10 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Electricity Provider

Shopping smart for electricity is one way to save your hard-earned money. If you live in one of the 15 states where energy is deregulated, you can save up to 20% on your monthly electricity bill. Deregulation allows customers to stay with their current electricity provider or switch to a new one when their contract is up for renewal.

However, when most people look for a new provider, they want a good rate, so there’s a munificent boost and each company is struggling hard to get the customers’ attention. Although now we have the opportunity to choose a suitable provider, doing so has become potentially confusing and intimidating.

If you’re unsure about how to shop for a new electricity company for your home, read on. Below we’ll give you a short tour through all of the different variables you’ll want to consider in order to understand the process when comparing different providers.

But first, you should consider these factors:

Suppliers’ Reputation:

Thanks to deregulation, the increase of companies providing electricity has been incredible, so selecting one among many (especially  for first time customers) can be overwhelming. That’s especially true since some energy providers use deceptive marketing tactics, like offering super-low rates that go up after a few months of use, or by hiding important charges or fees.

Therefore, be sure to examine each plan determinedly and identify any charges so there won’t be any surprises later on down the line. Also, check ratings and reviews to see how receptive they are with their customers.

Rates & Plans:

The second factor you should consider before thinking about choosing a new energy provider is the different plans and rates they offer.

  • Fixed rate plans: With a fixed rate plan, the price you pay for electricity consumption will remain the same throughout the term of your contract. This allows you to be sure of your charges during the period of your contract and protects you against the possibility of rising energy prices.
  • Variable rate plans: Also known as the “month-to-month” plan, it doesn’t have a minimum contract period and is based on the current conditions of the energy market. With this type of plan the rate you pay may change on each bill, which allows you to benefit from lower rates at certain times of the year. The rate will change as market prices change.
  • Green energy plans: Especially aimed at people who are interested in promoting the development of renewable energy sources (wind, hydroelectric, solar, landfill, biomass and geothermal). In general, these plans have the same cost as the traditional ones, so you’ll pay the same while reducing your carbon footprint.

Tips to consider when choosing a provider:

Now that you know the basic principles of energy providers, you can apply the following tips to easily choose the one that is best suited to your needs- so you don’t end up overpaying for electricity.

  • Go for something different as there are various good companies providing better services than the legacy providers.
  • Keep switching until you find the right one.
  • Take advantage of massive discounts and deals.
  • Compare your current plan with the new one.
  • Selecting the right  plan is completely up to you. Decide whether you want to lock a fixed rate or keep it flexible.
  • Be active with the search engines and take your requests online to find the best providers.
  • Carefully check benefits and drawbacks of all of the plans before you select any.
  • Read all of the related documents and make sure you are associating with a company with good reputation.
  • Make sure you speak with reliable people if you want to go with recommendations.
  • Read the contract and understand each and every clause to avoid future conflicts.
  • Picking the Right Electricity Company
  • By following these helpful tips and recommendations and taking the time you need to review your options, you can choose the right provider for your lifestyle and budget. Remember, your choice is leading to greater innovation and better options for you in the near future.

10 Ways To Save Energy At Home

Through the extreme weather, whether is it is super hot or extremely cold, people always use too much of something. Temperatures heat up and we blast our air conditioners, when the weather dramatically drops, we crank up the heat. The average U.S. household will spend about $2,100 on home energy in a year. There are several ways to spend less money and stay comfortable in your home. These small steps can lead to big savings.

Let’s Save.

  1. Unplug Appliances and Turn Off Lights: Though some things are not in use, they still draw a small amount of power. For example, kitchen appliances and televisions can be unplugged until you are ready to put them to use. Also, turn off your lights if they are not in use. Use natural light as your source of light.
  2. Seal it Up: Seal up cracks and gaps. Also, adding insulation to your home can help you save money on heating and cooling in your home.
  3. Switch Your Light Bulbs: Making the switch from incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights. Compact fluorescent bulbs use less energy than the standard incandescent light bulbs, and they last longer.
  4. Clean Filters: Clean or change your filters regularly. A dirty and backed up furnace or A/C filter will slow down the air flow, causing the system to work harder, costing you more money.
  5. Use Major Appliances at Night: Using dishwashers and clothes washers/dryers  at night keeps the house cooler and reduces strain on the power grid during the peak usage hours of 4 PM and 6 PM.
  6. Conserve Water: Use low-flow fixture faucets that conserve water. You can use these for your shower and sinks to save energy. Every drop counts!
  7. Plant Trees: Trees can help reduce heating and cooling costs. During the summer they provide shade, and in the winter when they lose their leaves they provide heat.
  8. Cool Washing: Washing your clothes in cold water can save about $60 a year.
  9. Programmable Thermostat: A programmable thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature in your home. This can save up to 10% on cooling and heating costs.
  10. Cooking Methods: Don’t peek in the oven while baking! Every time you peek, the temperature drops 25° F and requires additional energy to bring the temperature back up. Also, turn off the oven 10-15 minutes before the cooking time runs out. Your food will continue to cook without using the extra electricity.

