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Minimize Electricity Costs for a Festive July 4th

Jun 28 2022

If there’s one holiday that’s made even better through energy efficiency, it’s Independence Day. This July 4th, unplug, get out of the house and enjoy some festive activities with family and friends that won’t any additional electricity costs to your monthly bill.

Sidestep high energy prices by grilling

Fire up the barbie! It wouldn’t be a Texas 4th without a grilled meal (or two). Will you go with classic American burgers and hotdogs? Or will you get fancy with lobster tails—the most searched-for grilling recipe in Texas? Either way, you’ll save some kilowatt hours (kWh) by not using your oven or stovetop, potentially lowering your electricity costs.

Ride a bike instead of surfing the Internet

It’s easy to head inside to the air-conditioned comfort of your home and chill with a mobile device. But with electricity prices up across the nation, it’s worth breaking a sweat to help lower your average electricity bill. So, turn the AC off for a bit and take that bike ride, hike or stroll. In the company of friends and family of all ages, you can celebrate your freedom in the great outdoors.

Cool off with some water fun

While having a swimming pool can be refreshing, it can also make you say, “My electricity bill is how much?!” So, if you don’t have a pool, you’re already saving a lot of kWhs over your pool-owning neighbors. Plus, you can still make a splash by turning on a sprinkler, visiting a public pool or having a good old-fashioned water balloon fight. And if you do have a pool? Use it to cool off instead of the AC when you can!

Enjoy a parade for $0 in electricity costs

A Fourth of July parade is a hallmark of the holiday, whether you’re in a large city or a small town. Take in the music, floats and community spirit while celebrating the nation’s independence. Firstly, it costs absolutely nothing, using none of your own electricity. Secondly, it’s sure to put you in a patriotic mood. Find July 4th celebrations in Texas here. Or, check with your city’s Convention & Visitor’s Bureau to locate a parade near you.

Let the night sky inspire you

While many people think of fireworks displays as the ultimate Fourth of July event, a night of stargazing can be just as thrilling. Regardless, neither activity will have you thinking twice about your electric bill or kwh cost. But staring up into the sky with wonder will make for a magical holiday evening.

Extend the day with a backyard campout

You may not want your energy-efficient July 4th to end. So, why not keep the AC off overnight and set up a tent outdoors to continue the festivities until dawn? From s’mores to chatting around the firepit, you can totally forget about your electricity-consuming devices and modern appliances. Instead, enjoy making lasting memories with loved ones.

Celebrate Independence Day all year 

The deregulated Texas energy market gives you independence from your utility company, letting you choose your preferred retail electricity provider. If your electricity contract expires soon, it’s time to exercise your power to choose. Check out Everything Energy’s electricity price comparison tools. You can see your estimated average electricity costs, compare plan offers and choose the energy plan that best fits your usage habits and preferences. Happy 4th!

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First Look: Compare Electricity Rates the Newest Way

Jun 21 2022

If you’re one of the many Texans wanting to shop and compare electricity rates from different providers, listen up. We have a cool new tool for you to use!

Everything Energy’s Personalized Pricing tool lets you sort and filter electricity plans using your very own usage history — gathered from your home’s Smart Meter (with your consent, of course). That data allows us to provide you Everything Energy’s Personalized Pricing tool lets you sort and filter electricity plans using your very own usage history. The data we gather from your home’s Smart Meter (with your consent, of course) allows us to provide you with more accurate bill estimates. With those cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) rates translated into dollar figures, budgeting is a breeze. Best of all, it’s so simple. You can start viewing your personalized pricing and comparing electricity rates in less than five minutes!

Benefits of utilizing your Smart Meter data to compare electricity rates

Your home’s Smart Meter records your electricity usage in real time, typically at 15-minute intervals. Then, it digitally sends that data to your utility [Oncor, CenterPoint, AEP Texas or Texas-New Mexico Power (TNMP)]. Smart Meter Texas™ (SMT) securely stores that data. When you authorize Everything Energy to access that historical data to help you shop and compare plans, you can view:

  • Your lowest, highest and average monthly usage
  • Your usage breakdown by weekend vs. weekday and night vs. daytime
  • Personalized rates and monthly bill estimates from Texas electricity providers
  • Plans that best suit your established usage habits

With all of this information, your search for some of the best electricity rates and providers for your unique needs will provide better-fitting results. For example, imagine your data shows that you use electricity a lot at night. You can select the “Weeknight Discount” filter to narrow your search down to plans that offer lower rates at night.

