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Finding you the best energy plans

Energy Rate Comparisons — 5 Things to Avoid

Feb 20 2024

Whether you’ve recently moved to Texas, live in a newly deregulated region like Lubbock or are a long-time resident of the Lone Star State, choosing an electricity plan can be a bit tricky. From the many retail electricity providers (REPs) available to sometimes-confusing plan pricing, it’s easy to make a costly error or two along the way.

Keep reading for five common mistakes to avoid when making energy rate comparisons.

Mistake #1: Ignoring the fine print.

There’s more to an energy plan than just the price per kilowatt hour (kWh). To make sure you fully understand the plan you’re signing up for, including details about additional fees, usage restrictions and potential rate changes, make sure to read the plan’s Electricity Facts Label. This will help you avoid unpleasant surprises on your electric bill.

Mistake #2: Overlooking contract length.

Every plan has a contract term length. Common terms are 6 and 12 months, which secures your energy price for that period of time. But some plans are month-to-month where the pricing can vary each month. There are also longer-term contracts like 24 and 36 months. Only you can determine which contract length will work best with your current and expected living situation.

Mistake #3: Choosing the “cheapest” electricity plan.

When you compare energy rates in Texas, the cheapest electricity plan is not always the best choice. That’s because the price per kWh listed on a website’s search page may have additional fees and charges in the fine print. (See Mistake #1 above!) Or you could be looking at an introductory price, which could skyrocket after the initial period. Both situations may drive your electricity bill higher than you’d expect.

When you’re shopping for energy, you want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. This may require a little math, but doing so will help you find the best electricity plan for your budget.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to check reviews.

What good is a cheap energy plan if it comes with billing mistakes or customer service headaches? Your time is valuable, so you should consider the reputation of an REP before you sign up. Are online reviews mostly favorable? Are there any common complaints? Do your family and/or friends recommend the REP? Initial research prior to making energy rate comparisons will help you choose an electricity provider you can trust to meet your expectations.

Mistake #5: Not considering your usage patterns.

Before you compare energy rates, assess your daily and weekly energy usage patterns as well as your billing history. This can help you zero in on a plan that works best with how you use energy in your home. For example, a time-of-use plan that offers free or discounted nights or weekends could result in cost savings if your heaviest usage falls within the stated timeframes. (Again, always read the fine print!)

Avoid these common mistakes by searching with Everything Energy

With Everything Energy, you can make energy rate comparisons with ease — and avoid the potentially costly mistakes listed above. You’ll be able to access plan documents, view contract term lengths, read customer reviews of trusted REPs and make apples-to-apples price comparisons using your own usage history.

Yep — you can do it all, in one place. It’s free, it’s simple, and when you find a plan you like, you can enroll with just a few clicks. Get started today!

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Texas Electricity Rates 101 — Lubbock Edition

Feb 06 2024

In January 2024, Lubbock residents have gained the power to choose their electricity provider and to shop for Texas electricity rates. They join residents across the Lone Star State who have enjoyed electricity choice for over 20 years.

With this newfound freedom comes the responsibility of understanding how to navigate the sometimes-complex world of Texas electricity rates and electricity providers. So, for all the folks in Lubbock shopping for electricity, we’ve put together this overview to help you get started.

Understanding Texas electricity deregulation

Deregulation breaks the monopoly previously held by utility companies and lets various retail electricity providers (REPs) compete for your business. This benefits consumers by creating lower competitive rates, innovative electricity plan options and enhanced customer service.

Lubbock Power & Light (LP&L) will continue to serve as your utility as a Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP). That means LP&L will still be the Lubbock electricity utility that delivers power to your home and maintains the poles and wires in your community. However, you will choose who to buy your electricity from — your REP. (If you don’t make a choice by the initial February 15 deadline, you will automatically be assigned to one of three default REPs .)

What to know before you shop for Texas electricity rates

Here are the main things to know about Texas electricity rates and electricity providers before you decide on an REP.

Everyone has unique needs

Because families and households are different, there’s no such thing as “one-size-fits-all” in today’s deregulated electricity market. And that’s a good thing for consumers. Finding a plan tailored to your specific needs can help manage your electricity usage and your budget.

There are two types of plans: Fixed and Variable

Search for plans that best fit your current needs. One thing to consider is your desired term length. Do you want a fixed-price plan that secures your rate for 6-12 months (or longer) with a REP? Or would a month-to-month plan — with a price that changes monthly but allows you to change providers without an early contract termination fee — work better for your situation?

For example, time-of-use plans is a possibility to consider when shopping Fixed and Variable plans. With this type of plan, certain times of the day or week (i.e., nights or weekends) have a discounted price per kilowatt hour (kWh). If you use most of your electricity during these timeframes, a time-of-use plan may help you lower your monthly electricity bill.

