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Finding you the best energy plans

How an Energy Broker Could Help You Save Money

Dec 06 2022

Everything Energy is an energy broker. Specifically, we help residential customers find the best electricity provider and electricity plan for their home, preferences and lifestyle. 

Read on to learn how you can benefit from using an electricity broker in your home energy search.

What does an energy broker do?

Like many other types of brokers, an energy broker (or utility broker) connects a buyer and seller. For Everything Energy, that means a residential customer and an electricity provider.

As an energy broker, Everything Energy’s goal is to give consumers a straightforward way to make apples-to-apples comparisons of electricity plans. We want to simplify the somewhat daunting task of choosing an energy provider. Our tools help you narrow down the options from a variety of trusted Texas electricity providers

Saving money with an energy broker

Using Everything Energy’s innovative search tools, you can zero in on the best energy provider and plan for your specific needs. 

In reality, one size never fits all when it comes to electricity plans. Some plans work well for a family of five in a 2000-square-foot home. But those same plans may not be optimal for a college student living in a studio apartment. 

The price could appear to be the same when focusing only on the cost per kilowatt-hour. But when you apply a higher level of personalization and adjust for usage habits, a different story may emerge.

As an energy broker, Everything Energy takes the information you provide and factors that into the equation. What you get are average bill estimates that let you make more precise comparisons. This helps you get the best plan for you, which in turn could save you money.

What does an energy broker not do?

There are several things an energy broker does not do. These include:

  • Make the electricity that is delivered to your home
  • Deliver the electricity to your home
  • Maintain the poles and wires in your city
  • Provide customer service for the electricity providers
  • Handle power outages and other emergencies

Does it cost money to use an electricity broker?

Not at all! The best part about an energy broker is that it doesn’t cost you, the consumer, anything to use. We’re simply here to offer you a number of solutions to choose from. And we are confident we can help you find the perfect fit for your needs. 

You don’t need to provide your credit card to use our site, or even any personal information. Just filter your options by selecting your monthly electricity usage, term length preferences and other inputs. You’re even able to search for green energy suppliers and plans. Or, view only the energy plans that offer airline miles or other perks. The choice is yours.

Once you make a decision, you go directly to the electricity provider’s website for the sign-up process.

For the most personalized results, you do have the choice of allowing Everything Energy to access your Smart Meter data. However, this is optional. And it always requires your prior consent.

How do I start using an energy broker to find the best electric company for my needs?

You’re almost there! Just click over to the Everything Energy home page to get started. Enter your ZIP code to view electricity plans available in your area. Then, explore our filters to find the very best electricity plan for your home, family and needs.

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Low-Cost Electricity Holiday Lighting Tips

Nov 29 2022

Opinions differ on when the holiday lights and decorations should be put up. Some like to start in early November to cover the entire holiday season. Others take a less-is-more approach and decorate mid-December. Two more popular options are to use the day after Thanksgiving or the first day of December as a cue to get the décor out. But no matter when you decorate, it’s ideal to use low-cost electricity holiday lighting.

Is a lower electricity bill possible when it comes to holiday lighting?

In a word, yes. If you’ve been using energy inefficient lights, and have not been mindful of energy usage, you can become more efficient in your holiday decorations. And that can lead to a potentially lower energy bill. 

Much of the possible savings comes down to the type of holiday lights you choose. Newer light-emitting diode (LED) lighting uses at least 75% less energy — and last up to 25 times longer — than traditional incandescent lights.

How do LEDs lead to lower energy bills?

LEDs are semiconductors that convert electricity into light. They are the most energy efficient bulb options, and the technology is still developing rapidly. 

LEDs emit very little heat. Meanwhile, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat, with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) releasing 80% of their energy as heat. That means LEDs consume just a fraction of electricity that their less-efficient counterparts do. And that makes LEDs a low-cost electricity lighting option.

According to energy.gov, it would cost$0.27 a day to light a 6-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days using LEDs. Using incandescent lights, it would cost around $10 for those same 40 days. If you apply this strategy to all of your indoor and outdoor holiday lighting, the savings can add up.