In short, by considering the big picture, you can make a more informed decision about your next electricity plan.

compare electricity rates
Everything Energy’s Personal Pricing Tool displaying usage analysis

Personalized pricing from electricity providers, at your fingertips

In just three simple steps, you’ll be able to compare electricity rates and find the perfect match to meet your family’s needs, preferences and lifestyle.

Step 1: Help us find your Smart Meter

After you enter your ZIP code on EverythingEnergy.com, you’ll be taken to a page showing electricity plans in your area. In the left navigation of this page, click the “Get Started” button. A screen will appear asking for your service address. This will help us locate your Smart Meter.

Step 2: Obtain an authorization email

To protect your privacy, Smart Meter Texas requires each customer to provide authorization if they want to give a third party (like Everything Energy) to access it. On this screen, simply input your email address and full name as it appears on your electricity bill and select your current provider. After you press ‘Submit,’ check your inbox — you should see an email from Smart Meter Texas.

Step 3: Confirm your authorization

In the email you receive, simply click the Confirm button at the bottom of the email. Then, go back to the Everything Energy screen and let us know that you’ve completed the authorization process by clicking the ‘Permission Granted’ button.

Congratulations! You can now put your own data to work as you shop and compare energy plans from trusted electricity providers in Texas.

Compare electricity rates today

Have you tried our new, personalized approach to shopping for energy? You’re just a few steps away from customized search results. Compare electricity plans and rates, and find the perfect energy match for you. Try it out!

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TX Hurricane Preparedness Guide

Jun 14 2022

June 1 to November 30 marks hurricane season, with peak season running from the second half of August through September. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast predicts there will likely be hurricanes more often this year than average. So, if you haven’t prepared for hurricane season yet, use this hurricane preparedness guide help get you started.

Understanding the 5 categories of hurricanes

A five-category scale called the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale ranks the intensity of hurricanes. Category 1 indicates the least intense rating with sustained wind speeds of 74 – 95 miles per hour (mph). Meanwhile, Category 5 indicates the most intense rating with sustained wind speeds of over 157 mph. 

For reference, Hurricane Ike (2008) was a Category 2 and Hurricane Harvey (2017) was a Category 4.

How are hurricanes named?

Did you know that tropical cyclones are the only weather systems given names? According to the National Hurricane Center, storms used to be named by their latitude-longitude location. But using short, familiar names makes them easier to discuss and lessens the chance of errors. It also helps reduce confusion when two or more storms form at the same or overlapping times. 

However, naming a hurricane is no last-minute decision. The World Meteorological Organization established a strict naming process. It provides a different list of names for each of six years. So, every six years a name list is repeated. 

As storms develop, they get named in the order they occur, beginning with the letter ‘A.’ In the event of a severely deadly or damaging storm, such as Hurricane Katrina, the name gets retired. Then, a new name beginning with the same letter replaces it. That’s why you never hear about two very deadly hurricanes with the same name.

What will this year’s hurricanes be named?

For 2022, the Atlantic Tropical Cyclone names, if needed, will be: Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Martin, Nicole, Owen, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virginie and Walter.

Hurricane watch vs. hurricane warning

Before the potential impact of a hurricane, meteorologists issue a hurricane watch and/or a hurricane warning for specific areas. A hurricane watch is announced when winds of 74 mph or more are possibleBefore the potential impact of a hurricane, meteorologists issue a hurricane watch and/or a hurricane warning for specific areas. A hurricane watch happens when winds of 74 mph or more are possible within a 48-hour period. Meanwhile, a hurricane warning happens when winds of 74 mph or more are expected within the next 24 hours.