Many REPs also offer renewable energy plans. If you’d like to lower your carbon footprint and help the planet by using solar or wind power, keep an eye open for 100% clean energy plans.

The cheapest option isn’t always the best option

It can be tempting to enroll in a plan with the lowest price per kWh. But there are a few reasons why the cheapest electricity plan might not always be the best.

1.) Pay attention to the Electricity Facts Label (EFL)

To get a complete picture of how much a plan will cost, you need to review the EFL of the plan. In addition to average prices per kWh, the EFL will list each component and term of the average price, like “free” electricity hours, what usage profile was used to the calculate the average prices, a base charge, TDSP pass-through fees, etc.

2.) The average prices per kWh on EFLs are only for specific monthly usages

Residential plans typically have different average price points depending on average monthly usages of 500 kWh, 1000 kWh and 2000 kWh. With some plans, the highest monthly usage bracket may have the lowest cost per kWh, and occasionally that is the plan price listed on initial advertisements. But if you regularly use much less electricity, your average price may be higher than what you see at first glance.

So, before you start shopping, check your previous electricity bills to get an idea of your typical or average monthly and seasonal usage. This will be valuable information as you compare Texas electricity rates.

3.) Customer service is important.

Providers with the cheapest plans may not have the customer service available to you at all times or available via channels such as email and webchat. To make sure you find electricity companies in Texas you can trust, do some research before choosing a plan. Ask friends and family about their experience with providers, read online reviews and check the websites of REPs you’re interested in.

4.) You could be missing other incentives.

Competition is fierce, so electricity providers have gotten creative in their pursuit of customers. Some plans now come with perks or other incentives like a free smart thermostat, gift cards and more. The value of these could make up for a higher price per kWh.

How to shop for electricity in Texas

If it sounds like shopping for Texas electricity rates is a confusing process that requires more than a little bit of math, don’t worry! It does take a little bit of time to become familiar with the nomenclature, process and options available. But in the end, you have the power to choose the best option for you, and that’s a valuable freedom.

To simplify the process, Everything Energy has created easy-to-use search tools that let you compare plans and pricing from some of Texas’s trusted REPs. You’ll be able to make an apples-to-apples Texas electricity rates comparison, see monthly bill estimates based on your average monthly usage and evaluate your options — all in one place! And best of all, it’s free. Lubbock residents, start shopping with confidence today.

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10 Ways to Manage Your Texas Energy Rate in 2024

Dec 19 2023

Electricity bills can be unpredictable. This is especially true in the winter and summer months when you use your HVAC system more frequently. As 2024 rolls in, make it a resolution to manage your Texas energy rate and take control of your electricity bills.

By using some of the following strategies, you can save money, find Texas electricity plans that fit your lifestyle and use less energy at home.

#1: Understand your energy usage

Taking control of your Texas energy rate and monthly electricity bills requires you to know how much energy your household uses each month. You also need to know how much you pay per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Knowledge is power!

Log in to your electricity account to look at your usage and billing history. Or you can review paper bills from the past 12 months.

#2: Switch to energy-efficient appliances

Many modern appliances continue to incorporate energy-saving design and technology. Energy-efficient appliances, like those with the ENERGY STAR® certification, can help you save a significant amount of electricity over time.

#3: Remedy air leaks

Air leaks around your doors and windows should be sealed so that heated (or cooled) air doesn’t escape your home. These simple DIY fixes can have a positive impact on your utility bill:

  • Close the space between the bottom of an outside door and the threshold with weatherstripping.
  • Seal any cracks or gaps in window frames with caulk.

#4: Use a smart thermostat

ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats can save users an average of 8% on their utility bills. A smart thermostat can automatically sense when you’re away and adjust the temperature to maximize energy efficiency. It can also be controlled from your mobile device. These are two big advantages that smart thermostats have over regular programmable thermostats.

However, if you’re working with a non-smart, programmable model, that’s ok! You can still set up a home/away schedule and avoid wasting electricity when you’re not in your house or apartment.

#5: Trade up to efficient lighting

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use at least 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. They also last much longer. Replacing inefficient bulbs with LEDs can save the average household about $225 per year. Though they do cost more upfront, LEDs will provide big returns over their lifetime.

#6: Try average billing

If bill spikes are a regular occurrence in your household, you may want to see if your electric company offers a form of average billing.

This billing method helps smooth out your electricity bills by basing each monthly payment on a rolling 12-month average.

Texas electricity companies like Reliant Energy, Green Mountain Energy, Direct Energy, Discount Power and Cirro Energy all offer this type of billing option. (Check terms and conditions for more information about how your monthly bill will be calculated when you choose average billing.)