Other benefits to using LEDs

In addition to their energy efficiency, low-cost electricity LEDs are also:

  • Safer. Because they don’t get hot like CFLs and incandescent bulbs, there’s less chance of combustion or burns.
  • Easier. You can connect many strands of LED holiday lights together without overloading the electrical socket.
  • More durable. Instead of glass, LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, meaning they’re less likely to break. 
  • Longer lasting. The same strands of LEDs you use this year could still be working in 40 years. Plus, if one light burns out, it doesn’t affect the entire strand. (Read more about the science behind LEDs here.)

You can find many styles of LED lights in stores around the country or through online retailers. There are even ENERGY STAR® certified decorative light strands and rebates available.

What are some other low-cost electricity holiday lighting strategies?

In addition to using LEDs, you can be more energy efficient with your holiday lights by doing the following:

Use light timers or smart plugs to make low-cost electricity lighting even lower

Put your indoor and outdoor holiday lights on a schedule with light timers. It can help avoid the temptation to leave everything on all day and all night.

A smart plug can be connected to your home’s Wi-Fi so you can turn the power on and off via your phone or voice command. Not only can you customize a schedule for your holiday lighting, but you can also easily make changes even when you’re away from home.

Use fewer lights to help reduce electricity bills

Of course, another low-cost electricity strategy is to use fewer lights. That doesn’t mean curbing the holiday magic. Rather, just because you have 15 strands of lights doesn’t mean you have to use them all.

How else can I lower my electricity bill over the holidays?

Aside from using low-cost electricity LEDs, there are many other ways you can use less energy over the holidays to help achieve a lower energy bill:

  • Opt for a Crockpot, pressure cooker or microwave instead of using the oven.
  • Lower your thermostat a few degrees during the day and use extra layers to stay warm.
  • Keep presents, decorations and toys away from heat vents.
  • Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load. Ditto for the clothes washer and dryer.
  • Enjoy screen-free evenings by the fire and candlelight.
  • Keep your garage door(s) closed in cold weather.
  • If you’re going away for a few days, unplug electronics to avoid phantom load and set your thermostat and hot water heater to “vacation mode.”
  • Let leftovers cool down at room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator.
  • Try turning down the temperature and sleeping with an electric blanket or hot water bottle so you don’t have to heat the whole house at night.

Where can I get low-cost electricity all year long?

If you want to work toward a lower energy bill beyond the holiday season, shop around for low electricity rates. Using Everything Energy’s easy comparison tools, you can find the best Texas energy provider and plan for your family and lifestyle. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and see estimated bill amounts from trusted Texas energy companies. Click here to get started.

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Compare ENERGY STAR® Tax Credits for Big 2022 Credits

Nov 22 2022

Did you purchase an energy-efficient appliance at the start of the year? Or are you planning to buy one this Black Friday or as a holiday gift? If so, you’ll want to research and compare ENERGY STAR® tax credits your purchase may be eligible for.

What is ENERGY STAR?

“ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions,” according to energystar.gov

ENERGY STAR® offers many ways to save electricity. Certified products include:

  • TVs, DVD players and sound systems
  • Light bulbs, light fixtures and decorative lighting
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators
  • Electric heat pump water heaters
  • Gas storage water heaters
  • Clothes washers and dryers
  • Windows, doors and skylights
  • Air conditioners, furnaces, smart thermostats and de-humidifiers
  • Pool pumps
  • Computers, printers and monitors

Sometimes, the federal government offers tax credits, rebates and other deals when you buy ENERGY STAR® certified items. This gives you an extra reason to become more energy efficient.

How do I research and compare ENERGY STAR® tax credits for 2022?

The energystar.gov website makes it easy to see if you qualify for any tax credits. Simply visit the Rebate Finder page and enter your ZIP code. Then, you will be shown all of the offers available in your area.

Or, you can visit the Equipment Tax Credits for Primary Residences page. This provides an alternate view of credits available to you.

How much of a tax credit will I get for buying an ENERGY STAR® certified appliance?

According to the ENERGY STAR® website, you can get a tax credit in one of two forms. Depending on the product, the credit is either 10% of the cost (up to $500) or a specific amount from $50-$300. Tax credits vary by the type and model of product you buy. 

However, not all ENERGY STAR® certified products qualify for a rebate or credit, so before you make a purchase, make sure you compare ENERGY STAR® tax credits. Also, read the fine print and know if your product choice(s) qualify for this benefit.

What else should I know as I compare ENERGY STAR® certified appliances?

