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Finding you the best energy plans

How Your Power Company Helps with Your Bill

Feb 07 2023

These are financially difficult times for many Americans. If you’re struggling with how to budget for or pay your electricity bill, you’re not alone. Turn to your power company for tools and options that will help you make your payment on time. And that’s essential for keeping the lights on and avoiding late fees.

Here are just a few ways your power company may be able to help you with your bill.

Average billing from your power company

You may have also heard this called budget billing, average monthly billing or balanced billing. In any case, average billing helps even out seasonal billing spikes you may see during summer and winter. It spreads the cost evenly across the entire year. This, in turn, makes it easier to create — and stick to — a budget.

This is one of the power solutions offered by electric companies that is very easy to use. For many, it’s as simple as logging into your online account. Then, select the option for average billing. 

Reliant Energy is one of the Texas electricity providers that offers this option.

AutoPay from electric companies

If you keep getting hit with late fees, you may need more than just a reminder. Your power company likely offers an automatic payment option. This allows your provider to charge the card or bank account on file when it’s time to pay. You don’t have to lift a finger.

Again, this is typically an easy option to enroll in. Just sign into your account online. Or you could always give your current electricity provider a call to set it up.

Some electric companies, like Green Mountain Energy, even have a mobile app where you can select this option.

Deferred payment plan from your power company

If you need some extra time to make a payment, or you’re facing a financial hardship, your power company will often have a solution. Speaking to a customer service agent directly about your situation is the best way to arrange a payment plan that fits your budget.

Cirro Energy, for example, offers a number of payment extension programs.

Energy-saving tips from your power company

Your power company wants to help you become energy efficient. It’s a win-win-win situation for them, for you and for the environment.

One way they help you use less (and possibly lower your monthly electric bill) is by offering energy-saving tips. 

Most electric companies, including Discount Power, have many efficiency tips on their websites.

Low-income assistance from electric companies

According to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), Senate Bill 1976 allows electric companies to provide a benefit to their low-income customers. (Certain rules apply.) 

Customers can contact their power company directly to ask if they have any low-income benefits. For further information, you can also call 1-866-454-8387.

Where to find the power company that best fits your lifestyle

If you’re looking for home electricity, Everything Energy can help. Whether you want to renew power with your current provider, find wind or solar energy companies and plans or just want the best energy supplier for your needs, our innovative search tools can get you where you want to be. Start your search today.

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How Power Suppliers Can Help You Cut Energy Costs

Jan 10 2023

It sounds strange to turn to power suppliers for help in using less energy and to cut personal electricity costs. But helping people use less electricity is a form of proactive service. And it’s a common practice among electricity providers.

Here’s a quick look at why this is and how power suppliers can help you use and spend less.

Why do power suppliers want to help me cut energy costs?

There are a few reasons why power suppliers would like you to use less energy. 

One reason is based on the current electricity grid. At any given time, there is a set amount of electricity available. During “peak demand,” a lot of people want to use energy at the same time. Think: a very hot Texas summer day. The available electricity can get maxed out with everyone cranking up the AC. 

At this point, more energy is needed to prevent brownouts or blackouts. One way to make more is to update old generators or build new ones. But it’s actually more cost-effective for electricity providers to encourage homes and businesses to use less energy. 

Another reason power suppliers want to help you save energy is based on customer satisfaction. Customers usually don’t need to contact their electric company. But when they do, it may be to express unhappiness about a high bill. By helping customers keep their bills lower, power suppliers proactively address those concerns. This can give people fewer reasons to switch electricity suppliers.

Lastly, electricity providers know that we’re all working with limited resources from the earth. When customers reduce energy waste, everybody wins. 

These win-win situations show why it’s in all of our best interest to use less energy. So how do power suppliers help us do this?

What ways do power suppliers help customers conserve energy?

There are many ways that power suppliers empower people to save energy. Here are just a few:

Energy-saving tips

Most electricity providers offer energy-saving tips and tricks on their websites. A few examples include Green Mountain Energy and Direct Energy’s helpful Learning Center.

Incentives for conserving energy

Some power suppliers offer incentives for using less. Reliant Energy’s Degrees of Difference program, for example, rewards customers for using less when demand is high.

Eco-friendly devices

It’s becoming more common to see power suppliers offering energy-saving products (like smart thermostats) bundled with their electricity plans. 

Power supplier apps & other technology

Power suppliers often offer a useful app or other tech, like online account management. These can help you to monitor your energy usage.

App features can include things like viewing past usage, tracking your green impact, controlling your smart thermostat on the go and more.

How can I attempt to  reduce my electricity costs today?