#7: Put your electricity bills on autopilot

To manage your Texas energy rate and keep late payments at bay, see if your electricity provider offers automatic payment options. This lets you have your monthly balance automatically deducted from your bank account or credit card each month on or before the due date.

#8: Unplug unused electronics

Vampire power is the energy wasted by electronics that are plugged in and charged but not in use. It can add dollars onto every electricity bill, costing a significant amount each year.

Stop vampire power (also known as phantom load) by unplugging devices when they’re charged and not being used.

#9: Join energy-saving programs in your area

Check to see if your utility company offers any energy-saving programs or rebates. Such programs provide incentives (like bill credits or gift cards) for participating in initiatives to conserve energy or for purchasing energy-saving appliances.

Reliant Energy is a well-known electricity company that offers rewards for energy conservation.

#10: Shop and compare for a better Texas energy rate

This is a big one! If you don’t compare electricity rates in Texas, you may not be getting the best deal for your family and lifestyle. A few cents per kWh may not seem like much, but it adds up. So, spend some time shopping for electricity, and you’ll reap the rewards for the entire term of your contract!

Everything Energy offers the search tools you need for a hassle-free electricity shopping experience. Enter your ZIP code here, and start taking control of your Texas energy rate today.

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Pair Cheap Electricity Rates with ENERGY STAR® Rebates

Dec 12 2023

The end of 2023 is near. If you’ve bought an ENERGY STAR® certified product this year, or plan to, there may be rebates and tax credits available. Claiming these, along with securing cheap electricity rates, can help you put money back into your pocket in 2024.

What does “ENERGY STAR® certified” mean?

ENERGY STAR® is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It’s a certification that shows people which items are energy efficient. To earn this certification, and the helpful blue ENERGY STAR label, a product must meet strict efficiency standards. These are set by the EPA.

Why buy ENERGY STAR?

Using less energy can usually help you lower your electricity bill. Even people who are getting the best electricity deals could find more savings by becoming more energy efficient.

Since it began in 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped:

  • Save 5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity
  • Avoid over $500 billion in energy costs
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4 billion metric tons

So, if you’re in the market for a new electricity-using item, it makes sense to consider one that’s ENERGY STAR certified.

What types of ENERGY STAR rebates and tax credits can I get?

Many tax credits and rebates for ENERGY STAR products vary by the item, when you bought it and where you live, among other factors.

To see what savings are available, visit ENERGY STAR’s Rebate Finder. Just type in your ZIP code. Then, all the credits and rebates available in your area will be shown.

What ENERGY STAR products have tax credits?

Under the Inflation & Reduction Act of 2022, federal income tax credits are available through 2032 for certain energy-efficiency upgrades in homes. Look for tax credits offered for:

  • Heating & Cooling: air source heat pumps, central air conditioners, boilers, furnaces
  • Water heating: heat pump water heaters, natural gas/oil/propane water heaters
  • Building products: insulation, windows, exterior doors
  • Residential clean energy: geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines, solar energy systems, fuel cells, battery storage technology
  • Electric panel upgrades
  • Home energy audits

What ENERGY STAR products have rebates?

On top of tax credits, there may also be rebates open on some ENERGY STAR products. In addition to the items listed above, other appliances and electronics with the ENERGY STAR certification that may have incentives include:

  • Smart thermostats
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators
  • Washers & Dryers
  • Ductless heating and cooling
  • Ceiling fans and lighting
  • Computers and tablets
  • TVs
  • Electric vehicle chargers
  • Pool pumps

Energy-efficiency rebates + cheap electricity rates = savings

To maximize your savings, pair ENERGY STAR certified products with low-cost electricity rates. To find some of the best energy providers in Texas, along with plans that fit your lifestyle and rates that fit your budget, shop for electricity with Everything Energy.

Using our free search tools, you can filter energy plans by usage, term length, perks and more. Then, you can see average monthly bills and make apples-to-apples comparisons between plans. Start today — just enter your ZIP code.

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Shop Electricity Prices in Texas & Skip Black Friday

Nov 14 2023

Want to opt out of the Black Friday craze but still want to catch a “deal” or two?

We have a win-win scenario — save on things you already use. And we have the perfect place to start: your electricity bill. After all, you have the power to choose Texas electricity rates from a variety of electric providers in Houston, Dallas, Austin and more. So, why not exercise that right while hopefully saving a little money along the way? Keep reading to learn how shopping for electricity plans can pay off. Then, follow our step-by-step guide on how to shop for electricity prices in Texas that meet your budget and needs.

How do you maximize Black Friday savings?

The cheeky answer is: don’t buy anything!

