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Finding you the best energy plans

6 Summer Energy-Saving Activities for Kids

May 21 2024

Even with the best power company in Texas, energy bills in the Lone Star State can spike in summer. With children finishing the school year, now is the perfect time to implement some energy-saving activities for kids that will help keep summer electric bills under control.

#1 Go screen-free for a day

Kids up to age 8 spend an average of 2.5 hours in front of a screen each day, while children age 8-10 are in front of a screen around 6 hours per day.

Take a break from digital entertainment by challenging the kids (or the whole family!) to unplug from electronics for a day. That includes TVs, computers, tablets, gaming consoles, and cell phones. Here are just a few ways they could have an enjoyable, screen-free day:

  • Outdoor activities with friends
  • Board games
  • Reading
  • Writing a letter to a grandparent or favorite teacher
  • Arts and crafts

The options are endless — and the results are worth it!

#2 Experiment with sunshine

Take science outdoors with exciting experiments that use heat from the sun. A few possible experiments that kids could do with an adult include:

Or, just let them make up experiments with the heat using their creativity and curiosity. How fast does an ice cube melt in the sun vs. in the shade? How hot does soil feel on the surface vs. digging 3” into it? What color objects get the hottest and stay the coolest in direct sunlight?

#3 Hang laundry on a clothesline

Skip the clothes dryer and go electricity-free by showing your kids how to hang laundry on a clothesline. This energy-saving activity of hanging up and taking down laundry probably won’t even feel like a chore if they make a game of it.

Plus, it’s easy, it’s calming, it disinfects fabric, it helps clothes last longer — and it’s good for the planet. Air-drying clothes instead of using a dryer can reduce an average household’s carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds per year.

#4 Be energy helpers around the home

Start your children on the path to eco-consciousness by having them be energy-saving superheroes at home. Specific tasks they can help with include:

  • Turning off lights when leaving a room
  • Unplugging unused small electronics to avoid vampire power
  • Closing doors and windows when the air conditioner is on

They’ll get a sense of responsibility and take pride in helping protect the environment while also helping you save money on the bill from your Texas power company.

#5 Use light the smart way

Reduce the use of artificial lighting during the day by encouraging kids to open curtains and blinds to let sunlight into the room.

Also, teach them to close those curtains and blinds in unused rooms. This will block out the hot summer sun and reduce heat gain, which means your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard.

#6 Have an outdoors-only day

Give your air conditioner a break by dedicating a day to outdoor fun and games. While you’re outside, you can reasonably raise the temperature on your thermostat, so your A/C unit doesn’t need to work as hard, which helps shave some kilowatt hours off the electricity bill you get from your power company in Texas. Plus, outdoor activities can promote a healthy lifestyle.

Potential activities include:

  • Picnics
  • Pool/sprinkler/water balloon fun
  • Nature walks or hikes
  • Naps in the shade
  • Gardening
  • Yard games

Don’t forget to hydrate during all that outdoor fun!

Find a power company in Texas to get you through the hottest summer days.

Need to shop for electricity? Everything Energy has all the tools you need to make apples-to-apples comparisons of Texas energy providers, plans, and rates so you can make an informed decision for your household.

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3 tips for Saving Electricity and Sleeping Better

Apr 29 2024

Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t just about not being tired the next day. Studies have shown links between poor quality sleep and obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and numerous other health problems. Plus, so many functions are affected by our sleep health, including:

  • Learning and memory consolidation
  • Emotional regulation
  • Problem solving
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Growth, healing and immunity

For all these reasons and more, it’s important to prioritize healthy sleeping. And with May being Better Sleep Month, it’s the perfect time to do just that. You can kill two birds with one stone by following these 3 tips for sleeping better while keeping your Texas electricity rates in check!

Enjoy natural light during the day

Our bodies have an internal 24-hour clock called a circadian rhythm. Light is a stimulus for our bodies that tells us when to do certain things, like sleep or wake up. Exposure to sunlight can help regulate your internal clock and make it stronger. It can also lessen the impact of artificial light on your circadian rhythm.

Internal clocks are most sensitive to light about one hour after waking up in the morning, about two hours before going to bed at night and throughout the night. Getting bright light, especially natural light, in the morning is great for our bodies and can help regulate sleep. It’s also an example of how to use less electricity easily.

Turn off all screens before bed

On the flip side, exposure to lights at night can keep you up when you’d rather be catching some Z’s. And that can throw your body’s internal clock off its natural schedule.

Blue light, which is emitted from modern electronic devices, is the worst offender. Its short-wavelength-enriched nature suppresses the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin more than any other wavelength. Exposure to blue light before bedtime tricks your body into thinking it’s still daytime and increases alertness.

Common blue-light emitting items include:

  • Fluorescent lighting
  • LED lights
  • Smart phones, tablets and computer screens
  • E-readers
  • Televisions

To sleep better, it’s best to eliminate all sources of blue light in the hours before bedtime. This can also result in saving electricity. If this isn’t possible for your lifestyle, try the following to lessen exposure to blue light:

  • Make your bedroom a screen-free zone
  • Wear blue light-blocking glasses when you use the electronics listed above
  • Dim the brightness on your device or enable “night mode” or “adaptive brightness” in the device’s settings
  • Keep lights dimmer before bedtime

Control the temperature in your bedroom

Although everybody is different, experts recommend a temperature between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for healthy sleep. However, older adults may benefit from sleep temperatures between 68-77 degrees.

