Lighting your Home or Office Energy Efficiently

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.

Lighting your Home or Office Energy Efficiently

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.

Halogen bulbs

  • Last one year
  • Do not contain mercury unlike CFL and LED 

Fluorescent Bulbs

  • Produce a linear source of light only
  • Contain UV light

The Electricity Facts Label and your Electricity Service

The Electricity Facts Label, or EFL, is a central part of an energy plan. The EFL details what is included in your plan, from contract length, to rates, to renewable content and emissions. An EFL is available for all energy plans in Texas, regardless of the retail energy provider (REP).

The Electricity Facts Label and your Electricity Service

The EFL details a few specific sections about your plan. The REP and plan name are listed on the document so you know who and what it is you’re looking at. This makes it easier to compare different plans from the same or even a different REP. You can also see what the service area is for the plan, such as CenterPoint. Next, you’ll be able to see pricing breakdowns. This section tells you the costs of generating and delivering the electricity to your home or business. It will also outline any applicable fees, such as early termination. The rate you’ll be paying is measured in cents per kilowatt hour (¢/kWh). This is the standard measurement across all companies in Texas for easy to understand pricing.

The contract section tells you how long your contract is for. If you change providers or plans, or cancel your service before the contract expires, you could be subject to the early termination fee as noted in the pricing section. If you are on a prepaid or variable plan, this plan is month-to-month, so you can switch any time. Finally, the sources of generation section tell you what sources the energy is pulled from. This could be coal, nuclear, natural gas, solar, or wind power. Any renewable energy content (solar and wind) is noted as a percentage and is compared to the state average.

ERCOT Prepares for the Texas Heat

March is here, and that means that the Texas heat is not far behind. The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is gearing up for this hot weather by preparing the electricity grid with 77,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity. The peak demand is expected to cap out around 69,000 MW, so this will ensure that everyone has reliable electricity as we head into cooling season.

ERCOT Prepares for the Texas HeatKen McIntyre, VP of Grid Planning and Operations at ERCOT, said that they will “continue to monitor a number of factors that could affect power plant availability and demand over the summer. . . .” ERCOT also expects, even in a worst-case scenario, to have at least 500 MW of electricity in reserve. This summer will also see the addition of 346 MW of peak wind capacity which is enough to power 69,200 homes during peak demand on a mild spring day, according to ERCOT’s data.

Summer always sees a huge increase in energy demands due to the increased need for air conditioning. You can help reduce the peak demands from your home by using programmable thermostats to only run the AC while you’re at home and awake, such as in the morning before work and in the evening before going to bed. At night, if it’s cool enough, shut off the AC and open up the windows. You can save energy and subsequently money on your energy bill as the temperatures heat up this summer.

Which Kind of Plan are you?

Having a deregulated energy market means that you have a choice as to what provider and type of plan you want. You can choose from a prepaid plan, a variable rate plan, and a fixed rate plan. Any one of those could also be a green energy plan, where some or all of the energy comes from renewable resources like wind energy.

Which Kind of Plan are you

Prepaid Plan

Prepaid plans let you pay for electricity up to a certain amount for use the following month. Once you reach that limit, the electricity is shut off unless you add more money to the prepaid account. They typically have a high rate per kilowatt hour (kWh)

Variable Rate Plan

Variable rate plans have no contract length, so you can switch from one at any time, but the rates will vary from month to month. These plans could be lower or higher than a fixed rate plan, depending on market conditions.

Fixed Rate Plan

Fixed rate plans lock in your energy rate for the duration of your contract length. Regardless of how the market fluctuates, you will continue paying the same rate. Starting a fixed rate plan when rates are typically lower will ensure you get a good rate for the year. However, if you sign up for a fixed rate plan and cancel before your contract expires, you could be faced with an early termination fee.

All plans available in Texas have an electricity facts label (EFL) that details exactly what your plan entails. It will specify contract length, amount of renewable energy, and various costs associated with the plan. The EFL is designed to give consumers full disclosure, so there are no surprises when you get your bill in the mail.

Houston Electricity Market

Electricity market is ever expanding.  Continuous development takes place in the electricity sector. Different methods and techniques are opted to satisfy the consumers.  Shop Houston Electricity is also one among many providers, who give importance to customer service and satisfaction.  Cheap energy, and reasonable priced electricity are offered to the customers.  Both business and residents get benefited by choosing Shop Houston Electricity.   Houston electricity market is extremely competitive.  There are many providers who give different rates to their customers.
houston-electricity-market
Shop Houston Electricity have researched the electricity market and are aware of the customers requirement.  Based on the  requirements, they have a list of providers who give extremely competitive value added service and best rates when it comes to electricity.  The customers have the choice and power to choose from the various providers listed with them.

Explore the electricity market with ease and convenience.  They are here to help you with all your questions and needs.  Do not get confused or carried away with the options.  Houston electricity will assist and let you make the perfect choice when it comes to power for home or business.  Get the best out of Shop Houston Electricity, enjoy the luxuries and benefits provided by them.

