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Electricity Companies and Neighborhood Comparisons

Apr 25 2023

Depending on which power company you use, you might receive a letter or email each month showing how your energy usage stacks up to your neighbors. Many electricity companies show customers information about their household usage. It’s just one of several helpful tools that some Texas electricity suppliers provide their customers.

How do electricity companies calculate neighborhood comparisons?

Electricity companies don’t just compare your monthly usage to random Texans. They typically compare your usage with other homes of similar size in your area.

From there, they can tell you whether you’re:

  • Much more energy efficient than your neighbors
  • A bit more energy efficient than your neighbors
  • About the same or less energy efficient than your neighbors

Note: Each power company will have their own methods of gathering and reporting data. Plus, their rating system may vary from the description above.

What information do energy providers include on neighborhood comparison reports?

Electricity providers show other useful information in their report beyond just how your usage compares to your neighbors.

Reasons may include:

  • Your account number
  • The date range for the comparison
  • How much your energy usage changed since the last comparison and/or the same time last year
  • Energy-saving tips
  • Your power company’s contact information

Overall, these comparisons provide valuable information about energy usage and costs, as well as ways to save energy and reduce energy bills.

Take advantage of these comparisons! They will empower you to make informed choices about how you use electricity in your home.

Why do electricity companies send out energy use comparisons?

Sure, using less energy can help net you a lower monthly electric bill. But why would electricity companies want you to be more energy efficient?

A few reasons include:

  • They could receive government incentives for reducing their power generation
  • It can cost energy suppliers more to produce extra energy during peak demand than having consumers use less of it
  • It’s better for the planet

No matter the reasons, energy efficiency is a win-win for electricity companies and their customers.

How do I find an electric company near me?

It’s simple to find the best energy supplier for your home, family and budget! Just visit Everything Energy and enter your ZIP. You’ll quickly find providers in your area offering plans that fit your needs. Plus, the apples-to-apples comparisons make choosing a new plan easier than ever.

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Compare Electricity Prices This Money Smart Week

Apr 18 2023

This week (April 15-21) is Money Smart Week. This national public education program aims to empower people with the tools to make better personal financial decisions. Electricity is an often-overlooked area of peoples’ budgets, so now is the perfect time to discuss how to compare electricity prices.

Why compare electricity prices?

Electricity is a significant household expense for most Texans. If you compare electricity rates to find the cheapest electricity or the plan that makes the most sense for your home and life, you could lower your energy bill. And that’s money that goes right back into your budget for other things.

How do I compare electricity prices?

Being “money smart” when it comes to your electricity can mean leaving no stone unturned. One way to begin your energy comparison is to reach out to your neighbors. They would probably be happy to compare energy prices and see who has the cheapest electricity supplier. Everyone could benefit from the sharing of information. For some, it may be an eye-opening exercise.

Just remember to look beyond the balance. Make apples-to-apples comparisons of rates and other charges listed.

How else can I make an energy comparison?

The easiest way to compare electricity prices, plans and providers is to use an energy broker like Everything Energy. We help you compare numerous plans from a variety of trusted electricity providers.

When you compare electricity, price per kilowatt hour (kWh) may be at the top of your list. But other factors can affect your overall energy costs, including:

  • Term length – A month-to-month plan may show a lower price-per-kWh online. But its rate varies by month and could rise any time. Longer-term plans offer price security for a specific length of time.
  • Early cancellation fee – Some electric companies charge an early termination fee. This could affect your total energy costs if you decide to switch plans or providers before your contract ends.
  • Your monthly usage – Before you get excited about that low price per kWh, check to see if it applies to your usage. If you use less than 500 kWh, for example, you may end up paying a bit more per kWh than someone who uses three times that amount.
  • Time-of-use conditions – A time-of-use plan offers discounted rates — but only during certain periods, like nights or weekends. If you don’t use a significant amount of energy during those times, your price per kWh could be much higher.
  • Additional benefits or perks – Some plans offer perks for signing up, which might more than make up for a slightly higher rate than other plans.

The lesson here is to make sure you take into account other factors when you compare electricity prices. Check the plan’s fine print to make sure it’s truly the cheapest electricity plan for your lifestyle.

What’s the first step to compare electricity rates?

You’re already where you need to be! Head over to Everything Energy’s home page. Then, simply enter your ZIP code to see electricity plans available in your area. Don’t forget to enter your monthly usage and check out the other filters available. You’ll be on your way to your best energy plan in no time?

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Solar Electricity Companies in Texas — Get the 411

Apr 11 2023

If you want to make a change to solar energy at home, you’re in luck. Texas residents have several solar electricity companies and plans to choose from. Keep reading for more information on making the sustainable switch.

What is solar power, and why is it beneficial?

Solar power is the conversion of the sun’s energy into power. The sun is a renewable energy source, meaning its supply will never deplete. Using solar energy to power your home offers a way to reduce your carbon emissions. This, of course, helps the planet.

Texas leads the nation in both energy production and energy consumption. Plus, it’s among the leading states in solar energy potential. So, it makes sense for the state to give consumers access to renewables like solar and wind power. And that’s just what several solar electricity companies have done in recent years.