Don’t worry — the economy won’t notice. In 2022, the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics reported a record 196.7 million Americans shopped between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. That’s over 58% of the entire U.S. population!

With 72% of the population reportedly living paycheck to paycheck, many people will be feeling a financial crunch this holiday season. To combat the crunch, you can work on putting some money back into your budget by saving on things you already use.

We all use electricity. And with residential electricity prices in Texas continuing to rise, it makes sense to use this Black Friday as an opportunity to shop for Texas energy rates that will won’t put you in the red next year.

Is it worth it to shop and compare electricity prices in Texas?

As a mostly deregulated state, Texans have the power to choose their electricity provider and energy plan. Exercising that privilege keeps rates competitive, which benefits all residents.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth your time to shop for electricity and compare Texas power prices, the answer is yes! Consider the following examples:

Example 1

You use around 1000 kilowatt hours (kWh) every month, paying an average of $0.17 per kWh. You find a plan with the same terms, but with an average price of $0.165 per kWh. Over 12 months, that’s $60 of savings for maybe 30 minutes of your time.

Example 2

You use around 500 kWh in your apartment every month. You just realized that you’re on a month-to-month plan, and your rate can fluctuate. Last month you paid an average $.0179 per kWh. But if you get on a 12-month fixed-price plan, you could lower your average cost per kWh. That’s savings plus price protection that you otherwise didn’t have.

In these examples, you could be putting money back into your pocket. That’s pretty rare on Black Friday!

How do I shop for electricity plans?

To make the process of shopping for electricity easy, we’ve broken it down into three simple steps.

Step 1: Find out more about your current electricity plan.

In order to shop for a deal, you have to be familiar with what you’re paying right now for electricity.

To do this, pull out your recent electricity bills (or open them online). Read through them carefully, including the fine print. Make note of your energy charge (what you pay per kWh) and any additional charges on your electric bill.

To account for any seasonal bill spikes, check your usage from the previous 6 to 12 months and find your average usage.

Also make note of when your current contract ends and any early termination fees.

What if your contract doesn’t expire for several months and you can’t cancel it without paying a fee? Continue through Step 2 to get a good idea of what you want for your next plan, then make a note on your calendar to revisit Step 3 when you have less than 14 days left on your current contract. At that time, you’re allowed to sign up for a new energy plan without incurring any early termination fees.

Step 2: Read about how electricity plans work.

Before you begin your search, educate yourself so you know exactly what to look for and how each plan will affect you. Things to keep in mind include:

  • The rate you see online may not always be the rate you pay. For instance, many plans publish the average price per kWh based on a home that uses 1000 kWh per month. If you only use 500 kWh per month, your average price could very well be higher.
  • The Electricity Facts Label (EFL) is a must-read. Every plan has an EFL, which has all the fine print about the plan. This is where you’ll see any rules and conditions of the plan, and any fees that may affect your total cost.
  • There are pros and cons to every term length. Plan term length can affect your price. Decide which one works best for you before you start your search.
  • Look at more than just cost per kWh. In other words, the cheapest electricity plan is not always automatically the best choice. Perks, energy-saving tools and provider reputation are all things to take into account.

Step 3: Start comparing electricity prices in Texas.

The easiest way to compare energy rates in Texas is to utilize a free energy broker. This will allow you to narrow down plans from many reputable providers at once.

Everything Energy, an energy broker, offers easy-to-use search tools and filters that will help you find the best electricity plans for your lifestyle, budget and preferences. You’ll be able to see each plan’s cost per kWh, EFL, plan details and even an estimated average monthly bill based on the usage you input. Plus, you can click and sign up on the plan in minutes.

Shop electricity prices in Texas on Black Friday — or any day

Black Friday is a great day to find some of the cheapest electricity in Texas. But you can also shop for energy plans any day of the year. The key to getting the best plan for your family is to shop and compare plans and pricing. The payoff could be well worth that little bit of extra time.

To start shopping electricity prices in Texas today, simply enter your ZIP code here.

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The Best Electricity Rates Can’t Slay Vampire Power

Oct 31 2023

Even if you’ve thoroughly shopped for the cheapest electricity rates and best electricity deals, and even if you’ve locked in one of the best electricity rates available, you could still be paying a scary price for vampire power.

What is vampire power?

Vampire power is the energy that certain electronics and electrical appliances continue to draw from electrical outlets, even when turned off or idle. It’s also referred to as standby power, phantom load or idle load.

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s a serious waste of energy and money. And it’s most likely happening in your home right now.

Where does vampire power lurk?

One way to identify electronics that consume power even in “off” or “sleep” mode is by an always-on LED. This could appear as a digital clock on a set-top box, a lit-up charging indicator or another type of status light.