Celebrate Advent with simplicity

November brings the season of celebration and fun with it.  Advent is around the corner and many will have plans to start celebrating this time. Advent is celebrating the arrival of Christmas, so it becomes natural that people would want to light up their homes, keep it bright and attractive all the time.  Celebration does bring in lot of joy and happiness, but at the same time it involves lot of money that is spent on different items and also on electricity. Obviously, when you are lighting up your home, you will be spending money on paying for the electricity bill.

Celebrate Advent with simplicity

Now you can still celebrate all the festivities and events in a much simpler yet enjoyable way. One can have a special dinner on a Sunday, instead of almost every day which will make you use your electronic gadgets for cooking and other things. This way you consume less of electricity and save energy. Instead of illuminating your home with bright and excess lights, have a candle light dinner, which is also very beautiful, pleasing and easy on the pocket.

 

Make it a small family affair. Do not go about calling all your friends and relatives. It will save you time, money and energy. More people more usage of electricity, the less the number better it is in terms of saving. Make it exciting by wrapping up gifts, singing carols and decorate your house. Decorate it with energy saving bulbs and lights, use artificial flowers and use more of eco-friendly products. One can also go green for such festivals. Use different ideas, think out of the box. Shop Houston Electricity happily and willingly supports all this methods of energy saving and yet celebrating the festivals with happiness and togetherness.

 

Come to Shop Houston Electricity and get all your electric needs at reasonable price and many options available to choose from.

Energy efficient lights

Lights illuminate our homes, rooms and lives.  There are different varieties of lights available in the market.  The best part being there are energy efficient lights available and we at Shop Houston Electricity encourage people to use such lights.  They are one of the most appropriate forms to preserve electricity.  There are various varieties which are available when it comes to lighting the house.  These lights vary in price range and also vary in the electricity preserving methods or process.  It is always beneficial to upgrade your lighting system to the most cost effective one.  Lights may form for up to 50 percent of your electricity use.  If energy efficient lights are used then so much energy can be saved.

Energy efficient lights

Using these lights can reduce your electricity bill, preserve energy, reduce the need for costly maintenance and may also improve the safety conditions in your premises be it work or home.  Shop Houston Electricity believes and knows that there are different lighting choices that one can choose to save money and electricity.  The traditional bulbs use lot of energy to produce lot and 90% of energy is given off as heat, so obviously it is a total waste of money and energy, which is why such bulbs are not produced these days.

As said earlier energy saving light bulbs are available and to name a few there is Halogen Incandescent, they come in wide range of shapes and colors and also meet the federal minimum efficiency standard.  The other is compact fluorescent lamps, they use less energy.  An energy star CFL uses less energy and lasts ten times longer than a traditional bulb.  LED’s are another option which is very good for energy saving.  These bulbs use only 20-25% energy and last 25 times longer than the traditional bulb.  These bulbs are available in different Watts and can be used at home or work as per the usage.

Shop Houston Electricity gives all the information about getting cheaper electricity rates and also on saving electricity using different methods.  At home or in office light is used and if one replaces the traditional light bulbs with energy efficient ones then there will be a drastic difference in your electricity bill and also the energy can be saved.  This in turn helps the economy in many different ways.  We as matured and educated individuals should have the responsibility and knowledge to do the needful to conserve this precious form of energy which is available at a higher cost.

Knowing your Options when it comes to Light Bulbs

Cheap-Electricity

Cheap-Electricity

There are several options to consider when lighting your home. Incandescent bulbs are on their way out, with the federal ban on them beginning in 2007 and the full phase out scheduled for this year. There are also compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) which have a distinct curly or multi tubed shapes. There are also light emitting diode (LED) bulbs that use several small diodes to light the whole bulb. Both CFLs and LEDs are more efficient than incandescents, so they use about 80-85% less electricity. That energy savings adds up to a lot of cash, too, considering that lighting can account for up to 25% of your electricity bill.

The incandescent light bulbs we know today were a culmination of several inventors. The first was invented in 1802 by Humphry Davy using a platinum filament. Incandescence is heating a wire filament to the point where it glows. Many early incandescent bulbs contained carbonized bamboo filaments. Several other patents were issued and Thomas Edison help streamline the commercialization of the light bulbs in the late 1800s. However, it was the Hungarian and Croatian team of Sandor Just and Franjo Hanaman that invented the tungsten filament incandescent bulb in 1904 that we use today. The downside to incandescent lights is that 90% the energy consumed is given off as heat. The remaining 10% of energy is the light that we see. These bulbs are terribly inefficient, requiring a lot of energy for very little light. These bulbs also only last about 1200 hours, or about 2 years worth of use at a rate of 3 hours per day.

Compact fluorescent lamps use between 75-80% less electricity than incandescent bulbs to give off the same amount of light. Instead of heating a wire filament, a CFL bulb is filled with argon gas and a small amount of mercury vapor. They can last about 10,000 hours or 9 years based on 3 hours of use per day. With the energy they save, they pay for themselves in about 9 months, but some people are leery of their use because of their mercury content. They only contain about 4 milligrams of mercury. For comparison, a mercury based household thermometer contains about 500 milligrams of mercury. Some bulbs contain as little as 1 milligram of mercury per bulb. CFLs also can take some time to reach full brightness, and they are not good with constant cycling (turning on and off).