Are there solar power companies near me?

There are many electric generating plants across Texas that produce renewable power. But you don’t have to live near any of these plants to use solar power. You simply need to find a Retail Electric Provider (REP) that offers electricity plans sourced from solar energy. (Or, in the case of rooftop solar, special plans designed for homes that generate their own solar power.)

Green Mountain Energy and Reliant Energy are two long-standing Texas REPs that offer several residential solar power plans to choose from.

What do Texas solar electricity companies offer?

You have two options for solar power when it comes to Texas solar electricity companies. One is having a solar panel installation at home that generates power via a rooftop solar array. The other is using solar energy to power your home without having rooftop solar installed.

Note: REPs do not typically install solar panels on homes. However, some REPs — like Green Mountain Energy and Reliant — do offer exclusive benefits when you choose one of their preferred solar panel installation companies to work with.

Solar power through solar panel installation at home

If you already have solar panels on your home, or you’re thinking about adding them, you’re in good company. The U.S. Solar Market Insight 2022 Year in Review reports that 6% of single-family owner-occupied homes in the U.S. have solar installed, as of year-end 2022.

When your home generates its own solar energy, it can sometimes make more than what you need. If you live in a deregulated electricity market, you will want to find solar electricity companies that offer solar buyback plans. By selling solar energy to the grid that your home makes but doesn’t use, you can maximize your return on your solar investment.

Green Mountain Energy and Reliant are two REPs that offer solar buyback programs.

Solar power without rooftop solar

If you don’t have rooftop solar on your home, or if you rent and don’t have that option, you can still access solar energy. Just choose an electricity plan from a REP that includes solar product content. (The name or description of the plan will usually indicate that it Is partially or fully powered by solar.)

Are solar power electric rates higher than traditional energy rates?

Every situation, and energy plan, is different.

If you have rooftop solar, you will need to factor in many things to make a comparison to a traditional energy plan. These include:

  • The cost of the panels
  • The payback or breakeven period
  • How long you will own your home after installation
  • How much electricity you use each month
  • How much excess electricity you generate each month
  • The cost per kilowatt hour of using solar electricity vs. a non-renewable source

For non-rooftop solar plans, you should compare the cost per kilowatt hour and other variables to a similar plan whose energy comes from a non-renewable source. (And even if it costs a bit more, being able to reduce your carbon footprint without paying thousands of dollars for a solar array may be worth it to you.)

What are the top solar power companies near me?

As stated above, Green Mountain Energy and Reliant are both tried-and-true solar electricity companies in Texas. Each has been in operation for decades. And both offer unique benefits to consumers, so they are worth checking out.

How do I start my search for solar electricity companies?

To find the best energy provider for solar to power your home and lifestyle, start shopping. Everything Energy offers easy-to-use tools that let you search and compare plans, pricing and perks with ease. Plus, you can enroll in minutes. Just enter your ZIP code to get started.

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How to Find Electric Providers by ZIP Code

Apr 03 2023

If you’ve just moved, or need to switch electricity providers, you may be wondering “How do I find my electricity provider?” As it turns out, it’s quite easy. You simply search for electric providers by ZIP code, and pick the one that’s right for you.

But before you do that, keep reading for more information that will help make your search successful.

Why do I need to search by my ZIP code to find an electricity provider?

Most of Texas has a deregulated electricity market. If you live in a deregulated area, you have the power to choose electricity from any of the providers serving your area.

However, finding an electric company by ZIP code applies only to one part of the equation in getting electricity to your home: retail electricity providers (REP). REPs buy and sell energy to customers throughout the state. They compete for your business and offer you pricing in cents-per-kilowatt-hour.

The other part of the equation are Transmission and Distribution Service Providers (TDSPs), which is the utility company. These utilities are responsible for maintaining the poles and wires. They are the ones that deliver electricity to homes and businesses. You can’t choose your TDSP; it’s assigned to you based on where you live. In Texas, there are five TDSPs: Oncor, CenterPoint Energy, Texas-New Mexico Power Company, AEP Texas Central and AEP Texas North.

So, your five-digit ZIP code will actually help you identify two separate entities: your REP and your TDSP. That’s why, with more than 2,000 ZIP codes in Texas alone, it’s essential to be sure of your address before you start looking for electric providers by ZIP code.

Can I also find and compare electric rates by ZIP code?

Yes! You can search for electricity plans and electric rates by ZIP code in the same way you might shop for shoes or books online. As with those items, there are many electricity plans to choose from. However, you can find the best one for your home, family and lifestyle once you know what to look for in an energy plan.

And just like you might go shoe or book shopping at Zappos.com or Barnes & Noble, respectively, due to their many options, there are websites that let you shop for electricity plans from a number of REPs. An online energy broker — like Everything Energy — can show you plan options and pricing.

Because choosing a provider is a big decision, Everything Energy only presents you with plans from electricity providers in Texas you can trust. Also, the Everything Energy search tools let you sort and filter plan options by usage history, term length, plan perks and more. Plus, you can see monthly bill estimates and make apples-to-apples comparisons before you enroll. Once you find a plan, you can enroll directly without any hassle.

To get started searching for electric rates by ZIP code, click here.

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