Common items that consume standby power that you may have in your home include:

  • Battery chargers for tablets and smartphones
  • External power supplies for laptops and printers
  • TV set-top boxes, DVD players, video game consoles and Internet routers/modems
  • Smart appliances

What is the cost of vampire power?

Even though individual devices may not use huge amounts of vampire power, when you look at all the idle load in your home, it can really add up.

Although the amount of vampire power used varies from home to home, estimates say that always-on energy use by inactive devices can quickly add up to $100-200 a year in an average household.

Luckily, there are some simple ways to lose less to vampire power — and keep more of your hard-earned money.

The best electricity rates can’t slay vampire power — but you can!

As we mentioned, you may have one of the best electricity rates in Texas. But vampire power can quickly drain those savings. If you’re ready to banish phantom load, try these five tips:

1. Optimize your devices

Many devices — like computer screens, tablets and smartphones — let you adjust their energy efficiency settings. Take a look and see if you can minimize standby power consumption. Even some microwaves have power-saving modes that turn off the display — clock and all — when not in use.

2. Use a watt meter to find the biggest vampires

Buy or borrow a watt meter to figure out which electronics are consuming the most standby power. You can address these items first to make the biggest impact.

3. Use smart plugs and power strips

You can plug in electronics to a smart plug or power strip so they only draw power when needed. When you don’t need to use them, use your smartphone to turn the plug off, cutting power to the device. You can even set schedules for smart plugs to turn on and off at certain times. 

4. Manually unplug rarely used or fully charged devices

If you have a TV in a guest room that only gets used a few times a month, it doesn’t need to stay plugged in. The same goes for devices like smartphones, tablets, electric razors, power banks and other items that have been fully charged. Just unplug them to stop the energy drain in its tracks.

5. Buy more efficient appliances and electronics

If it’s time to replace an electronic device or appliance in your home, check out ENERGY STAR®-rated products. Items with an ENERGY STAR label have been externally certified against strict performance requirements and shouldn’t consume much standby power.

Run an electricity price comparison for greater savings

Eliminating vampire power, following energy-saving tips and finding the best electricity rates for your home and lifestyle are three ways to optimize your energy bill.

To search for some of the best electricity rates available in your area and make apples-to-apples electricity price comparisons, shop at EverythingEnergy.com.

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Prepaid Electricity Companies and How They Work

Oct 17 2023

Today’s consumers have more tools than ever to track and control their finances. Prepaid electricity companies offer one such way to keep an eye on spending.

Let’s look a little closer at pay-as-you-go energy plans and how they can be useful for some Texas electricity customers.

What is pay-as-you-go energy?

Just as the name implies, pay-as-you-go energy means you add money to your electricity account and get charged as you use energy — not at the end of a billing cycle. It’s similar to prepaid phone service, where you load money into your account, monitor your usage/balance and add more funds as needed.

How do prepaid electricity companies work?

According to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), you can expect the following from prepaid electricity:

  • Instead of a traditional deposit, you’ll need to make a “connection balance” payment to begin prepaid service with a Retail Electricity Provider (REP). This sets up a positive balance before you activate your service. Depending on the REP, you may need an initial balance of up to $75. (Note that Transmission and Distribution Utility fees could increase this initial amount.)
  • As a prepaid customer, you won’t receive monthly electricity bills. Instead, you’ll receive e-notifications from your REP about your account balance. This will let you know when to add funds to your account to keep your service going.
  • Prepaid electricity companies have their own fee structure. There may be a minimum balance requirement of up to $10 to avoid service disruptions.
  • If your account falls below this minimum balance, your electricity could be turned off without much notice. If you have a negative balance, you’ll need to pay that off before the service is reconnected.
  • If you need to get on a deferred payment plan, you can contact your REP.

For more specifics about prepaid energy programs in Texas, visit the PUCT’s FAQ page.

It’s important to note that not all Texas Retail Electric Providers (REPs) offer this type of prepaid energy plan. If you’re interested in pay-as-you-go energy, make sure that is an option with the REP you select.

What are the advantages of prepaid electricity companies?

Prepaid, pay-as-you-go energy plans that don’t require a credit check can be an attractive option for people who:

  • Have not established a credit history.
  • Have poor credit history.
  • Do not have the funds to pay for a deposit on a regular power plan.
  • Are on a tight budget and want to pay in smaller sums. You’re in control of how much you pay and when.
  • Want to have more control over their energy usage and bill by allowing you to easily track your usage and your budget.
  • Don’t want to be locked into a long-term contract.

As you can see, this no-deposit electricity option could be helpful in certain situations.

Which prepaid electricity companies should I check out?

