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How to Save Energy & Help the Environment

Mar 26 2024

When it comes to helping the environment, small changes by individuals can add up to significant improvements for the planet.

Saving energy at home is one area where everyone can make a difference. From simple adjustments in daily routines to more significant lifestyle changes, learn how to save energy at home and how it can help the environment.

How does electricity affect the environment?

Electricity powers our lives so efficiently and effortlessly that we often lose focus of how it is generated and what affects that has on the environment.

The reality is that in 2022, the U.S. had the world’s second-most carbon dioxide (CO2)-emitting power sector. As a nation, we were responsible for 13% of the total global emissions from electricity generation that year. Much of these emissions came from fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, and petroleum.

Where do carbon emissions come from?

Fossil fuels are mostly made up of carbon and hydrogen. When fossil fuels burn, oxygen reacts with those elements to produce CO2 and water (H2O). CO2 is the most dangerous and prevalent greenhouse gas — a group of gases that absorb solar heat reflected by the earth’s surface, warming the atmosphere.

Other greenhouse gases include methane, nitrogen oxide and fluorinated gases. An increased amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can produce rising temperatures, higher sea levels, abnormal or extreme weather and air pollution.

The latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that CO2 emissions come from five major sectors: transportation (37%), electric power (31.4%), industrial (20%), residential (6.6%) and commercial (5%).

Though residential usage makes up a relatively small portion of emissions, we’re still talking about over 300 million metric tons of CO2. Reducing emissions by any amount can make an impact.

Why is saving electricity important?

Because electricity generation produces a large amount of emissions and these emissions cause damage to the environment and climate, saving electricity is one way to minimize our impact on the planet. In addition to lowering carbon emissions, saving electricity can also have positive impacts on:

Air pollution
Ninety-nine percent of the global population currently breathes air with pollutants that exceed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guideline limits. Most air pollution comes from energy use and production, which includes home electricity use.

Natural resources
It took millions of years to form the fossil fuel sources we use for energy production. They are non-renewable resources — when they’re gone, they’re gone.

Saving energy helps reduce air and land pollution that causes an imbalance in natural eco-systems and can impact plant and animal life.

Your budget
As the supply of fossil fuel resources becomes scarcer, the cost of electricity will surely increase. Saving electricity at home can help you save money.

The electricity grid
Conserving energy lowers the demand for it, which keeps the electricity grid stable. This is especially helpful during peak usage periods like hot afternoons or cold nights.

What are some easy ways to save energy?

All of these benefits make saving energy a win-win endeavor. But people are busy and may not be able to devote a lot of time (or resources) to making energy-saving choices. With that in mind, here are some quick and easy ways to save energy:

  • Turn off lights and screens when not in use.
  • Unplug electronics and small appliances when not in use to avoid phantom load.
  • Lower your water heater temperature to 120° (but not lower).
  • Wash regular loads of clothing with cold water.
  • Clean your clothes dryer’s lint trap after every load and throw a few clean tennis balls in to help clothes dry faster.
  • Wait for a full load of dishes before running your dishwasher.
  • Adjust your thermostat a few degrees higher in summer or lower in winter before you leave home.
  • Keep your garage door closed.

More ways to save energy at home

If you’ve mastered the easy tips above, try some of these energy-saving tactics. They may take a little more time or resources, but they can help you lower your electricity usage:

  • Insulate your walls, floors, and attic space to the recommended amount.
  • Upgrade to LED lighting — a more efficient option than incandescent or CFL bulbs.
  • Install a smart thermostat that can be programmed, learn your habits and comfort levels, and be controlled via your smart phone to optimize your usage.
  • Seal air leaks around doors, windows, and ductwork to prevent energy waste.
  • Upgrade windows to prevent heat loss in winter and avoid heat gain in summer.
  • If you have a swimming pool, cover it with a solar blanket when it’s not in use.
  • If you’re ready to replace an old appliance, choose an ENERGY STAR®-rated model.

Check out more energy-saving tips for every season here.


You’ve learned how electricity affects the environment, why saving energy is important and how to conserve energy at home. The only thing left to do is to put these energy-saving tips into practice and contribute to a cleaner, greener world!

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Find Low Texas Energy Rates Before Summer Arrives

Mar 19 2024

When was the last time you shopped for electricity? Now might be the perfect time to search for low Texas energy rates. You may be able to save on Texas energy costs before the temperatures rise and you start running your air conditioner daily.

Why should I look for Texas energy rates now?

The average price of residential electricity across the nation has shown an upward trend over the past decade. And as you probably know, things start to heat up across Texas around April. Take a look at the monthly average high temperatures in the state’s major cities:

  • Austin — 80°
  • Dallas — 77°
  • Houston — 78°
  • San Antonio — 80°
  • El Paso — 79°

During this off-peak season — before demand for electricity rises sky-high and the cost of electricity in Texas increases — you may be able to lock in a lower price. Follow these helpful hints to find low Texas energy rates in your area.