1. Check your home for energy wasters.

Phantom load, also called “vampire power,” occurs when a plugged-in item is not in use but consumes power in standby mode. Phantom load can amount to 5-10% of your electricity bill. However, fixing this issue can help you save on your monthly bill.

2. Make easy lifestyle changes to use less energy.

Some energy-saving actions, like making home updates, can seem daunting. But don’t get discouraged! Instead, start with the easy stuff. Turn off lights, entertainment and computers when you leave the room. Set your thermostat a degree or two lower in winter. Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees. These all take mere seconds to do but can make a difference.

3. Make sure you’re with one of the best power suppliers for your lifestyle.

The “cheapest” electricity supplier or a retail electricity provider with what appears to be lowest rate per kilowatt hour listed online, is not always the best electricity supplier for your home. And they may not necessarily net you the lowest energy bill. You have to dig a little deeper. For example, look at factors such as your typical monthly usage, your highest usage hours and plan incentives and perks that may lower your total monthly electricity costs.

Find the top power suppliers, plans and pricing for your life

Now that you’ve seen how power suppliers can help you cut energy costs, it’s time to find the right one for you. To weigh your options and make apples-to-apples comparisons between electricity plans, visit Everything Energy. Our innovative search tools make it easy to find the best electricity provider based on your specific needs and preferences.

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Get Low Electricity Rates by Getting Organized

Jan 03 2023

January is Get Organized Month! After a full and often hectic December, now is the time to bring order to your life. From being on time to cooking healthier meals to starting a hobby, organization helps you succeed. And finding low electricity rates is no different.

Read on to find out how to get organized when it comes to getting low-cost electricity without the stress.

The 5 W’s of finding low electricity rates

Don’t just set out looking for low electricity rates without a plan. Get organized by answering the 5 W’s first: Who? What? When? Where? Why?

WHO do I want to give my business to?

Not all low-cost energy plans are created the same. There are many Texas electricity providers out there. Make sure you choose a provider that you can trust

You may already have a few names in mind based on past experience or word of mouth. That’s a great start! It’s also wise to be open to other energy companies — as long as you do your research first.

Also, you might want to consider more factors than just looking at companies with low electricity rates. For example, if sustainability is important to you, you can look for a provider that offers affordable clean energy plans. Or, if the bulk of your electricity use comes at night or on the weekend, a company that offers Time-of-Use plans could be a great match for you.

Action items to keep you organized: 

  1. Do some initial research to narrow down the companies you trust the most and that have plans that best fit your needs. 

WHAT do I need to have on-hand if I want to switch electricity providers?

When you’re ready to enroll in a plan, you’ll want to have certain info handy to finish the process. You may be asked for some or all of the following:

  • Service address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number OR driver’s license number (This is required to verify your identity. The low-cost electric company you enroll with will usually run a credit check to determine if a deposit is needed from you.)
  • Credit card number (if you want to set up automatic payments)
  • Preferred start date for your electricity
  • The name of your current electricity provider
  • Your ESI ID (Electric Service Identifier; pronounced “Easy ID”) (A 17- or 22-digit unique identifier assigned to each deregulated electricity meter connected to a home or business in Texas. You should be able to find this on one of your home energy bills.)

Action items to keep you organized: 

  1. Gather all of this info ahead of time, in one place. It will make for an easier and faster enrollment process when the time comes.

    WHEN should I start looking for low electricity rates and providers?

    If you’re moving to a new area, you’ll clearly need to start looking for low energy rates and providers immediately. 

    But if you just want to shop around and switch plans at your current residence, you’ll need to keep some rules in mind. According to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT): 

    “Retail electric providers are required to notify residential customers at least 30 days before a contract expires. The residential customer can switch without incurring an early termination charge if the switch is no earlier than 14 days before the contract expiration date provided in the notice. If the customer takes no action in response to the notice, the retail electric provider will serve the customer on a month-to-month product.”

    So, if you are currently in an electricity contract and do not want to incur an early cancellation fee, it is best to switch plans 14 days or less before your contract expires. In the meantime, though, you can still be keeping an eye on the plans that are being offered.

    Action items to keep you organized: 

    1. Check your current plan’s Electricity Facts Label (EFL) to determine what, if any, your early cancellation fee is.
    2. Check your current electric bill or account to see when your contract expires. Mark that date on your calendar.
    3. Add other helpful items to your calendar, such as “Start shopping for electricity” 30 days before your contract expires, and “Switch energy plans” 7 to 14 days before your contract expires. 

      WHERE do I start shopping for low electricity rates and plans?

      You could visit each provider’s individual website to search for plans. But another more convenient option is to search an energy broker like Everything Energy. Doing so is free, and lets you make apples-to-apples comparisons of pricing and plans using your specific usage data and preferences. 