Sometimes the best energy deals take a little upfront investment. ENERGY STAR® certified appliances may cost more than less efficient products, but they are better for the planet and your electric bill.

Are you thinking about investing in an ENERGY STAR® Certified product? If so, compare ENERGY STAR® tax credits, rebates and other special offers available to you before the year ends.

Compare energy prices and electricity providers the easy way

Shop and compare electricity prices and electricity suppliers to power your ENERGY STAR® products. Use our innovative search tools to filter, sort and evaluate your energy choices. Start your search today.

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5 Tips to Keep Energy Costs Down on Thanksgiving

Nov 15 2022

If you’ve noticed a higher-than-average electric bill lately, you’re not alone. Luckily, the worst of the Texas heat is over (for now), but with Thanksgiving kicking off the holiday season soon, it’s easy to forget about all the potential extra energy costs.

How are energy costs affected by the holidays?

Holidays bring a number of reasons to use energy. Holiday lighting — both indoor and outdoor — can be a big one. Bumping up the thermostat to stay cozy is another. Big feasts and cookie baking lead to more dishes, which means more hot water … which can run up energy costs. 

As you can see, it’s a case of a little bit here, a little bit there. The kilowatt hours (kWh) add up and could lead to surprise electricity usage amounts when your post-holiday bill comes.

5 tips for keeping energy costs down this Thanksgiving

To make Thanksgiving (and the rest of the holiday season) more energy-efficient, follow these five tips:

Tip #1: Monitor your thermostat

If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving get-together, pay attention to your home’s temperature. What started out as a comfortable setting for your small family may feel hot and stuffy once more people arrive, the food starts cooking, etc. This is an opportunity to lower the thermostat temperature and keep energy costs down.

This tip also applies if you’re going to visit family or friends and will be gone most of the day or overnight. Since there’s no need to heat an empty house, you can lower your thermostat several degrees while you’re gone and save some power.

Tip #2: Use energy-efficient cooking methods

In 2019, Americans used around 347 gigawatts of electricity combined to roast their turkeys this Thanksgiving. (Yep, someone sat down and did the math!) That’s equivalent to the world’s nuclear power capacity in 2012, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. That surely racked up quite the electricity cost. We can assume 2022 will bring similar usage.

Okay, so most people have no other option but the oven for preparing a whole turkey. One way to save energy is to cook other dishes simultaneously with the turkey. But you can also shave off some energy costs over the holiday by using energy-efficient appliances to prepare other foods.

Here are examples of estimated electricity usage by appliance type, in kilowatts (kW). (Appliances vary. Check the wattage on your appliance to find exact figures. Note: 1000 Watts = 1 kW)

  • Crockpot: .16 kW per hour
  • Pressure cooker: .7 kW per hour
  • Microwave: 1.0 kW per hour
  • Air fryer: 1.5 kW per hour
  • Electric stovetop (8” element): 2.1 kW per hour
  • Electric oven: 2.15 kW per hour

As you can see, the oven and stovetop use the most energy. Crockpots and pressure cookers are both convenient options that also consume little electricity.

If you need a little inspiration, try these Thanksgiving recipes for pressure cookers and slow cookers.

Tip #3: Enjoy your evening by firelight

Doesn’t the thought of friends and family gathering around a crackling, warm fire sound lovely? Try turning off the lights, lowering the thermostat a degree or two, and serving Thanksgiving dessert by the fireplace. Sure, one night of this may not make a huge dent in your energy costs. But if it becomes a regular practice, the savings can start adding up.

Don’t have a fireplace? Try a candle-lit evening instead.

Tip #4: Let leftovers cool on the counter

Don’t rush to put all those delicious Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge. Let them cool down to room temperature (or as close as is safe for the food). This prevents the food from releasing heat in the refrigerator and causing the appliance to work harder. 

Check out more helpful fridge temperature tips from energy.gov to keep energy costs down here.

Tip #5: Put your dishwasher to work

Here’s an amazing fact: 61% of Americans argue over whether dishes should be pre-rinsed before being put in the dishwasher. 

Let us save you at least one argument this Thanksgiving. Go ahead and scrape large pieces of food into the trash or disposal. But don’t pre-rinse. Dishwashers and dish detergents are built to tackle these types of messes efficiently. And you’ll conserve some hot water and energy by only hand-washing non-dishwasher-safe and bulky items. 

