Everything is bigger in Texas, including the Electricity Savings! Living in Texas gives you the power to choose your own electric company. The sections on this Texas electricity guide will help you learn about your options, help you lower your energy bill and give you a better understanding on the Texas electricity market.
How to Lower Your Texas Electric Bill
One of the most common questions new Texas residents ask is, “How do I lower my energy bill?” Well, you are in luck – there are many changes you can make to lower your monthly Texas energy bill. According to the Texas Comptroller, Texans spend over $20 billion every year on home utility costs; making personal choices about your Texas electricity use can make a significant difference in your final energy bill.
Following this simple guide will help you to lower your monthly utility bills and maximize the use of clean, renewable energy sources.
Breakdown of a Texas electricity bill includes:
Heating & Cooling:
Home heating and cooling account for 50% of your annual bill. Making small changes to reduce your HVAC usage can save you a significant amount on your Texas energy bill every month.
Energy Saving Tips:
- Ensure that windows and doors have tight-fitting seals to prevent heated air from escaping in the winter.
- Repairing damaged insulation in hot water tanks or pipes is also easy to reduce energy usage.
- Make sure to clean or change filters on furnaces once a month.
- Use space heaters wisely to reduce usage on central heating systems during colder months.
- In the summer, use fans in an effort to circulate cool air so that you are not cooling the entire house for one occupant.
- Clean or replace AC filters monthly for maximum efficiency.
Water heating makes up 10% of your energy bill. For best results, ensure that you set the water heater temperature at 120 degrees and never higher than 140 degrees.
Energy Savings Tips:
- Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce energy consumption.
- Turning down your water heater’s thermostat by five or ten degrees is also advisable for maximum efficiency.
- Insulate hot water pipes to reduce heat loss.
Lighting accounts for 10% of your energy bill. Using ENERGY STAR-certified light bulbs and fixtures is a good place to start.
Energy Saving Tips:
- Use ceiling fans to reduce the need for air conditioning on bright, sunny days.
- Close curtains or blinds during the day to keep out solar heat gain.
- Use ENERGY STAR appliances and electronic equipment.
- Turn off all lights in rooms that are not being used.
- Use smart power strips for computers, entertainment centers, printers/copiers, televisions, etc. Turn the strip off when everything is powered down.
The refrigerator/freezer typically accounts for 5% of your energy bill. Keep a refrigerator thermometer in the main compartment and ensure that the temperature remains below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce energy consumption.
Energy Savings Tips:
- Place a refrigerator thermometer inside the unit to ensure temperatures remain below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Purchase a new ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerator/freezer as they are considerably more efficient than older models.
- Ensure that all doors fit tightly and open and close properly to minimize cold air loss.
Appliances make up 5% of your energy bill. Therefore, it is advised to only use appliances when necessary and unplug them when not in use.
Energy Saving Tips:
- Unplug all appliances, such as cell phone chargers, DVD players, computers, lamps, and televisions when not in use or during peak hours (when rates are higher).
- Use a programmable thermostat to lower the temperature in unoccupied rooms automatically.
Your electronics account for 5% of your energy use. Saving on this bill requires a multi-pronged approach as many electronics draw electricity even when not in active use.
Energy Saving Tips:
- When not in active use, turn off all electronic devices (televisions, desktop computers, speakers/headphones, tablets, e-readers, video game consoles, cell phones, microwaves, etc.).
- Purchase ENERGY STAR appliances and electronic equipment to reduce electricity usage.
- Turn off lights when leaving rooms with electronic devices left on standby.
- Don’t forget about the next five most common sources of energy use!
The remaining 10% of your energy bill comes from different sources, including vents, fans, miscellaneous appliances (toaster ovens), water heaters, etc.
Energy Savings Tips:
- Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month for maximum efficiency.
- Close fireplace dampers when not in use.
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Close vents and doors leading to unoccupied rooms.
- Turn off the air conditioning when you leave the house for a prolonged period of time.
Reducing your energy use is all about being proactive. By taking the appropriate steps to reduce power consumption, you can slash your Texas electricity bill and save yourself money for other things. For example, it is possible to reduce your energy bill by 50-70% by making minor adjustments to your daily routine.
How to Read the Texas Electricity Facts Label
When you are evaluating Texas electricity plans for your home, you need to pay close attention to the Texas Electricity Facts Label – or EFL listed in the offer. You can find out how much electricity will cost each month just by reading the EFL. This label provides detailed information about your electricity components and cost, including the rate you are being charged for your usage and delivery.