Before you sign up with an REP, make sure to read their prepaid plan details. Each REP may have slightly different rules.

A couple reputable Texas companies that offer pay-as-you-go energy are Reliant Energy and Direct Energy.

Reliant Energy

The Reliant Energy Prepaid Power plan offers “electricity with no deposit, no credit check and no hassle.” You can pay using the Reliant app, online or at one of their stores.

On the Reliant prepaid plan, you’ll get texts letting you know if your balance is low. You can also schedule automatic reloads, so you don’t have to worry about your balance getting too low.

Direct Energy

Another convenient option is Direct Energy’s Residential Prepaid Electricity Plan. Like Reliant, Direct Energy offers:

  • Same-day electricity service after your make your initial payment;
  • Online account management;
  • Usage and reminder texts/emails; and
  • Easy payment options.

What are alternatives to pay-as-you-go energy plans?

Prepaid electricity companies and plans aren’t your only option. Here are some other ways to fit your electricity bill into a tight budget:

Average Billing

Many Texas electricity companies, like Cirro Energy, Green Mountain Energy, Direct Energy, Reliant Energy and more, offer Average Billing. These programs make your bills more predictable by basing your balance on your average monthly charges over the past year. This helps you avoid bill spikes and makes it easier to manage your budget.

For details on how Average Billing works, including how your bills are calculated, contact the REP directly.

Multiple Payments

You can often make several smaller payments on your balance instead of one large payment. For example, Green Mountain Energy accepts up to 3 payments in 5 days, and up to 5 payments in 30 days. This option can help you meet your electricity needs without using pay-as-you-go energy.

Deferred Payments

If you fall behind on your account, many Texas power companies offer payment plans that can get you back on track. To see what help your current REP offers, speak to a customer service agent about your situation.

Low-Income Assistance

Many electric companies in Texas offer programs or benefits to help low-income households pay for their utilities. To see if you qualify for any of their programs, call your REP.

Shopping for electricity is easy with Everything Energy.

If prepaid energy is not for you, try shopping for a short- or long-term electricity plan with Everything Energy. With just a few clicks, you can narrow down your plan options and find the best fit for your home, family and lifestyle.

Simply enter your ZIP code to get started.

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Texas Energy Providers Agree — the Future is LED

Oct 02 2023

In August 2023, a rule that would effectively ban the sale of common incandescent and halogen light bulbs went into full effect. Those types of bulbs do not meet the minimum standard of emitting 45 lumens per watt, making them energy inefficient. One of the most eco-friendly alternatives is the light-emitting diode (LED). And if you’ve been paying close attention over the past several years, many Texas Energy Providers have recommended switching to LEDs.

Read on for more information about the future of lighting: LEDs.

What are LEDs? And how do LEDs work?

LEDs differ from other types of lighting. As ENERGY STAR explains, “An electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs and the result is visible light.”

Heat created by the LEDs is absorbed into a heat sink. This keeps it from getting too hot and burning out. In fact, LEDs don’t usually “burn out” like we’re used to seeing with other types of lighting. Instead, their brightness slowly dims over time.

If you look at the packaging of an LED light, the lifetime listed is actually a prediction of when the light output decreases by 30%.

Why do Texas Energy Providers recommend LEDs so highly?

LED light bulbs offer a number of advantages over other light bulb types. Here are a few reasons why electric companies in Texas recommend we all switch to LEDs:

LEDs save energy

Residential LEDs use at least 75% less energy (and up to 90% less energy) than incandescent light bulbs. If everyone used LEDs instead, this energy savings would significantly reduce carbon emissions.

LEDs save money

As they use so much less energy than regular bulbs, LEDs can help you lower your electricity bill. Lighting makes up about 15% of an average home’s electricity usage. Using LEDs instead of traditional bulbs can save an average of $225 per year.

LEDs last longer

It’s true that LEDs cost more than regular bulbs at the time of purchase. However, LEDs last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. That means over time, you won’t need to buy nearly as many LED replacement bulbs for a fixture as you would if you used regular bulbs. Plus, the cost of LEDs continues to drop. This fact, combined with the money-saving efficiency of LEDs, gets you to a break-even point faster than in the past.

And while there are some drawbacks to LEDs (such as blue light exposure and increased light pollution) that need to be researched and addressed, they do show promising advantages over incandescent and other types of lighting.

What are some of the savings I can expect from an LED?

While you may or may not want to run out and replace all of your household lighting with LEDs at once, you can begin with impactful baby steps. Replacing bulbs in high-usage areas (like the kitchen and living room) is a great place to start. And replacing high-wattage bulbs with LED-equivalents will help you lower your usage.