Either way, the hot Texas summer nights can impact sleep negatively if you don’t have a method to cool down. Given today’s Texas electricity rates, using your air conditioner to get you all the way to your ideal temperature every night can get expensive. Instead, try these tips for saving electricity and cooling down at bedtime:

  • Take a hot bath or shower before bedtime
  • Use a fan to create a wind-chill affect that makes you feel cooler
  • Keep bedroom curtains or blinds closed during the day to prevent heat buildup
  • Use breathable bed linens and pajamas made from all-natural or organic materials

Keep Texas electricity rates in check by shopping for electricity

Now that you know how to get a better night’s sleep while also saving electricity, you can compare Texas electricity rates to avoid summertime spikes. Turn to Everything Energy for easy-to-use tools and find the best plan for your lifestyle.

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6 Smart Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Apr 16 2024

Each year on April 22, people around the world make time to celebrate our planet on Earth Day. It’s a day to contemplate, show gratitude toward, and take action to protect the planet, which needs our collective efforts more than ever.

If you’re wondering how to celebrate Earth Day, you’re in luck! Here are six smart ways you can make a difference.

#1 Clean up your neighborhood

Almost anyone can help pick up trash in their neighborhood or community. All it takes is a trash bag and some gloves to get started. This makes a fantastic activity for the whole family — little ones love this task because they get to be helpful and see the impact they’re making.

Plus, this activity can be made into a more frequent habit — you can adopt plogging, pliking and plalking. (That’s picking up litter during a jog, bike, or walk!)

How it helps: Keeping litter in the trash ensures it reaches the proper waste management facility and doesn’t end up polluting the oceans. It also beautifies the areas around us.

#2 Go meatless for a day

Producing the meat we consume requires a significant amount of water — per pound, it requires much more water than vegetables, grains or legumes. It also contributes to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. In honor of Earth Day, try opting for non-meat options. You may just like it so much you decide to go meatless more often.

How it helps: Reducing meat intake helps conserve water, preserve natural habitats and lower your carbon footprint. Plus, a low-meat Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, memory loss and more.

#3 Compare electricity companies

Where does your electricity come from? If you haven’t deliberately selected a renewable energy plan for your home, there’s a good chance your home is powered by fossil fuels. Earth Day is the perfect time to review your current energy plan. You can compare electricity companies and see what types of clean energy plans are available in your area (and also compare electricity rates while you’re at it).

To verify the percentage of clean energy in a plan, check the Plan’s Electricity Facts Label (EFL). In the “Disclosure Chart” section of the EFL document, you can find the line item “Renewable Content.”

To easily shop for renewable energy plans and compare pricing, use Everything Energy’s search and filter tools.

How it helps: Green energy has many environmental benefits such as less global warming emissions and improved public health.  

#4 Educate yourself and others

There’s always more being discovered about our environment and the effects humans have on it. Take some time to learn more about an issue that interests you — and what you can do to make a difference. Start with one of the biggest environmental problems of 2024 like food waste, air pollution or fossil fuel emissions, or choose a smaller topic. Then, share what you’ve learned with family or friends. It may inspire them to take action!

How it helps: Knowledge is power! Learning more about the issues affecting the planet can empower us to take action.

#5 Join an organized Earth Day event

If your community or neighborhood has already organized an Earth Day event, grab a family member or friend and join in. It’s a casual way to meet new people, share ideas, and learn about other local events to green up your area all year long.

How it helps: Grassroots efforts at the community level can have a powerful impact on the planet.

#6 Plant a tree

We need trees — they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and provide oxygen for us to breathe. If you’re able to plant a tree in your yard, you’ll be contributing many positive things to the planet, including cleaner air and water. If you’re not able to plant a tree where you live, no problem! You can also make an online donation to have one or more trees planted by organizations like One Tree Planted, the Arbor Day Foundation, and the U.S. Forest Service.

How it helps: Climate ecologists say planting 1.2 trillion trees would have huge benefits in term of absorbing atmospheric CO2.

Conclusion

Whether you participate in one of the activities above or find another way to celebrate the day, remember: small actions add up. We can all play a part in preserving our planet for future generations this Earth Day, and all year ‘round.

To compare electricity companies, plans and rates — including renewable energy options — check out Everything Energy.

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How to Save Energy & Help the Environment

Mar 26 2024

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

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

How does electricity affect the environment?

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

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

Where do carbon emissions come from?

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

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

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

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

Why is saving electricity important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are some easy ways to save energy?

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

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

More ways to save energy at home

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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Find Low Texas Energy Rates Before Summer Arrives

Mar 19 2024

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

Why should I look for Texas energy rates now?

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

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

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

Tips for shopping for Texas energy rates

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

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

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

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

2. Choose a Texas power company you can trust

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Think about your electricity needs and usage habits

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

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

Low Texas energy rates are just a few clicks away

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

To shop for electricity the effortless way, click here.

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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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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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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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