What Is an EFL?
The Texas Electricity Facts Label, also known as an EFL. It is a report that provides information about your electricity costs, contract terms, and monthly energy charges. The electricity facts label is a great way to learn about your energy options. It’ll come with every energy plan, and it typically tells how much electricity goes into each plan type, like variable or fixed rates. The EFL is required by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) to be provided by all-electric service providers in Texas to display the facts about the electricity plan.
How Do I Read My Electricity Facts Label?
Every Texas EFL has 3 sections: Electricity Price, Other key Terms and Questions and Disclosure Chart. Many components make us the price you pay – electricity price, rate calculation at 500 kWh – 1,000 kWh & 2,000 kWh, contract terms and termination fees, and delivery charges by the utility. These all contain helpful information to help you calculate your monthly energy bill.
Section 1: Electricity Price Section
Your electricity rate is listed on the first line of your EFL under the “Electricity Price” section of the EFL. This section break down what your energy provider is charging you for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) you use. The first thing you will see on your electricity facts label is your price per kWh at different usage levels – 500, 1,000 & 2,000. The rate plan that applies to you depends on where you live and how much energy you use each month. A typical apartment uses around 500 kWhs per month, a single-family home uses around 1,000 kWhs per month and a larger home use around 2,000 kWhs per month. Pay close attention to the columns listed here to determine your “average rate” for your usage level. ALERT – pay close attention as some plans offer a usage bill credit which will be listed in the Electricity Price section. If you don’t hit the usage parameters – you do not receive the bill usage credit and your Texas utility bill will be much higher.
Section 2: Other Key terms and Questions Section
Most of the EFLs you will see will refer you to the Terms of Service (TOS) documentation for the Texas electricity provider and associated plan. The TOS will outline a full listing of fees for the plan, the provider’s deposit policy and other terms and information.
Section 3: Disclosure Chart:
Types of Rate Plans/ Products
Texas offers two basic standard rate types for residential customers: variable and fixed. There is also Prepaid – but these will also be labeled as fixed or variable – however you pay up fron for the service and these plans usually do not require a credit check.
Variable Rate Plans:
Your Texas energy provider can change this price every month based on market conditions. Unfortunately, this means that you could be paying a different amount for power every month than the month before. Because of this, variable rates are not ideal for customers who want predictability from their energy bill each month. However, many people don’t mind changing their energy prices because they’re more interested in saving money on their electricity bills overall by taking advantage of the low competition in Texas and when the market conditions are right – you can save money with these plans as well.
Your Texas energy provider guarantees you a fixed rate for the duration of your contract. This means that you’ll pay the same amount for power every month during your contract term. Fixed rates are ideal for customers who want to minimize their electric bills over a set period of time and have predictability and consistent costs.
These plans are paid in advance and usually don’t require a credit check. They do require you to put down money up-front in order to start service.
This will list the term of the contract for the associated Texas electric plan. Typically a plan term will be from 3 months to 5 years in length.
Termination Fees and Other Associated Fees:
Most variable rate plans do not carry a termination fee. Fixed rate plans do typically have an early termination fee that applies. This is because the electricity provider is contracting with you and provide enough power onto the grid that they believe will be needed for your service. If you break that term – the electric provider is out the money they purchased for power they anticipated you to consume. However, most providers do not charge a termination fee if you are moving from one residence to another. You may be required to prove that you have moved in order for them to waive the termination fee. This section will also display other fees that may apply to this particular Texas electricity plan – such as: late payment fees, disconnect fees, late charges and more.
Renewable Energy Content:
The disclosure section also provides you with information on the renewable energy content of the associated electricity plan. If your plan is 100% green or renewable – it will display it here as 100% renewable. Many of the Texas electricity plans do contain energy from some renewable sources. It’s not unusual to see 18% renewable listed here as some part of the energy mix purchased from the Texas electric company is being sources from renewable energy sources.
Identify Your Texas Electricity Rate
The EFL is primarily used for rate calculation, which looks like this:
Rate Calculation = Price per kWh * Your Usage = $Your Monthly Bill
This number is used to calculate the total amount of electricity that you are expected to use during a billing cycle (30 days) based on what you have selected from the first two columns of the EFL (Price per kWh). These two variables in this equation go into determining your monthly electric bill.