Even one bulb can make a difference. For example, replacing a 43-watt halogen bulb with a 9-watt ENERGY STAR® rated LED bulb of the same luminosity could save $4.76 per year. And that’s just one bulb!

What else should I know about LEDs?

Texas energy providers like Reliant Energy, Green Mountain Energy, Direct Energy, Cirro Energy and Discount Power are examples of companies that embrace energy efficiency. Adopting LEDs is one easy way that homes and businesses can do just that.

You can also turn to ENERGY STAR® for more information about LEDs. Check out their LED purchasing checklist and their Choose a Light Guide to help you find the perfect LEDs for every room in your home.

Find and compare electricity rates in Texas

Residents of the Lone Star State have the power to choose Texas electricity providers for their homes! To make quick apples-to-apples comparisons of electric companies and plans, and sign up with just a few clicks, check out Everything Energy.

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Energy Comparisons of ENERGY STAR® Appliances

Sep 19 2023

If you’re looking to save on electricity costs, one way is to invest in ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances. Let’s take a look at what ENERGY STAR is and perform some energy comparisons. You might be surprised to see how much a new energy-efficient appliance could save you.

What is ENERGY STAR?

ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. It is run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

When you see the blue ENERGY STAR label on an appliance or other electronic equipment, you know right away that an item has been externally certified against strict performance requirements.

Why would a company want their product to be ENERGY STAR rated? First, it meets the growing consumer demand for efficiency and sustainability. Second, providing energy-efficient products helps protect the environment, improve air quality, and protect public health. It’s a win-win for all.

Since it began in 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped:

  • Save 5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity
  • Avoid more than $500 billion in energy costs
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 4 billion metric tons

How can ENERGY STAR appliances help me save money?

There are two costs to every appliance: what you pay to buy it and what you pay in energy (and water) costs to use it.

Owning an energy-efficient appliance will help you use less energy than one that meets the minimum federal requirements. Using less electricity helps lower your monthly energy bill. For appliances that are heavily used — like refrigerators, laundry machines or dishwashers — the monthly savings can add up.

If you’re in the market for a new appliance, perform an electricity comparison between the models you’re interested in. There should be a noticeable difference in kilowatt hour usage between the ENERGY STAR appliances and non-rated options.

Energy comparisons of 4 major appliances

We’ll begin with refrigerators since they’re plugged in and running all day, every day.

A refrigerator/freezer model must use approximately 9% less energy than a model that meets the federal minimum energy efficiency standards in order to earn the ENERGY STAR rating. Energy-efficient features of these units include:

  • High-efficiency compressors that emit less heat and use less energy
  • Improved insulation
  • Efficiency temperature and defrost systems

If you want to be energy efficient, you should replace your refrigerator if it’s more than 15 years old. That’s because an old fridge could cost up to 30% more to run than a new ENERGY STAR unit. And keep in mind that the most energy efficient full-size fridge/freezer combos are between 16 to 20 cubic feet.

Energy comparisons of dishwasher efficiency

Next up are dishwashers — a modern convenience that more than half of households in the U.S. possess.

Compared to standard models, ENERGY STAR-qualified dishwashers use 12% less energy. Over a 10-year period, an efficient dishwasher can also save about 3,870 gallons of water.

ENERGY STAR dishwashers have energy-efficient features including:

  • Soil sensors that test for dish cleanliness and adjust as needed
  • Better water filtration that removes food from the wash water as the cycle runs
  • Efficient jets to spray detergent and water
  • Innovative dish rack design to maximize your load

Energy comparisons of clothes washer efficiency

Moving on to the laundry room, we’ll first look at clothes washers.

ENERGY STAR-certified washing machines use around 20% less energy than regular models. They also use 30% less water — around 14 gallons, compared to the standard 20 gallons.

Additionally, ENERGY STAR-rated front-load washers use about 45% less energy and 50% less water than a top-load washer with an agitator.

Technology that helps deliver added efficiency to washers includes water-conserving wash systems and high spin speeds.

To get the maximum efficiency while doing laundry, pair an ENERGY STAR washer with an ENERGY STAR dryer.

Energy comparisons of clothes dryer efficiency

An efficient clothes dryer uses about 20% less energy than a standard model, which can help lower your electricity bill — especially if you have a lot of laundry to wash but don’t like to hang your clothes to dry.

ENERGY STAR rated dryers often feature:

  • Sensors that can tell when clothes are dry
  • Lower heat settings to conserve energy
  • Delayed start option, which can help you save money if you’re on a Time of Use electricity plan that charges less per kilowatt hour during certain times of the day
  • A steam cycle, to avoid having to iron clothes once they’re dry

Together with ENERGY STAR clothes washers, efficient dryers can help maximize your energy savings. In fact, ENERGY STAR certified laundry sets use 25% less energy and 33% less water.