Taking action during a hurricane warning

In the event of a hurricane warning, FEMA recommends that you:

  • Secure your home
  • Bring in outdoor furniture
  • Charge your cellphone 
  • Listen for emergency alerts and information
  • Immediately leave the threatened area if directed by local officials

What to expect from the 2022 hurricane season?

According to the Colorado State University 2022 hurricane forecast, the Atlantic region can expect an estimated:

  • 20 named storms
  • 95 days of named storms
  • 10 hurricanes (5 of them major)

This data all points to higher than normal tropical storm and hurricane activity for Texans. Do you have a hurricane preparedness plan in case a storm hits your area?

How do you prepare for a hurricane?

Being ready for hurricane season is crucial for your safety. Have you created a hurricane emergency kit, or a ‘go bag?’ Important items to include are:

  • Non-perishable foods and a can opener
  • Water
  • Extra clothing, shoes and socks
  • Pet food, if you have pets 
  • Flashlights
  • Phone/device charger and charged portable power bank
  • Batteries
  • Cash and important paperwork (personal IDs, social security cards, titles to homes/cars), in a resealable plastic bag
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Eyeglasses and/or contacts and solution
  • Battery-powered radio
  • List of important emergency phone numbers
  • Moist towelettes, hand sanitizer and face masks
  • Garbage bags
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste and other essential hygiene items
  • A whistle
  • Ponchos
  • Emergency blankets

For a complete list of items you may want to include in your go bag or emergency kit, visit ready.gov/kit.

More ways to be prepared

You’ll also want to decide on a family evacuation plan. This plan includes your best escape route (with multiple routes, in case of road flooding). And don’t forget to agree on a place to meet, in case you get separated.

Remember to prepare your home to endure a severe storm. Trim tree branches that hang close to your home, clean out the gutters and clear an indoor space where you can store outdoor furniture if the time comes. You should also Remember to prepare your home for a severe storm. For example, trim tree branches that hang close to your home and clean out the gutters. Clear an indoor space where you can store outdoor furniture if the time comes. You should also have a supply of sandbags handy, to help prevent flooding. Exterior plywood (at least 5/8” thick) can be helpful for covering windows.

Another way to reduce evacuation stress is to make any needed car repairs ahead of time. That includes filling the gas tank, checking tire pressure and making sure you have a spare tire.

How do you stay safe during a hurricane?

Hurricane preparedness includes planning what to do during a storm. In the event of a hurricane in your area, don’t forget to:

  • Listen to updates from local officials
  • Stay inside even if it seems the storm has passed
  • Lock and stay away from windows and outside doors
  • Move to an interior room so there are as many walls between yourself and the wind as possible (a bathroom, closet or storm shelter are typically the safest spots)
  • Avoid touching electrical items
  • Turn off and unplug all major appliances if the electricity goes out
  • Remain inside until local authorities issue an ‘all clear’ statement
  • Evacuate if your home is flooded or emergency personnel recommend it
  • Never drive across flooded roads

Helpful resources for hurricane preparedness

Keep the following links handy to help you weather the Texas hurricane season:

Choose an energy provider you can trust

In conclusion, hurricane preparedness makes hurricane season a lot less stressful. Also less stressful?  Finding electricity providers in Texas you can trust with Everything Energy’s easy-to-use energy comparison tools. Shop and compare plans to get the best match for you and your family’s lifestyle and budget.

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Electricity Providers in Texas: Fun Facts & Figures

Jun 07 2022

Electric companies in Texas are pretty darn cool

Thanks to a deregulated energy market, people have had the power to choose the Texas electricity provider they prefer for more than 20 years. So, it’s no surprise that in that time, there’s been a lot of innovation among electricity providers in Texas. That includes the types of plans offered to consumers and the sources used to supply energy across the state. And, as the second-most-populous state in the U.S., Texas has made a name for itself in ways that you may not have known about. 

Check out some of the interesting (and dare we say, “fun”) facts about the electricity providers in your home state.

Did you know…?