Understand How Your Energy Use Impacts the Amount You Pay
Once you know all of this information about your rate plan, the amount you pay for power, and what variables impact that total cost, it is time to look at how usage impacts your monthly Texas utility bills. Remember that fixed-rate plans are ideal for customers who want to minimize their electric bills over a set period of time.
Get Help Understanding Your EFL
If you have questions about your Electricity Facts Label or need help understanding it in its entirety, contact your Texas energy retailer directly. They should be able to assist you with any questions that you may have regarding this document and your rates.
The Electricity Facts Label provides a simple way to understand important information about electricity and your expected Texas utility bill. By reading through each section of this document, you can know what that cost will be depending on which plan you have selected from your electric provider, and what various fees are included in the total price for your Texas utility bill. If you have any questions or need additional information about our services, please contact us at any time!
Top 5 Methods to save on Electricity Costs in Texas
Texas can have some long and hot summers and many Texas residents are anxious about not just the heat but the Texas electricity bill that they will receive. We have compiled top five ways to keep cool this summer while keeping Texas electricity costs down.
Pay attention to your thermostat
Your thermostat is a good place to start trying to save in the summer months. Texas summers are known to be hot and you that means cooling the home. Make sure you are using the AC more efficiently. First, set the AC to 78 degrees as it is generally accepted as the balance between being comfortable and limiting Texas electricity bills.
You can take that further by using a programmable thermostat that helps you cut down power usage by regulating when the AC should kick in. That way, you can keep your power usage low when you are at work or out and about but return to a cool and comfortable home. You can see up to 10% reduction in your Texas energy bill by turning up your thermostat by 10 degrees when you are at work.
Fans may be old tech and not as great as air conditioning but they work by circulating air without using as much power. Even if you can’t go all the way to install a fan in every room in your home, consider simple oscillating fans that can be easily plugged and used when you are in the room.
It is however important to remember to turn off the fans when not needed (or you are not in the room) as they can add up additional costs to your bill. To illustrate, the average fan costs about $0.005 per hour to run. If you leave ten of them on 24 hours of the day, that is about $36 tacked on to your bill at the end of the month. So only use fans when you are in the room and turn off when not in the room – they make the room feel cooler – but do add up if you are not in the room.
Give your AC less work to do
The more heat that is trapped in your home, the more work your AC does to keep you cool and the more energy used. One method to lessen the load on your AC is to minimize your use of electronics. Apart from the fact that they consume power on their own, they also produce heat, which has to be cooled by your AC. You should also try to block outlets that cool air can escape from by sealing up your home and using good insulation.
Service your central air system
Your central air system will do more work during the summer months. To make sure it does so efficiently, it needs to be well maintained. A simple freeing up of a clogged air filter can improve your air conditioning efficiency by up to 15%. The money you spend on the servicing will be well worth it during the summer months. You can also consider signing up for a Texas electricity plan that offers from HVAC maintenance. Constellation offers such a plan to Texas electricity users in the Dallas/ Fort Worht area as well as the Houston metro area. See if your home qualifies.
Consider switching Texas electricity plans
This is especially important in an electricity market that is deregulated like Texas. It means you can shop around for the best plans, based on your power usage habits. Before deciding on any plan, compare it with what you pay now and see how much you can save. You could be surprised to discover how much you can save, especially during the summer months!
The best place to actually hunt for the best plan for you in Texas is on https://electricitymatch.com. The website is easy to use as you only have to type in your zip code and you will see all the electricity plans available in your area. You can use the comparison tool to see how much each plan helps you to save.
Texas Electricity Deregulation and Power Grid
What is electricity deregulation?
Electricity deregulation is the reformation of the existing electricity market with the goal of preventing electricity monopolies through increased competition. This expanding trend allows electricity customers to select from a variety of electricity providers depending on pricing that meet their demands and specialized product offers. There are a number of states that are currently deregulated in the United States – including Texas.
How many states have deregulation?
As of 2021, 26 states provide some type of energy option. Texas and five other states have deregulated their electricity markets, while 11 states have deregulated natural gas markets. Both electricity and natural gas have been deregulated in nine states.
How does Texas compare?
Texas has the largest deregulated electric sector in the United States. Over 26 million Texans, or more than 90 percent of the state’s population, can now choose their electrical provider. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) oversees the electric market in the state of Texas.