Tips for shopping for Texas energy rates

Keep the following in mind before you enroll in the cheapest electricity plan you see:

1. Check your current plan’s expiration date and early termination fee

The very first thing to do before shopping for electricity is to see when your current electricity plan expires. Because you’re on a contract (unless you have a month-to-month plan), there could be a fee if you switch to a new plan or provider too early.

  • If your plan happens to expire in less than 14 days, you can switch to another plan without incurring an early termination fee.
  • If your plan expires in the next several weeks, you can keep an eye on electricity rates and make a plan to switch when you’re within 14 days of your contract expiration date.
  • If your plan doesn’t expire anytime soon, you can either wait to switch until it’s about to expire or compare rates and determine if you should pay the fee to end your current contract. If the last time you signed a contract your rate was much higher than current rates, it may be worth switching early to lock in a lower rate.

2. Choose a Texas power company you can trust

Not all electricity companies are created equally. Spending some time researching trusted Texas electricity providers now can save you headaches down the road.

Shopping with Everything Energy lets you see plans from trusted providers who have served residents across the state for many years.

3. Consider more than just price per kilowatt-hour (kWh)

When you shop for energy, you’ll often see a plan’s price per kWh listed in big numbers. A low cost per kWh price is great. But it doesn’t always tell the whole story. Often, these prices are based on usage of 2,000 kWh or more during a billing cycle. If you use less than this during a billing cycle, you may end up paying a higher price per kWh. (Note: The average U.S. household consumes about 10,500 kWh per year, which works out to 875 kWh per month. Compare your usage over the past 12 months to get a better idea of how many kWh you typically use each month.)

Before enrolling in a plan, be sure to check its Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for any additional fees.

Want to see the average monthly bill amounts for different plans based on your usage history and habits? Try Everything Energy’s easy plan search tool. You can make apples-to-apples comparisons to ensure you’ve taken all charges into account.

4. Think about your electricity needs and usage habits

In addition to helping you find low Texas energy rates, knowing your usage habits can also help you find the plan that best suits your needs.

For instance, consider whether you primarily use electricity during off-peak hours like nights or weekends. If you do, a Time of Use plan could net you lower electricity bills compared to a traditional plan. These plans offer free or discounted rates during off-peak times. This encourages people to shift their electricity usage and ease strain on the electricity grid during peak periods.

Low Texas energy rates are just a few clicks away

You could search many electricity provider sites for low Texas energy rates and evaluate each one individually. Or you could narrow your search down dramatically by using Everything Energy’s search filters to find a great plan for your specific usage history, preferences and needs. Best of all, we do the math for you so you can make direct comparisons and confidently choose a plan.

To shop for electricity the effortless way, click here.

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7 Things to Know About Your Texas Smart Meter

Mar 12 2024

Smart Meters have been replacing traditional electromechanical meters across the United States for years. In data from 2022, 72% of U.S. electric meters had “smart” capabilities. In other words, if you live in Texas, there’s a good chance you have a Smart Meter.

What is a Smart Meter?

There’s an electricity meter onsite that tracks the amount of energy used in every home and business. The traditional metering for many years was the analog meter. This type of meter required monthly reading by in-person meter readers from your utility. The meter readers would note the usage displayed on the unit’s face indicating the total kilowatt-hours (kWh) you used in the previous billing period.

Over the years, metering technology has advanced significantly. The traditional meters started being replaced by more sophisticated and efficient Smart Meters. With digital communication technology, these meters don’t require a person to physically come read each meter. Instead, Smart Meters transmit and confirm energy usage data directly through the Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) assigned to the address.

Smart Meters are part of an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). The infrastructure allows two-way communication between the meters and utilities. The result is a streamlined system that offers a number of capabilities and benefits for customers, utilities and the electric grid.

Since this technology is so ubiquitous in the Lone Star State, it’s important to be familiar with what Smart Meters are, what they can do and how you can get the most out of yours. Read on for seven important things to know about your Texas Smart Meter.

1. Smart Meters allow you to access detailed energy data

Gone are the days of waiting for your monthly bill to see how much energy you used. With Smart Meters, you can monitor your energy consumption in real time. That’s because usage data is recorded in 15-minute intervals. That’s 96 readings per day! You can now view your electricity usage information by registering for a Smart Meter Texas account or granting access to your data to your electricity provider. This includes 15-minute interval data as well as meter attribute information like installation date and the name of the TDU. It also includes the Electric Service Identifier ID (ESIID), which is helpful to have if you want to sign up with a new retail electric provider.

2. Smart Meters empower you to monitor and manage your usage

Having access to your granular energy usage data offers many benefits. You can pinpoint high-usage periods and identify potential energy inefficiencies in your home. Using the data at your fingertips you could change your habits to consume less energy and potentially lower your monthly bill.

3. Texas Smart Meters support Time-of-Use pricing

Time-of-Use pricing is a billing structure that charges different rates for electricity depending on the time of day. During off-peak hours (such as nights and early mornings) and when less energy tends to be used in your region, pricing can be less expensive. This incentivizes customers to adjust their usage to off-peak hours, which helps minimize stress on the electric grid.