      Everything Energy also provides monthly bill estimates using the information you input. This gives you an even clearer idea of which low electricity rates are actually the best options for your individual lifestyle, home and habits.

      Action items to keep you organized: 

      1. As your contract expiration date draws nearer, visit EverythingEnergy.com. The search tools are super easy to use and should help you narrow down your choices quickly! 

        WHY should I take the time to shop for low-cost electricity?

        You might be wondering why you wouldn’t just let your current electricity plan auto-renew or choose a new plan from your current provider when your contract expiration date approaches. It’s definitely an easy option. But often, the best results (i.e., low electricity rates) don’t come from choosing the easiest route.

        As referenced earlier from the PUCT, If the customer takes no action in response to the [contract expiration] notice, the retail electric provider will serve the customer on a month-to-month product.”

        If you’re not familiar with month-to-month electricity products, check out the information on term lengths here. In a nutshell, a month-to-month plan will come with a variable rate that could spike as the market rate increases. These month-to-month plans offer customers flexibility — but at a price.

        So, you could let your plan auto-renew. But that could end up costing you much more than you’re used to. 

        If you choose a plan from your current provider, you may also be paying more than you were on your previous plan. It never hurts to shop around first to find low-cost electricity for your home.

        Action items to keep you organized: 

        1. Resolve to check all your options before you sign a new electricity contract this year.

          Start shopping now for low electricity rates and plans

          If you’re moving soon, your current Texas electricity contract will expire soon, or you’re just curious about what’s out there, check out Everything Energy. Our innovative and FREE tools can help you quickly find and compare low electricity rates from providers you can trust.

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          The Cheapest Energy Plan? Off-the-Grid Living.

          Dec 20 2022

          Feeling a bit of holiday stress? Need a break from the hustle and bustle of the season? Learn a little about the cheapest energy plan out there: living off the grid. 

          Living off the grid is defined as: not connected to or served by publicly or privately managed utilities (such as electricity, gas or water)

          One extreme way to get the cheapest energy plan

          People who live off the grid find other ways to meet their needs for power and running water. (Or they do without.) 

          For example, 100% of their electricity is generated by power from the sun, the wind or other resources without help from the energy grid. Propane can replace natural gas. You can see how no electricity plan at all can naturally become the cheapest energy plan.

          Obviously, most of us can’t and/or don’t want to go to that route. But we can incorporate some useful, and potentially money-saving, strategies from those who do.

          Sampling the off-grid life

          It takes a lot of time, research and personal energy to live the off-grid life. For the majority of people who prefer their modern creature comforts but also want the best electricity deals, here are a few tips from partial or total off-gridders.

          1. Install a wood stove (or use the one you have)

          A wood stove can be used as a primary heat source for your home. It can also heat water for bathing or cooking, heat up food and line-dry clothes.

          2. Use solar power in some capacity

          Rooftop solar arrays are becoming a realistic, clean-energy option for many homeowners. But even if rooftop solar is not in your future plans, you can still harness the sun’s power in other ways. A portable solar panel can be used to charge your devices. Or install a solar-powered water heater to cut down on energy usage. This can be an excellent step toward achieving the cheapest energy plan possible for your family without making the extreme leap to off-grid living.

          The Solar Energy Industries Association ranks Texas as the top state for solar growth in the next five years. So, it may be worth researching your home’s solar power potential. 

          Tip: Green energy suppliers like Green Mountain Energy offer many ways to support clean, renewable energy.

          3. Rethink your evenings

          For many, it’s just a habit to come home from work, eat dinner and then relax in front of the television or play a video game. But studies show that the blue light from screens can disrupt the body’s biological clock and interfere with good sleep. 

          What would happen if you replaced evening screen time with tech-free activities in front of a warm fire or candlelight? Not only could you improve your sleep, you could also trim some kilowatts from your monthly electric bill. This may not get you the cheapest energy plan like off-gridders, but it could make you more energy efficient than your neighbors.

          4. Ditch the wi-fi

          If you’ve gone all-in on idea #3, and you don’t need an Internet connection all the time at home, you might be ready to ditch your modem and router. In addition to saving electricity, you’d also be free of your Internet bill. So, even if you’ve found a cheap electricity company or the best rate, you can still save in related ways. 

          At the same time, you’d still have some Internet access if your mobile device has a data plan. And if you need the occasional wi-fi connection, you could always hop on the network at a local café or shop for free.

          5. Use the clothes dryer sparingly

          There’s something satisfying about hanging clothes and linens outside to dry. At first, it feels like a huge task compared to tossing them into the dryer. But as you go, it’s relaxing and you realize that it doesn’t actually take very long.