 

Recycle, Reuse, Reduce – Tips and Ideas

energy, prepaid energy, prepaid electricity

 

We are all familiar with the terms recycle, reuse, reduce; three brilliant ways you can reduce your amount of waste, save energy and protect your environment. However, the practice of these three Rs should not be limited only to Earth Day and Environment Day alone. It should be a part of our daily life instead. Here is a collection of tips that reduce the load of household rubbish and waste and save energy.

Recycle

Aluminum cans: Empty soda and juice cans are made of aluminum that is 100% recyclable. Recycling cans to make new ones only takes 5% of the energy used in making a new one from scratch.

Paper: Paper forms about 1/3 of the industrial waste in the United States. Recycling paper conserves resources, saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Plastic bottles: Studies show that 2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away per hour in America. Recycling bottles uses 2/3 less energy than manufacturing it from raw materials.

Glass: Glass bottles and jars are 100% recyclable and can be recycled a countless number of times without losing quality. One recycled bottle saves enough energy to power a TV for one and half hours.

Cardboard: This forms a major portion of waste, in the form of pizza boxes, cereal boxes, and other kinds of packaging. Though most of these are biodegradable, it would be a good idea to recycle them and reduce pollution.

Batteries: Non-rechargeable, single-use batteries contain a lot of components that can be recycled such as zinc, manganese and steel. Recycling batteries help conserve natural resources like metal and minerals and save energy.

TV: An average American household has three TV sets out of which, only one might be functional. Recycling old TVs helps recover plastic, metal, and glass, and prevents environmental pollution.

Plastic: Plastic is used to manufacture a significant number of products that we use daily, like containers, bags, utensils, toys, furniture, appliances and computers. Recycling them reduces the amount of energy needed to create virgin plastic.

Cloth: Old and damaged clothes that cannot be donated can be recycled to make car seat padding, industrial blankets, insulation materials, cushions for pillows and toys, and cleaning rags.

Ink Cartridges: If you own an office that produces large quantities of inkjet cartridges, toner cartridges, and toner bottles it is a good idea to recycle them. You can also choose to refill them.

Reuse

Glass jars, pots, and bottles: You can clean them and use them to store dried food items like grains and beans or sauces and jams. Make sure that the jars have an air-tight lid.

Magazines: You can donate magazines to the nearest charity centers. You can get a lot of DIY craft ideas and other information by looking at online magazines.

Broken plates, ceramics and pottery: You can use the broken pieces of ceramic and pottery as drainage material for houseplants. Get creative and use them to make a décorative art piece.

Carpet: If you have decided to rip off your old carpet due to allergens and dust mites, don’t toss it into the garbage right away. You can use it to weatherproof the doghouse or cut it and use it as a scratching post for your cat.

Crates: Instead of disposing of wooden crates, you can use them to create storage spaces, shelves, desks, bedside tables, wine racks and with a bit of practice, even sofas.

Crayons: Any household with kids will have loads of broken stubs of crayons lying around in different corners of the house. They can be melted to make new crayons.

CDs and DVDs: With near endless storage space on your phone, tablet, laptop and USB devices we no longer use CDs. Old piles of CDs can be reused to make decorative craft items.

Reduce

Shopping Bags: Instead of using plastic bags each time you shop, bring your own reusable shopping bags. This reduces the number of plastic bags dumped in landfills.

Straws: Avoid plastic straws while drinking. America alone dumps more than 500 million straws every day and these cannot be recycled.

Microbeads: These are tiny bits of plastic found in exfoliating soaps, facial scrubs, and toothpaste. They do not degrade and thus, pollute the water table. Use products that contain natural exfoliants like pumice, walnut and apricot shells or salt.

Plastic Water Bottles: While bottled water is convenient, the bottles take years to decompose. Reusable water bottles minimize pollution, conserve energy and they are also inexpensive.

Disposable Items: Choose durable items rather than disposable items. Always opt for the durable counterpart of products like razors, plates, cups, food containers, nappies, and toiletries to reduce a significant amount of garbage.

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Is Tune-Up Time For Energy Savings

energy, save energy, energy company

 

 

Mother Nature is making the turn away from summer heat into the moderate temperatures of Autumn, and Winter isn’t that far off. Just like you’ll be changing your wardrobe to match the weather, your home should get suited for these seasonal changes in order to keep you comfortable and save on energy costs.

If you use a programmable thermostat, be sure to adjust it for the cooler weather. A good rule of thumb is to set heating systems at 68-degrees and cooling systems at 76-degrees, and check the times you’ve set for dial-downs to make sure they match the shorter days to come.

Look for opportunities to use more natural cooling. Opening a few windows can create cross-ventilation in your home that might allow you to turn off the AC. The use of a ceiling fan along with opening windows can maximize the natural cooling in a room.

Speaking of windows, now is the time to check for cracks or gaps in window frames that could allow cold air in. Investing a few dollars in a tube of caulk now might save you a lot more in electric bills when cold weather arrives.

Get ready for heating season now by doing a walk-through of your home to check for any blocked vents or heating units that have become storage spots. This can happen during the summer and you may not notice it until you turn on the heat.

A clean filter is the key to efficient energy use in heating and cooling systems, and now is the time to check furnace filters to make sure you have a fresh one installed for the start of the heating season. This is also a good time to do end-of-season maintenance on air conditioning systems so they’re ready to run come next year.