever changed the state’s energy landscape. As a result, consumers like you now have the power to choose your electricity provider. So, use freedom and start shopping for your ideal energy plan. 

Search plans from electricity companies in Texas you can trust

If you’re not sure where to start, check out Everything Energy. Our shop and compare tools will help you find plans from electricity companies in Texas you can trust. Simply enter your ZIP code and select your average monthly electricity usage and other filters. Then, we’ll show you plans that best fit your lifes.

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