          SpeedQueen, manufacturer of washers and dryers, even says that drying clothes outside in winter (on a dry day, of course) is definitely possible. It just takes a little more time and patience.

          Compare electricity rates to find the cheapest energy plan

          Most of us will probably keep our connection to the electricity grid. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look for the best electric company for our needs or search for one that provides the cheapest energy plan for our current, on-the-grid life. 

          For holiday shopping that’s empowering and easy, visit Everything Energy and compare electricity rates in your area.

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          Combat Electric Prices this Holiday Season

          Dec 13 2022

          It’s mid-December. Have you made a dent in your holiday gift list yet? If you’re still looking for that perfect gift, think outside the box. How about something that will help the receiver combat electric prices and keep their monthly electricity cost down? 

          From energy-efficient tech gifts to non-tech items and “experience” gifts, we’ve got you covered.

          Fight electric prices with energy-efficient gifts

          Take away the stress of today’s electric prices by giving the gift of lower energy usage with these thoughtful present ideas:

          Smart plugs

          A few smart plugs placed in the right spots can help lower usage and, potentially, their monthly electricity cost. Use them to reduce phantom load from charging devices, schedule a slow cooker to turn on or off while you’re at work and more. It’s a nifty little gift for the practical person in your life.

          Smart power strip

          Like smart plugs, a smart power strip is not the most glamorous of gifts. But it makes up for its lack of sparkle with its utility. Instead of unplugging devices when not in use to avoid standby power loss, a smart power strip lets you cut power remotely without pulling the plug. 

          Smart thermostat

          If your gift recipient still has an older thermostat, you could give them an upgrade. A smart thermostat can learn their comfort zone and is easy to control via a mobile app. That makes it possible to adjust temperatures while out and about, reducing waste.

          The average ENERGY STAR® smart thermostat saves about 8% of heating and cooling costs. With Texas’s long, red-hot summers, the savings could add up and help achieve the cheapest electricity bill possible.

          Any ENERGY STAR® certified item

          From light bulbs and laptops to large home appliances, ENERGY STAR® certified products are designed to be energy efficient. If you want a gift that will help defend against fluctuating electric prices in the years to come, look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol.

          Fight electric prices with non-tech gifts

          If you’re looking for a gift that doesn’t need to be plugged in to make a difference, try these ideas:

          Watt meter

          For the curious, numbers-obsessed person in your life, gift a watt meter. Plug in this handy device in the wall socket, then plug any electronic item into the meter. It measures how much energy the item uses, both in standby mode and when in use. 

          Your recipient will feel empowered with the added knowledge. Electric prices become a lot less stressful when you know exactly how to cut your usage.

          Low-flow showerhead

          People sometimes forget that it takes a lot of energy to heat water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that low-flow showerheads with the Water Sense label can save the average family 2700 gallons of water each year. That translates to around 330 kilowatt hours annually — enough to power a home for about 11 days. Someone who values utility (and sustainability) would find this gift very thoughtful.

          Solar power bank

          A solar power bank is a perfect gift for a friend or relative who is always on the move. Using the sun’s power, this gadget keeps smartphones, tablets, earbuds and other items charged. A device like this will help your recipient forget about electric prices altogether!

          Solar outdoor lighting

          Many homes already use solar lighting in gardens, along walkways or around pools. A gift of solar porch lights or safety spotlight can complement existing solar lighting without adding to the electric bill.

          Push back on electric prices with experience gifts

          If “stuff” is getting out of hand for your recipient, gift an experience or non-physical present instead. Here are just a few options:

          Energy audit

          Give the gift of energy efficiency by arranging an energy audit for your friend or family member. A professional will evaluate their home for inefficiencies and suggest improvements. 

          Some electricity providers offer this service for free or a small fee. Either way, you’ll be gifting valuable information and action items that can help alleviate the effects of electric prices.

          Home solar panel consultation

          Many people want to learn about home solar panels. But they can’t find the time to get the ball rolling. Help start the info-gathering process by setting up a solar installation consultation for them. Who knows — by this time next year, they may be showing off their new rooftop solar array to you!


          Are you shopping for a person that has everything? Make a donation in their name to an environmentally friendly charity. Find one they’d be honored to support. Sure, it won’t affect their personal electric prices, but it supports the bigger picture of a sustainable future.

          Compare energy prices to find the best energy deals for your lifestyle

          Now that you’ve thought about others’ electric prices — and gifts to help ease their monthly electricity costs — compare energy prices for your own home with Everything Energy. 

          Our personalized tools help you make more exact comparisons to find the best plan for you and your family’s needs. Click here to start searching.

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          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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