Texas legislators enacted legislation deregulating the wholesale power market in 1995. In addition, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Orders in 1996 requiring utilities to allow open access to their transmission lines to other power firms. Similarly, Texas Senate Bill 7, which was passed on January 1, 2002, called for the formation of the Electric Utility Restructuring Legislative Oversight Committee to oversee the bill’s implementation.
Electricity Deregulation and Power to Choose Your Own Electricity Plan
One of the advantages of deregulation is the availability of a diverse choice of power plans, and Texas today has over 300 distinct plans in most markets. In Texas, there are various sorts of power plans, although the majority can be divided into three basic categories as follow.
- Fixed Rate Plans: It offers a set kilowatt hour (kWh) price that does not rise during the contract term in exchange for agreeing to purchase power for a set period of time. Contract lengths of 12, 24, and 36 months are most common.
- Variable Rate Plans: Your price per kWh varies month to month depending on how kWh prices react in the market. There is no minimum term and you can switch at any moment, although you may face large power bills in months with high electricity prices during peak summer seasons and fluctuating high prices in the coldest parts of winter.
- Prepaid Electricity Plans: These are paid for in advance with a deposit, and usage is deducted from your account balance. The benefit of these plans is that you can see how much money is left in your account, and power providers will not ask for your credit history.
As discussed earlier that Texas has over 300 distinct provider plans due to electricity deregulation and provides a diverse choice of power providers. You can choose prepaid power plans if you want to prevent surprises and pay upfront, or you can acquire a fixed rate plan if you want to avoid electricity price increases in the summer and during crises.
How the Texas Electricity System Is Structured
As discussed earlier that Texas’ power system is deregulated, no single business owns all of the power plants, transmission lines, or distribution networks. Around 70% of Texas customers select between dozens of power retailers on an open market.
Power is generated by electricity companies such as NRG and Vistra, and sold to residents and businesses through Texas retail energy providers such as Energy Texas and 4 Change Energy. Transmission firms, such as Oncor and Centerpoint, carry power and are reimbursed by a levy on customers’ electric bills. This fee works out to about a third of your Texas power bill.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, a non-profit organization, and they oversee power prices and balance supply and demand on the grid. The state Public Utility Commission, whose board is selected by the Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, is responsible for ERCOT and electric utilities. Everyone reports to the Texas Legislature, which can enact legislation to govern any aspect of the system.
How Electricity Deregulation Benefits Electricity Consumers in Texas
How many people in Texas have choice?
It is estimated that 85 percent of Texas power customers (those served by a company not owned by a municipality or a utility cooperative) coan choose from a number of retail electric providers (REPs). The utility in the area continues to own and maintain the local power lines (and is the company to call in the event of a power outage). Customers served by cooperatives or municipal utilities can choose an alternate REP only if the utility has opted in to deregulation; to date, only the Nueces Electric Cooperative’s service region has opted in.
How many businesses have switched energy providers?
Approximately 90 percent of business and industrial consumers located in deregulated areas of Texas have switched power providers at least once since 2002. In deregulated areas, over 50% of residential customers have migrated from the former incumbent provider to a competing Texas retail energy provider.
By allowing market participants to invest in power plants and transmission systems, a “deregulated energy market” allows competitors to buy and sell electricity. Retail electricity suppliers set customer prices, which are commonly referred to as the “supply” element of the electricity bill. Energy users can select where their energy originates from and which plans are best for them. Deregulation encourages competition among energy companies and encourages suppliers to deliver outstanding service to their clients – leading to enhanced competition and improved service.
How does this work best?
The consumers must be able to alter plans rapidly in order to stimulate competition and ensure a truly open market. The Texas deregulated market does not fall short of this standard, with most plan transfers taking place in seven days or less, with no loss of customer control. Customers can switch providers and plan types at any time because variable rates, fixed rates, and prepaid prices are all accessible. This gives customers the option of customizing not only the length of their contract, but also the structure of their payments.
What about smart meters?
The invention of the smart meter, which collects data on energy consumption, prompted significant change in the electric business. Smart meters not only make it simple for customers to switch energy suppliers, but they also provide real-time data on energy consumption. As a result, the smart meter can serve as an excellent foundation for other smart devices, such as smart thermostats, to improve both energy efficiency and user comfort.
Are plans different?