Compare power plans for even greater savings

Upgrading to ENERGY STAR appliances when necessary can help you save on energy costs over the lifetime of the product. You can also compare electricity rates with an energy broker to help take control of your energy bill today.

To compare electricity prices, plans and providers the easy way, simply enter your ZIP code and start shopping with Everything Energy!

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Houston Energy Companies Offer Storm-Readiness Tips

Sep 05 2023

If you’re a Houston resident, you probably know a thing or two about hurricanes. Maybe you’ve even lived through hurricanes Harvey (2017), Ike (2008), Rita (2005) and/or previous Houston storms.

If so, you know it’s always best to be prepared. In an effort to make storm prep easier and keep residents safe, many Houston energy companies offer a bevy of tips and resources. We’re highlighting a few of them today to encourage you to be storm ready all season.

When is hurricane season in Texas?

Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30. At the time of this publication, we’re right around the halfway point.

Hurricane prep tips from Houston energy companies

Brush up on your hurricane prep with these helpful tips from Houston power providers.

Green Mountain Energy’s Texas Storm Readiness Guide

This thorough guide assembled by Green Mountain Energy tells you what to do before, during and after a storm.

Helpful tips include:

  • Stay alert by checking the National Hurricane Center website regularly.
  • Stock up on supplies for your home and car. Don’t forget to pack:
    • Bottled water
    • Non-perishable food
    • Medications (prescriptions and over-the-counter)
    • First aid supplies
    • Toiletries
    • Pet food, if applicable
    • Rain gear
    • Batteries
    • Flashlights
    • Battery-operated radio
    • Solar-powered phone charger
    • Backup power solutions such as a generator and a portable power bank
  • Prep your home by securing outdoor equipment and trimming tree branches near your house to minimize the risk of broken windows and debris.

Direct Energy’s Learning Center Resources

In the Direct Energy Learning Center, you’ll find helpful ways to deal with summer weather. That includes not only hurricanes but other storms, floods and extreme heat.

Some of the many tips from Direct Energy include:

  • Create a hurricane evacuation plan for your family. Things to plan are a family meeting spot; alternate routes to your meeting place (in case you encounter flooded roads, downed trees or power lines); and an emergency backpack that contains important documents and identification cards.
  • Understand post-hurricane food and water safety, like what to do with frozen and refrigerated foods during a loss of power and whether you need to boil water before drinking it.
  • Print this supply and grocery checklist to make it easier to assemble your storm supplies and “go” bag.

Reliant Energy’s Storm Center

Reliant Energy offers a robust section on its website to help Texans prepare for severe weather. Here are some highlights:

  • Evacuations can be lengthy and stressful. Make sure to include a board game, deck of cards and/or books in your “go” bag.
  • Other items to add to your “go” bag are a 7-day supply of medications; glasses/contact lenses and eye care items; and food/supplies for any pets you’d take with you.

Reliant also provides a handy way to report an outage. Simply choose your Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) from the list (or enter your service address). You’ll be provided with two options for reporting an outage — by phone or online. We recommend bookmarking that site for easy reference.

Cirro Energy’s Storm Center

Another site to check out for hurricane prep is Cirro Energy’s Storm Center. During a storm, the Houston energy company offers these tips:

  • Head to a basement or bathroom. A bathtub can provide some protection if you cover yourself with plywood or other materials.
  • Turn off and unplug major appliances and electronics during a power outage.
  • Avoid being outside, even if it seems like the storm has ended. Strong winds could follow periods of calm.

Cirro also provides information on how to apply for FEMA assistance. For reference, you can apply by registering at DisasterAssistance.gov or calling (800) 621-FEMA.

Discount Power Storm Center

Getting where you need to go when severe weather is forecast can be chaotic. Discount Power’s storm preparedness page shows where you can find the latest updates on traffic, construction, and road closures.

Become familiar with these sites before a hurricane is on the horizon so you’re well-informed during a storm:

More resources from Houston energy companies

Now that you know where to look as you prepare for the second half of hurricane season (and future years as well), you have a wealth of information at your fingertips.

Here are a few more resources from electricity companies Houston residents trust for hurricane support.

Preparation is key when it comes to Texas weather

With these resources from local Houston power companies, you can make sure you have a plan for keeping your family safe through severe weather situations and potential evacuation.

Now is the time to prepare, so you can remain cool, calm, and collected in the face of adversity.

Shop and compare Texas and Houston energy companies

To find some of the best electricity rates Houston and the Lone Star State have to offer, check out Everything Energy. You can shop, compare, and enroll in a plan that fits your home, lifestyle, and budget.

Click here to get started with just your ZIP code!

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