4. Smart Meters make service connections and disconnections faster

Smart Meters make it possible for utilities to connect and disconnect electricity through automation instead of scheduling a technician to do it onsite. This can be extremely helpful if you’re anxiously waiting for your electricity to be turned on.

5. Smart Meters make it easier to identify outages and restore power

Thanks to the interval data of Smart Meters, utility companies are able to detect areas affected by power outages and restore connections more efficiently. Additionally, Smart Meters can trigger automated notifications to customers and technicians during outages. This keeps all parties up to date about an outage situation.

6. Smart Meters help improve electric grid management

A growing population plus more electronic devices to power create stress on the electric grid. Utility companies can use data from Smart Meters to better manage power outages and restoration events, as well as reduce outage duration and costs.

7. Evidence shows Texas Smart Meters are safe

Some consumers raise concerns about data security and radio frequency (RF) exposure related to Smart Meter usage.

Utilities take cybersecurity seriously. Just like banks or cable companies, utilities employ advanced security and encryption technologies to protect your data and regularly audit their systems.

The RF emitted from Smart Meters is very low — well below the limits set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). And because Smart Meters are usually installed outside, people are further away from RF waves than they are when using other RF-emitting household devices like cell phones, baby monitors and microwaves.


Texas Smart Meters have transformed the way electricity is monitored and managed — by utilities and consumers. They offer electricity customers greater control over their usage while helping to create a more efficient and sustainable electric grid. Understanding how your Smart Meter works gives you the power to make informed decisions about your energy usage (which can potentially lower your monthly bill).

With Everything Energy, you can make informed decisions about your electricity provider and plan. Start shopping for energy today using our innovative search tools.

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The Houston Power Company Energizing the Rodeo

Mar 05 2024

Since it began in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo™ (HLSR) has been entertaining people from near and far. It’s a chance for cowboys and cowgirls to showcase their talents and celebrate the spirit of the Wild West. And as a long-time Heritage Partner of the event, Reliant Energy is the Houston power company that has helped contribute to the energy and excitement the HLSR brings every March.

Returning to sponsor the event this year, Reliant Energy will have a prominent presence. But its involvement goes beyond just branding. Here’s an introduction to Reliant and a sampling of the Houston electric company’s memorable contributions to the HLSR.

Reliant Energy, the Houston power company Texans rely on

Who is Reliant Energy, and what makes the company a perfect fit to sponsor an event like the HLSR?

Reliant has deep roots in Texas. For starters, its parent company NRG Energy, Inc. is headquartered in Houston. Reliant Energy has served millions of residential and business customers across the state with affordable electricity plans and innovative energy solutions. It’s also committed to supporting local communities — in 2022 alone, Reliant Energy donated $4.1 million to over 200 community programs across the state, and tallied 4,000 employee volunteer hours.

Rodeo activities and attractions sponsored by Reliant

Reliant knows how to have fun, and its contributions to the HLSR makes that clear. The past few years alone have brought a bevy of activities and attractions sponsored by the Houston power company to the more than 2 million people who attend the Rodeo every year. Here are a few highlights:

The Reliant Ranch at Rodeo Plaza

The Reliant Ranch gave rodeo enthusiasts the chance to showcase their cowboy and cowgirl prowess and vie for a number of prizes. The Western-themed carnival games included Boot Toss Cornhole, Bull Horn Ring Toss and Get Your Ducks in a Row-Deo.

The Reliant Big Boot

A recognizable landmark for frequent Rodeo-goers, the Reliant Big Boot on Rodeo Plaza outside NRG Stadium provides the perfect selfie backdrop for this Texas-sized event.

Reliant charging stations

For years, Reliant Energy has offered charging solutions to event-goers to keep them powered up for their entire visit. To keep Rodeo visitors connected in 2023, nearly two dozen Reliant Charging Stations offering free one-day rentals on portable power pack could be found throughout the NRG Park grounds.

The Reliant Rodeo Plan

In years past, customers have been able to sign up for the Reliant Rodeo Plan on site, locking in a low electricity price as well as a Cavender’s® gift card.

Picture-perfect memories

You can always count on Reliant Energy to provide entertaining photo opportunities. In 2023, the Houston power company hosted a life-size bucking bull that attendees could hop on, snap a pic and have it sent to their smartphones for easy sharing.

Custom souvenir penny press

Just last year, Reliant Energy added a personalized penny press so rodeo attendees could take home a souvenir of their HLSR experience. It featured four distinct designs: the beloved “H” Howdy mascot, a classic cowboy boot, a proud “Made in Texas” emblem and a bronco-riding cowboy.

If you’re headed to the Houston Rodeo, keep your eyes peeled for the many exciting activities and attractions brought to you by Reliant Energy.

Find Houston electricity plans for homes across Texas

Whether you make it to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this year or not, you can still take home a piece of the action with an affordable energy plan. Search Everything Energy for free to find options from Reliant Energy and other Texas electricity providers you can trust. Shop, compare and sign up with just a few clicks!

Start your search here.

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