Just make sure you have a full (but not crammed) load of dishes before you press ‘Start.’ This will get the most efficient wash and minimize energy costs.

Shop electricity plans for more ways to tame energy costs

Before you fill up on turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie next week, head over to Everything Energy. You can shop and compare electricity plans and energy prices with ease. That way, you can check that off your holiday to-do list before the holidays even begin.

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Texas Power Companies Share Top Energy-Savings Tips

Nov 08 2022

Heading into winter, you may be thinking about your Texas energy rates. Specifically, your monthly bills for the cooler months may leave you wondering how you can use less electricity after another sizzling summer. But Texas power companies have your back with an abundance of tips, tricks and suggestions on how to make this winter an energy efficient one at home.

Texas power companies share their top tips for conserving energy

Check out the sage advice from five electric companies in Texas that know a thing or two about conserving energy.

Green Mountain Energy

To support its mission to change the way power is made, Green Mountain Energy is one of the Texas power companies you can count on for 100% clean, renewable energy. To cut down on electricity usage, they recommend that you:

  • Wait for a full load. Run the dishwasher only when you have a full load of dishes to wash. This will save water and energy. Also, let them air dry instead of using the heat cycle.
  • Stock your fridge. A full fridge — and freezer — can actually help your appliance be more efficient. That’s because the contents of a full refrigerator or freezer help contain the cold, so the unit won’t have to work as hard to cool the empty space.
    • Unplug electronics not in use. Taking the plug out of the wall will help minimize energy waste while a device is in standby mode (also called phantom load). 
    • Be an energy star. If you’re in the market for a new appliance, check out efficient models that have the ENERGY STAR® certification. 

Discount Power TX

In contrast to many Texas power companies that offer lots of extras and plan add-ons, Discount Power is a back-to-basics electricity provider in the Lone Star State. They have budget-friendly pricing and plans that fit every family’s needs. To stay warm on a budget this winter, the folks at Discount Power suggest:

Use extra blankets. Don’t let cozy blankets go to waste in the closet. Put them to good use for some free warmth. Adding a blanket or two during the day or at night will let you comfortably turn down the thermostat a few degrees and save energy.

Insulate the access door. Even if your attic is well-insulated, the access door may not be. Keep rising warm air from leaking into the attic by attaching fiberglass batt insulation to the attic side of the door. This will form a good seal.

Let vents breathe. To heat your home properly and efficiently, make sure nothing is blocking the heating vents. Rearrange the furniture in each room so it doesn’t prevent airflow from the registers. And keep toys, laundry and other items from blocking the vents.

Lower your water heater temperature. Water heaters are often set to 140 degrees. However, setting them between 120 and 125 degrees is sufficient to provide hot water for your home, helping to reduce energy costs. It can also prevent scalding.

Direct Energy

Direct Energy is one of the Texas power companies that gives customers innovative tools and information to help them take control of their energy usage. Here are some of their take-charge tips:

  • Dress strategically. Layering with clothing made from natural fibers will help you stay truly warm. Cotton, wool and silk are all materials that breathe, but keep in the warmth. 
  • Get an HVAC tune-up. Annual maintenance of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can help increase efficiency. 

Close garage doors. Keep your garage door closed as much as possible. This helps retain warmer air against the garage-side wall of the house. It will also function as a buffer against colder outside air. 

Cirro Energy

With Cirro Energy, you get an easy electricity experience. Everything from signup to bill paying is simplified, so you can get back to more important things. Some easy actions they suggest include:

  • Enjoy the sunshine. Even in winter, the sun is still a natural (and free!) source of energy. Open up your shades and curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to let heat in. (But close them at night to reduce any chill from cold windows.)
  • Switch to a smart thermostat. Most Texas power companies agree that a smart thermostat is an excellent energy-saving device. In addition to being programmable, a smart thermostat also learns your habits and preferences over time. That way, it can adjust automatically. Plus, you can control it from your smartphone. That means you can avoid heating or cooling an empty house if you’re out longer than expected.
  • Seal the flue. When you’re not using your fireplace, make sure to close the flue to keep chilly air from seeping into your home.
  • Clean dryer lint filters. Remove lint from the filter after every load of laundry, and clean dryer ducts annually to help your clothes dryer run more efficiently.