Light emitting diodes are made from semiconductors that are attached to electric leads, and when the juice starts flowing, the diode emits a brilliant light. LEDs are 80-90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and can last up to 100,000 hours. Their lifespan is about 25 years with 3 hours of use per day. These bulbs, with their long lifespan, low cost to use, and low energy consumption, they are the ideal source of light for our homes. The biggest downside to LEDs is the cost per bulb is relatively high.

Besides switching to energy efficient bulbs, you can lower your monthly bills by switching to a Houston electricity company that offers cheap electricity. You have the power to choose your energy provider. Shop Houston Electricity can help you sort through plans by provider, price, and options like renewable energy. The cheapest electric rates are at your fingertips!

Low Cost, High Electricity Quality

Prior to the 2002 bill that deregulated the Texas energy market, cheap electricity wasn’t really a possibility. Utilities determined the rate you paid for electricity, and if you didn’t like the rate, you couldn’t change to another utility unless you moved to another part of the state. However, once deregulated, the market was opened up for competition between different energy providers. This significantly decreased the prices paid by the consumers. Some people believe that the electricity from a company offering cheap electricity is inferior to one charging a higher rate. Fortunately, the saying of “you get what you pay for” doesn’t really apply to the Texas electricity market.

Utilities are still very much a part of the energy network. However, they only maintain the power lines that deliver your electricity. Retail Energy Providers (REPs) purchase shares of electricity from generation facilities like nuclear plants, wind farms, and coal plants. They then sell this electricity to you, the consumer. Regardless of who your REP is, the electricity is being transmitted over the same lines, so there is no difference in the quality of electricity. Each REP may have varying levels of customer service, but higher priced REPs are not always better and lower priced REPs are not always bad.

Besides being able to choose your provider, you also have the power to choose the plan you want for your electric service. Some plans vary based on contract length, with longer contracts having a lower rate that gets locked in and won’t change even if retail rates go up, other plans offer renewable energy. If you are interested in having your home powered by renewable energy, check the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for the plans offered by a REP. The EFL will tell you exactly how much of the electricity is generated from renewable sources. Some REPs exclusively offer renewable plans, so every plan will be 100% renewable energy.

When it comes to contract lengths, it’s best to consider your current situation and energy needs. If you’ve just moved to the state and are still looking for an energy provider, find one with a variable rate monthly plan. The rate for these plans will go up or down based on market conditions, but there is no penalty if you decide to switch providers. If you’re ready to settle in for the long term, contracts vary in length between 3 months and 36 months. When you choose a fixed rate plan with a contract, your rate will remain the same, despite any changes in market conditions, whether good or bad. You could also be penalized if you back out of the contract before it ends.

Just remember that no matter whom your provider is, your electricity quality will always be high quality. And whenever you switch providers, your service will not be interrupted. On your switch date, billing will be transferred from your old provider to your new one, but your power will continue to flow for the whole transfer. Houstonians, compare and shop electric rates from providers with Shop Houston Electricity.

Motion Sensors Save Electricity

A light left on is a big waste of energy. Sometimes we forget to turn them off when we get distracted by something and leave a room, sometimes we don’t realize they’re on, like if the room is already well lit. Children have a tendency to not turn off the lights when they leave their room, bathroom, or playroom, and you may find that there are lights on all around the house because of this. Some parents become frustrated seeing all these lights left on because they know that it’s like throwing money away. Instead of scurrying all over the house turning off lights all day, investing in motion sensor switches will eliminate the hassle altogether.

Motion sensor switches are easy to install, and are relatively cheap. Each switch will cost between $20 and $40 and can be found online through sites like Amazon or at local hardware stores. There are two different types of switches: Occupancy and Vacancy. Occupancy switches turn themselves on as soon as they detect movement. These are ideal for bathrooms and laundry rooms. Vacancy switches do not turn themselves on when they detect movement; you must turn them on like any other standard light switch. The switches are good for children’s bedrooms, as they won’t automatically turn on should you need to check on your child at night and don’t want to wake them. They are also ideal for rooms where pets frequently enter, so they don’t constantly trigger the lights.

Both of these switches will turn themselves off after a set amount of time has passed with no movement. The timeout duration can be set to between 1 minute and 30 minutes, typically. In playrooms, a short timeout time is best, bathrooms could be set to 10 minutes, and bedrooms could be set to 15 minutes. Even if a light is neglected and not turned off, the automatic shutoff will save a lot of energy versus the light staying on for several hours at a time. Installing LED light bulbs in conjunction with these motion switches will further decrease your energy use.

Decreasing energy use is a surefire way to save money on your electricity bills, but switching to a new energy provider can also help. Shop Houston Electricity will help you compare the rates of several energy companies so you can get cheap electricity. You have the power to choose your own Texas electricity provider, so switch now and save!