With 29.5 million residents in the state (that’s approximately 8.9% of the total U.S. population!), Texas energy companies bring power to millions of people. That’s just the beginning. Did you know …

  • Texas has had lower residential, commercial and industrial electricity rates than the United States’ average. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in January 2022, Texas residential energy rates were 1.48 cents/kilowatt hour (kWh) lower than the national average. Also in that month, commercial rates clocked in at 3.56 cents/kWh less than the nation’s average. Industrial rates also beat the national average by 1.58 cents/kWh that month. 
  • Texas has the second-highest cumulative solar capacity, trailing only California. In addition, it’s one of the leading states in solar energy potential.
  • In 2020, Texas produced about 28% of the nation’s wind-powered electricity. That’s more than any other state!

Little-known facts about electricity providers in Texas

The deregulated energy market in Texas is all about competition. Therefore, many Texas energy companies like to get creative with their electricity plans. After all, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to lifestyle, budget and preferences. So, why not offer plans built around these factors? Take a look at some interesting ways electricity providers in Texas can power your home, on your terms.

Interesting info about Texas energy companies 

  • Choose from plans that let you lock in your energy charge for 12, 24 or even 36 months. Just set it and forget it for long-term price security.
  • Who doesn’t like free? Some plans offer free electricity during weeknight or weekend usage. For example, night owls might switch their energy-consuming chores (like laundry) to the specified ‘free’ timeframe to help save on their electric bill. Time of Use plans like this let people make small shifts to take advantage of off-peak usage times. These are time periods when demand on the electricity grid is lower.
  • Like to shop? Some electricity providers in Texas offer gift cards after enrolling in certain plans. In addition to powering your home, plans like this give you extra spending power.
  • Protect the environment, right from that comfy spot on your couch. Electricity plans that provide 100% renewable energy — from sources like the wind and the sun — make it easy to do your part for a healthier planet.
  • Bon voyage! Did you know you can even get airline miles with some electricity plans? Whether you’re a frequent flyer or still waiting to take your first flight, plans like this can get you closer to your next destination. 

Be sure to check each plan’s Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for details. You’ll enjoy discovering all the options available during the shopping process.

Frequently asked questions about Texas electricity providers and plans

At one point or another, you might have thought of some “What if?” scenarios related to Texas energy companies and plans. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We can help clear things up.

What if I move and have to cancel my electricity contract early? Do I have to pay a cancellation fee? 

If you move from your existing service address in the middle of a contract term, no worries. By providing a forwarding address and possibly other move-related information, you won’t have to pay your plan’s early termination fee. Check your plan’s contract documents for specific terms and conditions.

What if my contract is about to expire? Will my electricity get shut off if I don’t make a decision about what to do next? 

No. You don’t have to stress about your power being turned off simply because your contract term has expired. Here’s how this situation plays out. As an example, say you are enrolled on a fixed-rate product. Your current provider is required to notify you in advance of the date your contract expires. This gives you time to decide if you want to renew or shop and compare energy rates. You’re also allowed to switch providers in the final 14 days of your contract without incurring an early termination fee. 

Even if your contract term expires and you’ve not enrolled on a new plan, it’s okay. Your provider will simply switch you over to a default month-to-month plan. Your power will keep running without interruption.

What if the Texas power company I’ve chosen goes out of business?

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) is always looking out for consumers’ best interests. In this scenario, the PUCT has designated “Providers of Last Resort” (POLR) as backup electricity service providers in the rare circumstances when a Texas electricity company cannot supply power. The POLR is meant to be a temporary safety net. For information on choosing Texas electric providers, check out this guide.

Shopping for electricity in Texas

Think about all the electric companies in Texas competing for your business (the PUCT lists more than 135 active retail electricity providers in the state). Imagine how hard it would to sort through all the plans to find the perfect match for your home. 

Luckily, it’s simple to shop and compare electricity rates and providers. With our easy-to-use filters, you can narrow down your options. Plus, you get plan pricing translated into actual monthly bill estimates based on your monthly electricity usage and other factors. Try it — we think you’ll quickly find a plan that’s just right for you.

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