Reliant Energy

Counted on by residents across the state, Reliant Energy provides innovative ways to personalize your power and take control of energy efficiency. They suggest:

  • Cover your hot water heater. Older water heaters, or those with an R-value of less than 24, could benefit from a water heater “jacket.” The additional insulation can help minimize expensive heat loss. Note: R-value is a measure of the resistance of an insulating or building material to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating capability.
  • Get alerted. Reliant is one of the Texas power companies that offers text alerts when your costs exceed a set amount. This benefit reminds you to be more energy efficient so you can try to stick to your budget. 
  • Be patient with your thermostat. As tempting as it is to crank your thermostat up 10 degrees to warm the house up quickly, don’t do it. Not only will it not heat things up faster, but it makes your heater exert more energy. (Also, frequently changing the temperature by a few degrees causes the heater to go into a costly and inefficient start-stop cycle.)
  • Weatherstrip. Seal any cracks or air leaks in exterior doors and windows to keep cold air outside.

Find the best Texas power companies for your home and budget

Now that you’ve explored some energy-saving tips from Texas power companies, it’s time to save more energy! Shop and compare plans the easy way  —with our personalized filters and average bill estimates. Start shopping today!

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Avoid Scary Electric Costs — Banish Phantom Load

Oct 25 2022

Many of the electronics in your home are adding to your electric costs — even when they’re not in use! “Phantom load” refers to the power used by electronic devices when in standby mode. It’s also called “vampire power.” 

How much does phantom load add to your electric costs?

Nobody knows for sure what percentage of electricity usage phantom load represents. Thus, it’s hard to say how much it adds to your average electric bill. However, the Standby Power Research at Berkeley Lab estimates that phantom load amounts to 5-10% of residential electricity usage. (Some estimates are even higher.) This may not seem like a lot on first glance. But reducing vampire power can help you drive down your monthly electric costs. 

Plus, it’s not just about our own waste. The National Resources Defense Council estimates that standby power use by inactive devices translates to the electricity produced from 50 large (500-megawatt) power plants. If we all reduced our own phantom load, even by a small amount, it would add up to a significant decrease of wasted power. And that’s great news for the planet’s health.

How do I know how much phantom load an item is using?

Some appliances and electronics use more standby power than others. You can use a watt meter to measure the amount of power an item uses in standby and working modes. (Some libraries even have these handy devices available for free checkout!)

If you know your electricity cost per kWh (kilowatt hour), you can use the watt meter reading to calculate how much you pay to run the device or appliance in both modes.

What are some ways to minimize vampire power?

To work toward your best electricity bill and minimize energy waste, try these solutions:

Unplug

Maybe it’s not realistic to unplug all of your electronics when you’re not using them. But you could make it a habit to unplug a few to help lower your electric costs. Remember, every little bit helps both your monthly average electric bill and the planet. 

Items you can unplug when not in use include:

  • DVD player
  • Speakers
  • Battery charger
  • Coffee pot
  • Rice cooker/pressure cooker/air fryer
  • Computer
  • Scanner
  • Printer
  • Heated blanket
  • Infrequently used TVs
  • Remote-controlled toys
  • Dehumidifier
  • Air purifier
  • Standing fans
  • Digital photo frames
  • Lamps
  • Vacuum
  • Phone and device chargers
  • Electric toothbrushes, razors and water flossers

Reorganize

Use a surge protector power strip with an on/off switch for several electronics in an area. With one flip of the switch, all of the plugged-in items can be completely powered off while still remaining plugged into the power strip — with no standby energy consumed. To do this, you may need to reorganize the placement of some of your items that use standby power. However, it is a straightforward way to reduce phantom load and extra electric costs.

Wi-Fi smart power strips and smart plugs provide even more convenience as you combat energy prices. Some of these power strips can detect when plugged in items are not in use and stop sending electricity to them. Many let you control each plugged-in item individually with your mobile device or through voice command through Alexa or Google Assistant. 

How do I compare electricity rates to help ease my monthly electric costs?

Minimizing vampire power is just one trick you can use to help lower your monthly electric costs. Another is to compare electricity cost per kWh and other factors before you choose your next electricity plan. 