Another significant advantage of deregulation in the electric industry is that companies are constantly looking for novel ways to maintain and recruit customers. As a result, many companies collaborate with other companies and local businesses to provide discounts and cross-promotions, allowing consumers to save on much more than just their electric bill. These incentives help companies stand out in a congested electricity market and help consumers create a better relationship with their electric company. Texas deregulation has increased customer choice and allowed Texans to save more money. Companies like Pulse Power, a Texas electric business, provides tips for minimizing your energy consumption, a selection of energy plans designed to match the needs of consumers, innovative technology, and exceptional customer care.
What about renewable energy?
The growth of renewable energy sources is likely most visible in the wind energy sector, where Texas has an installed capacity of 12,200 megawatts of power, about double that of runner-up states like California and Ohio. Traditional energy utilities are also investing, particularly in low-pollution natural gas-powered generation units, which is assisting Texas in maintaining its position as the nation’s largest natural gas producer. Texas’ electrical infrastructure is more stable than ever, thanks to these new sources and investments in renewable energy, making frequent heat-related blackouts a thing of the past.
Top 7 Energy-Saving Gadgets for Your Home in Texas
If you live in Texas and feel your electricity bill is too high and you are looking for ways to pay less, cutting down on your energy consumption is a good place to start. You do not have to deprive yourself of comfort to achieve this as technology is here to help you. We present to you our top 7 home energy saving gadgets to help you cut down your electricity bill in Texas.
Programmable or smart thermostats automatically cut back on power consumption used to heat or cool your home by working only when you are in your home. For example, during the period of the day you are at work, you can program your smart thermostat to limit the heat or cooling generated and return it to normal when you are near your home so you don’t return to a hot or cold Texas home. As we showed you from the Texas energy bill breakdown above, nearly 50% of the power consumed in a household goes to heating and cooling. Research indicates that turning the thermostat up by just one degree can reduce power consumption by 1%, meaning you could see a 10% reduction in your bill by turning it up 10 degrees while you are away at work.
Lightning is another major source of Texas energy consumption. However, you do not need to live in darkness to cut down on your energy bill. LED lights use semiconductors to produce light from electricity and do so more efficiently by using less electricity than incandescent bulbs and lasting longer. While you may flinch at the higher costs of LED lights, which may be double the costs for incandescent lights, the former uses up to 80% less energy and have the potential to help you save as much as $75 per month on your bill.
Smart plugs or sockets allow you to keep your devices plugged in and be able to regulate their power consumption. You can either program the plug or socket to shut down during some periods of the day or shut them down through a smartphone app directly even when you are away from home. It is a good way to overcome forgetting to turn off your home electrical appliances. For example, using a smart socket to keep a humidifier off for three-quarters of the day can save you up to $18 per month.
Apart from generating power in environmentally friendly way, solar power can cut down your energy expenses considerably. Texas is a state with plenty of sunlight so you can install solar panels, which when all factors are considered, including government incentives and subsidies, can lop off hundreds of dollars from your energy expenses per year. You can typically see a pay back from initial costs and installation in about 10 years. Solar panels last up to 25 years, meaning 15 years of virtual free Texas energy.
Smart Home Sensors
Smart sensors help you cut down on your power consumption by turning on your electronic devices only when they detect people are in the space. For example, motion sensors can turn on the lights in a room only when there are occupants in the room.
Solar lights help you pay less for electricity by disconnecting your outdoor light fixtures from your Texas electricity meter. Installing solar lights around your home allows you to keep your lawn lights on during the night from the energy stored from sunlight during the day.
Battery Powered Smart Home Camera
You can cut your electricity consumption and still be security conscious by switching to battery powered smart home cameras. They are able to turn off when no motion is detected, meaning the batteries last longer while not running up your meter.
Any of the energy savings ideas listed above can help you cut down your Texas electricity bills but you can also save more in by switching your Texas electricity plan. You can easily search for the plan that works best for you on https://electricitymatch.com. Simply type in your zip code and you will be able to compare power plans.
Top Texas Electricity Companies
- 4Change Energy
- Energy Texas
- New Power Texas
- Payless Power
- Pulse Power
- TriEagle Energy
- TXU Energy
There is a choice when it comes to choosing your energy company and ElectricityMatch.com has built a simple and fast way for almost anyone in Texas to quickly sort and examine the electric offers from the leading power providers in Texas.
It does not make any difference where you are located in Texas you just type in your local zipcode in the search field above and you will discover energy rates from different Texas power providers competing to earn your business. Most people know the fastest way to get a great electric rate is to get electric providers fighting for your business.
Type in your local zipcode above to see what you can save!