Shop electricity rates

Your Texas Electricity Usage Data

When shopping for great electric rates, Texas energy consumers should review their historical electric usage data.  This data is important in deciding if a particular retail electric plan is a good fit for their home.  Many retail electric plans have pricing components keyed to certain monthly usage levels.  In addition, customers considering time-of-use electric rates […]

Continue Reading
save on electricity

Electricity Plans and Nest Thermostats

The key to optimizing heating and cooling energy usage in your home lies in your thermostat settings.  The goal is to save energy without sacrificing comfort.  In some ways, the evolution of thermostats is analogous to innovations in car windshield wipers. Thermostat Evolution For decades, residential energy consumers had manual mercury thermostats.   This stage of […]

Continue Reading
lower electricity bill

Electric Heat Pumps and Gas Furnaces

Heating and cooling are the most energy-intensive systems for residential retail electric customers.  Many energy consumers do not think much about these systems until they face maintenance issues or system replacement.  When replacing a home heating system, there is a multitude of high efficiency models from which to choose.  Consumers should become familiar with the […]

Continue Reading
electricity rates natural gas

Overview of Shale Gas Production

Natural gas is undoubtedly the superstar of U.S. domestic hydrocarbon resources.  First, it is relatively abundant with proven reserves in excess of 318 trillion cubic feet.  Second, it is the cleanest burning fossil fuel used in electric generation with carbon emissions about half that of coal.  Finally, residential customers can directly use natural gas for […]

Continue Reading
Free electricity plans

Champion Energy Texas Time-of-Use Rates

One of the promised benefits of Texas smart meter deployment was that retail electric suppliers would develop rates based on the availability of the interval usage data.  While traditional watt-hour meters only record cumulative electricity usage, smart meters record, store, and transmit energy usage in 15-minute intervals.  This means a smart meter will generate 2,880 […]

Continue Reading
renewable electricity rates

Renewable Energy Certification and Tracking

You are shopping for great electricity rates but you also want to help the environment.  The good news is that there is a wide selection of renewable electricity plans available from which to choose.  As previously discussed in this blog, most electricity plans use renewable energy certificates (RECs) as the basis for their renewable energy […]

Continue Reading
Free Nights electricity

TXU Energy and Direct Energy Free Electricity Plans

For most of the history of residential electric service in Texas, it did not matter when customers used electricity.  The analog watt-hour meters (think dials and that spinning disk) simply measured energy consumption.  Energy providers simply took the difference between the beginning and ending reading and multiplied it by the electricity rate.  With the deployment […]

Continue Reading
Texas electricity rates

Commercial Electric Rates – Natural Gas Index

Most business customers prefer knowing what their electricity rate is going to be for a given contract term.  Others prefer to have their electricity rate ride with market.  There are several types of market index rates available to commercial and industrial customers.  One well-established electricity index product is based on natural gas prices.  This product […]

Continue Reading
choose electricity rates

Hybrid Commercial Electricity Rate Plans

Retail electric providers typically offer fixed price plans to commercial customers.  These plans are great for businesses that are risk averse and prefer locking in their electric rate for the term of the contract.  The retail electricity supplier assumes market price risk and includes a premium in the fixed price for managing that risk. Some […]

Continue Reading
dallas electricity rates

Texas Electricity Generation Sources

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) operates the power grid that serves approximately 90% of all electricity used in Texas.  Within ERCOT, about 75% of the electricity is consumed in areas open to retail electric competition.  The composition of the electric power generation fleet within ERCOT has changed over the years.  Wind generation, combined […]

Continue Reading