Everything Energy has the tools you need to make apples-to-apples comparisons with ease. That way, you can be confident you have the best energy plan for your needs. Try our personalized pricing search tool now!

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Conserve Energy this Back-to-School Season

Aug 16 2022

August is National Back to School Month. As you wrap up your summer vacations and do some last-minute school supply shopping, don’t forget to put healthy habits into motion for the school year. Here are some easy ways your child(ren) can conserve energy at home — and potentially help lower your Texas electricity bill.

Start with a handful of energy-saving tips to conserve energy.

You don’t need to come up with a list of 100 ways to save energy at home in order to help your children make an impact on the environment and your electric bill. Just start with 5 ways to save energy at home and build from there. Try these easy home energy-saving tips that any student can get on board with.

Tip #1: Flip out.

Lighting accounts for about 15% of an average home’s electricity usage, notes the U.S. Department of Energy. So, help youngsters remember to flip the light switches off when a room is empty. It’s an easy way to chip away at a portion of your electricity usage.

Make it fun: Time your kid(s) as they race around the house turning off the lights.

Tip #2: Load less.

The average U.S. family does about 300 loads of laundry per year. That’s a lot of water and electricity. Do your children add to your workload by tossing mostly clean clothes into the hamper (or on the floor)? If so, you could be doing fewer loads each year. Start a new habit: if shirts, sweaters, pants or shorts look clean and smell fresh, they go back into the closet — and not into the washing machine. (Underwear and socks get a free pass straight into the laundry, though!)

Make it fun: Have your child(ren) keep track of how many loads of laundry are done per week. That way, you’ll all know if your efforts are working.

Tip #3: Unplug.

How about a screen-free, device-free night with the family? Whether it’s game night, a reading party, or an outdoor adventure, unplugging a few times a month (or week!) helps conserve energy. In fact, this is one of our favorite conservation of energy examples. That’s because it doubles as a way for everyone in the family to escape their ever-present screens for a while. 

Make it fun: Go totally electricity-free by using candles to light up your night.  

Tip #4: Suds up standing up.

Did you know that an 8-minute shower uses around 16 gallons of water? Meanwhile, an average bath uses between 35-50 gallons. The answer is clear: a quick shower can save both water and the electricity required to heat it, making it the more energy-efficient option. 

Make it fun: Fill in page 2 of this worksheet with your child(ren) to show them just how much they can help save by cutting their shower time by one minute.

Tip #5: Study in natural light.

Instead of using a ceiling light or desk lamp during homework time, have your child(ren) sit by a bright window. This helps conserve energy. Bonus: there are many health benefits of natural light like boosting vitamin D and improving both mood and sleep.

Make it fun: Turn on some classical music and place an after-school treat at the workspace to make homework time a positive activity.

Celebrate your successes as you save energy at home.

Let your child(ren) know that hard work pays off, whether it’s in the classroom or at home. For example, if you notice your electricity bill is going down each month, show them how they’ve made a difference. Or, if you receive a home energy neighborhood comparison noting that you’ve been more energy efficient than your neighbors, plan a reward for the family. Acknowledgement and positive support can go a long way in creating lifelong energy savers.

Conserve energy together for a brighter future.

In addition to possibly lowering your electricity bill, when you conserve energy at home, you’re helping the planet. That’s because using fewer kilowatt hours (kWh) means fewer carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses get released into the earth’s atmosphere. By teaching the next generation the importance of conservation, you’re helping to reinforce a sustainability mindset.

Keep it going: Continue working toward energy conservation by following even more energy-saving tips together.

Find the best electricity plan for your family.

While creating new back-to-school energy conservation habits with your children, stop by Everything Energy. You can see if there’s a Texas electricity plan that better meets your family’s needs. Shop and compare electricity rates, and get personalized pricing in an instant. 

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Cheap Electricity: Is it Always the Best Choice?

Jul 19 2022

With inflation and the cost of living on the rise this year, many Texans are looking at any and every way to cut back on spending. That includes finding cheap electricity to help lower monthly utility bills — especially in Texas’s hot summer. But is cheap electricity always the best choice for powering your home? Let’s take a closer look at the issue.

Should I be looking for the cheapest electricity rates?

