×

Texas’ Most Energy Efficient Cities

When people think of Texas, energy efficiency is not the first thing that comes to mind. After all, people unfamiliar with the Lone Star state imagine a state full of cowboys, rodeos, Tex Mex food, big hair and oil. However, Texans care about the environment too. Three of the state’s biggest cities, Dallas, Austin and Houston, are showing the world that the saying “everything is bigger in Texas” also applies to sustainability efforts. It’s not just the big three cities leaning towards the green lifestyle. Many other Texas green cities are leading the way too. For instance, Corpus Christi is a hub for wind power, which can help lower its greenhouse gas emissions.

Texas Green Cities

There is a list of Texas green cities. How do you get on the list? Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a great start. After all, cities are the worst offenders of greenhouse gasses. Most people live and work in urban and suburban areas, consuming energy along the way. The high demand for energy releases almost three-quarters of carbon dioxide emissions. One way to improve air quality is to significantly reduce our consumption of electrical power.

LEED-certified buildings use less energy, water and fewer resources. Green buildings have a positive effect on people and the planet. It’s also a great way to get on the Texas green cities list. From homes to commercial buildings, LEED certification creates a healthier indoor space, faster lease-up rates and a higher resale value.

Nobody likes sitting in traffic. It can cause stress levels to rise. Plus, all these vehicles on the road are creating harmful greenhouse gas emissions. This is why a city’s public transportation system comes into play in ranking the top Texas green cities. Imagine if there were fewer cars on the road. We’d have shorter commute times and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Texas Energy Efficient Cities

Houston

Yes, Houston is an oil town and home to the NASA Johnson Space Center. It’s also on the right track to taking its greener side to new heights. Houston makes the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of efficient cities because it has 247 ENERGY STAR® buildings. Plus, Houston’s green power program has made it the number one renewable city in the U.S. In the fiscal year 2017, solar and wind power accounted for nearly one billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in the city of Houston. Green power represented almost 90% of the city’s total energy consumption5. Houston is also making great strides in its public transportation system. It’s one of the top 25 cities in the U.S. for public transportation, helping residents cut their average commute time by up to 83%3. Check out these other changes done over the last 10 years:

  • In 2009, the city sought out performance contractors to rework its wastewater treatment plants to reduce energy use.
  • The city started replacing all traffic lights with LED lights. Its Streetlight Pilot Project reportedly saves the city $10,000 daily and $3.6 million annually.
  • The Department of Energy gave Houston a $23 million grant to weatherize homes in the Houston area. The city created the Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP) to reduce residents’ energy consumption by the installation of energy efficiency upgrades; caulking, weather-stripping, air conditioners, wall and attic insulation, solar screens, refrigerators and more. REEP provides these upgrades to income-qualified residents at no charge.

Dallas

Dallas is more than just home to America’s NFL team. The city also scores big as one of the top Texas energy efficient cities. Dallas is ranked third in the nation in the EPA’s 2018 top ENERGY STAR® cities list with 468 certified buildings1. The city improves its air quality through electrical energy consumption reduction. The city’s Aviation Department replaced its HVAC system to a more efficient boiler and chillers that reduce emissions. The Public Works and Transportation department replaced 258 traffic lights with LED modules. The Dallas Zoo reduces costs of electricity and battery purchases with irrigation on control clocks. There are over 1,000 LEED certified building projects in the works with many already completed. The Ecology Parks Building and Jack Evans Police Headquarters opened with LEED certification. All one million square feet of The Dallas Convention Center is LEED certified Silver. According to North Texas Green Council, the Convention Center fulfills all of the silver certification qualifications, some include:

  • A building must save 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually by equipment replacement and retrofitting.
  • Water consumption must be reduced by nominally 7 million gallons annually from replacing existing plumbing fixtures.
  • Renewable sources must power 100 percent of energy.
  • Hot water must be heated by “54 rooftop solar-thermal panels with a conventional gas-fired water heating system.”

Select the best renewable energy plan in Dallas and keep it green.

Austin

Austin is known as the counter-culture rich, music city of the Lone Star state, and environmental consciousness tends to coincide with that attitude. The city is implementing strategies to address the challenges of climate change. Austin ranked number 10 on Mother Nature Networks’ list of America’s greenest cities2. MNN ranked Austin high on their list because of its plan to be carbon neutral by 2020, and the city has a set a goal for net-zero emissions by 2050. Austin is also home to a high number of parks, preserves and outdoor recreation spots with trees and plants that help beautify the environment and clean the air. And, while there are still plenty of cars on the road, the city has been pushing the use of plug-ins since 2005. Austin Energy’s Plug-In EVerywhere network is a program made to advocate the use of hybrid vehicles. As of early 2019, there are more than 250 plug-in stations throughout the area, with more on the way4.

