Shopping around for a new energy provider can seem overwhelming at first, but once you know what steps to take, it’s actually pretty easy. The first thing you want to ask yourself is “Is it time to switch?” Make sure that you are at the end of your contract term (you will receive a letter from your provider when the contract is almost up) or that you are on a no-contract plan. If you back out of a contract before it ends, you could be hit with an early termination fee.
The next question to address is “Where do I begin?” That question is easy! You can visit us online and start shopping around for a better electricity rate! We will help you compare several companies at a time, showing you their rates and plan features all in one place.
After that, the question becomes “Variable or fixed rate?” Variable plans change their rates every month according to market conditions. Fixed rate plans lock in your rate so it won’t be affected by market conditions for the duration of your contract. There are also prepaid plans, but those tend to have higher rates and require a lot of scrutiny to make sure you don’t use all your electricity up in a short amount of time.
“What are the fees?” is another good question. Every plan on a provider’s website or on our comparison lists has something called an EFL, or Electricity Facts Label. The EFL spells out the details of a specific plan, including the rate breakdown and any fees. Some fees are assessed for using too little electricity, some are for backing out of the contract early. Take a close look at the EFL so you know what the fees would be with the selected plan.
Besides having a low electricity rate, you can cut your bill in half by simply replacing the lighting in your home or office. If you find yourself constantly changing out bulbs, it is probably because you are using the old standard bulbs. These light bulbs are no longer being manufactured because the Department of Energy has stated that they are not energy efficient.
By simply changing out your light bulls you could be saving up to 70-80% in energy costs per year! That’s about $80 to $100 extra bucks in your pocket! The beauty of changing out light bulbs is that, their lifespan is increased with bulbs such as CFL and LED bulbs.
Here is a breakdown of energy saving bulbs you should look for:
LED light bulbs
- Save up to $80 a year in energy costs
- Lasts up to 15+ years
- Available in many sizes
- More on the pricier end (but these will literally last you forever)
CFL light bulbs
- Saves up to 75% a year in energy costs
- Lasts up to 9 years
- Available in many sizes.
- Reasonably priced.
- Last one year
- Do not contain mercury unlike CFL and LED
- Produce a linear source of light only
- Contain UV light
Summer is here, which means electricity usage skyrockets through the roof. If you find yourself overpaying for electricity during summer, do not worry because there are things you can do to lower than electric bill.
Determine how much you are paying for electricity service? How much is too much? By using our comparison tool on ShopHoustonElectricity.com by entering in your zip code you can determine how much you currently pay, to what companies are currently offering.
How long do you need electricity service for? Whether you need electricity service for two years or two months, there are plenty of plan options to choose from. From plans with a contract, to plans without a contract; be sure to figure out how long you will need your service for.
Choose a plan and make the switch. Make sure you are not currently in a contract with your currently electricity provider. Check your bill to see when your contract expires if you are in one, or you can call your current provider.
Some things to keep in mind before your switch:
- Remember to make sure you are up to date all on payments with your current electricity provider before switch.
- There is no disconnection in your service when you switch electricity providers.
- Your quality of electricity service is the same, regardless of which electricity company you choose.
Let there be light! When it comes to saving on your electricity bill, having a low rate is only the beginning to your savings! What about going the extra mile? Lighting can save energy costs and make your home energy efficient.
Let’s start off with changing out the light bulbs in your home/business.
- Choose LED bulbs or CFL bulbs because they are the most energy efficient. CFL bulbs use up to 75% less energy and output less heat, than normal bulbs. The CFL bulbs also have a longer lifespan so you will rarely have to replace them.
- Check the package of the light bulbs to make sure they are for the appropriate wattage. Example: Some bulbs are for lamps, some bulbs are for ceiling fans. Check the package for more details.
- Install motion sensor lights if you can in your house, even for outdoor lighting.
- Use a timer to remember to turn off all lights, if you don’t have a motion sensor option.
- Paint walls a lighter color so they reflect light.
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Rearrange furniture towards the natural light of windows or screen doors.
When you are not using lights, just turn them off. Also teach children to unplug gadgets and turn off lights when they are not using them to save energy costs. Replacing lighting in your home can save up to $100 per year that you can spend on other things.