Cheap electricity is the same as more expensive electricity, right? In essence, yes. So, cheap energy plans are very appealing in that respect. By simply choosing the energy plan with the lowest rate, you might assume you’ve found the best plan. But price is just the beginning. You’ll want to consider much more when choosing how to power your home.

Besides cheap electricity, what else should I look for in a Texas energy provider?

Before narrowing it down to the plans with the cheapest energy rates, look at other related factors including:

  • What perks or credits do other, higher-priced electricity plans offer? Are these worth the difference in the energy rate to you?
  • How long has the electricity provider been in business? 
  • Does the electricity provider have a good reputation online and among your family and friends?
  • Does the provider offer tips and tools to help you reduce your electricity usage? (This can potentially help lower your utility bill.)
  • What other “extras” can you get from another provider, such as a mobile app, detailed usage information, energy-efficiency comparison emails, etc.?

Some Texas electricity providers add more value to an electricity plan than others. Along with price, all of these things should be considered when you make your decision. At the end of the day, you want an electricity company you can trust that offers what’s most important to you.

What is the cheapest energy company?

Some Texas energy companies offer a no-frills approach to electricity. This can (but doesn’t always) equate to cheap electricity. Really, there’s no single energy company in Texas that consistently provides the cheapest energy. Plans and pricing change often. So, a low-priced plan you see today may not be the least expensive option tomorrow. 

What else should I know about electricity rates?

Before you choose a cheap electric company or plan based on price alone, take a step back. Do you understand the details related to rates? For example, you may see a great electricity rate online, but on closer look, it turns out to be a month-to-month plan. This means your rate could spike the following month with no warning. Term length matters, and it can affect your average monthly bill.

Also, you’ll want to know how many kilowatt hours (kWh) you use, on average, each month. That way, you can make accurately compare rates of plans. Comparing rates for a monthly usage of 500 kWh to rates for 2,000 kWh can be like comparing apples to oranges.

How do I find cheap electricity plans?

The easiest way to find an electricity plan that fits your budget, lifestyle and needs? Shop and compare electricity plans with Everything Energy. You can even use your Smart Meter Texas usage data to see personalized pricing and monthly bill estimates!

What are the best electricity companies in Texas?

Now you know that there’s no single cheapest energy company in Texas. You also know that many electric companies provide added value to consumers. You can find this value in many forms, like excellent customer service, perks, credits and energy-efficiency guidance. So, now it’s time to combine this knowledge to find electricity companies and plans that best fit you and your family.

When you use an advanced online energy shopping tool, you can look at plans and features side by side. That means you can make apples-to-apples comparisons to find your perfect match.

Are there other ways to lower my electricity bill? 

Getting cheap electricity is not the only way to save money on your electric bill. More ways to help lower your electricity costs include:

  • Earn bill credits: Some electricity providers in Texas will offer a credit on your monthly bill for enrolling in paperless billing, automatic payments or other options. You may even find energy companies that reward you for referrals.
  • Lower your usage: Using less can help lower your bill. It doesn’t have to be drastic. Simple things like changing your AC’s air filter or unplugging devices when charged can make a difference.
  • Make home improvements: Sealing drafty windows and doors or adding insulation can help your home become more energy efficient.
  • Consider upgrades: If you’re in the market for new appliances, check out Energy Star-rated machines. They’re more energy-efficient than most standard appliances. So, they can help you use less and save money over time. 
  • Embrace smart tech: Smart thermostats, plugs, lighting and more can help you save more and use less. 

Find an affordable energy plan today.

As you can see, getting the cheapest electricity that’s out there may not always be the best option for your situation, home energy goals and preferences. But no matter what your top priority is when it comes to electricity, we can help. To get started, just enter your ZIP code at EverythingEnergy.com. We’ll guide you from there.

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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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Average Electricity Costs? Try Energy-Saving Tips

May 31 2022

Summer heat can raise your average utility bill

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

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

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

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

Energy-saving tips to lower your average electricity costs

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

Show some filter love.

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

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

Take an energy break.

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

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

Avoid thirst traps. 

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

Shake & (don’t) bake.

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

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

Tennis, anyone?

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

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

Cut down on shower hour.

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

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

Smarten up your home.

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

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

The more, the merrier.

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

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

Too hot to handle?

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

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

How much can you save by reducing electricity use?

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

Why has my electricity bill suddenly increased?

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

How can I lower my electricity bill?

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

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