If you’re living or doing business in an area that lets you switch your electricity provider, Vault Electricity can help you select a green energy provider that saves you money and helps improve our quality of life.

Avoiding Gas and Electrical Danger During and After Flooding

It’s important to take precautions to avoid gas and electrical danger during and after a flooding event. Unfortunately, here in Texas, flooding is all too common. We’ve had years where we’ve experienced unprecedented amounts of rainfall, causing “historic” floods in cities like Houston. Here are some things you need to know when there’s a flood.

What to Do Before a Flood

There are hazards both inside and outside your home. A tropical storm comes with high winds that can cause flooding and down power lines. Familiarize yourself with the location of the outdoor power lines. Water is a conductor of electricity. If you’re touching water that’s touching electricity, you can become electricity’s path to the ground and electrocute yourself.

When flood waters rise, the potential for injury is high. Know your surroundings and spot the dangers. Water can affect appliances, electronics, switches, outlets and HVAC equipment. One of the biggest concerns during and after a flood is shock and electrocution from appliances and equipment around you.

You’ll also want to know the location of the outlets inside your home. While some floods, like a flash flood, can occur when you least expect them to, you can prepare for other types of flooding hazards. If you know that there’s a possibility of flooding, move electrical equipment like TVs, stereos and computers to an upper floor. For appliances like refrigerators, you can try to raise them off the floor with pieces of lumber.

What to Do During and After a Flood

Electrocution is a significant risk during a flood. However, there’s another hazard to know about — carbon monoxide poisoning. When the power’s out, you might hear electric power generators running. They can be a lifesaver and provide comfort during a stressful time. However, if used indoors, they can be a significant contributor to high levels of indoor carbon monoxide. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pains, and confusion. In short, do not use an indoor generator indoors, ever, even if the doors and windows are open.

Severe flooding and storms can damage natural gas equipment too. Pay attention to your senses, in particular, your sight, sound and smell. They’ll work together to let you know what’s going on around you with any gas issues. Be sure not to touch anything electric, as you may discharge a spark doing something as simple as turning on a light. Do not attempt to disconnect any gas appliances on your own.

Electricity can move through the water, and it’s no secret that an electric shock can kill you. However, you can avert danger by avoiding hazardous flooded areas. When flooding takes over rooms, proceed with caution. If you think electrical outlets, appliances or cords have come in contact with water, don’t enter the room.

After the flood has receded, you’re going to want to make sure it’s safe to go in your house. Check to see if the water made contact with your electrical panel and outlets. If the water level was high enough, be sure not to touch anything. Call the utility company so that they can disconnect power. Severe winds can sometimes accompany a flood. So, if you have to go outside, check to see if there are downed power lines and stay away from them.

Once everything is all dried out, consider safety measures, such as having ground fault circuit interrupters installed. GFCIs can help prevent electrocution. Hire a licensed electrician to install GFCIs on outlets throughout your home, especially in areas that can accidentally come in contact with water, like bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchen areas. And if you use electric power tools in your garage, it’s a good idea have GFCIs installed in the garage too.

You might also require the assistance of a licensed electrician to evaluate the situation in your home. The electrician may suggest repairs before restoring the electricity. Replace circuit breakers if they were under water. A professional electrician can clean, dry and test panel boards and service enclosures, as well as any affected electrical devices, appliances, heating equipment and wiring. You might have to replace any damaged equipment.

If you go back home and smell gas or you think there’s a leak, open all the windows, turn off the main gas valve and leave your home. Notify your utility company, the police or fire department, and don’t return to your house until it’s safe to enter. 

There’s still a risk if the power is out, too. How? Someone could be illegally backfeeding electricity with a generator to power their home.

Flooding is going to happen. And while floods can bring lots of destruction, you can avoid gas and electrical danger by being prepared and taking the necessary precautions mentioned. Read about what you can do if your power goes out. The more you know, the better you can prepare for life’s unexpected natural events.

What You Need to Know About The TXU Free Pass Plan

TXU is the company that popularized Free Nights and other time of day electricity plans in Texas.  Now the electric company that brought you Free Nights and Solar Days has introduced a plan called the TXU Energy Free Pass 12 Plan.

How does the TXU Free Pass Plan work?

The plan is fairly simple.  For each billing period, TXU takes your 7 highest electricity usage days and subtracts those days from your bill.  For those days you are charged a 0¢/kWh energy charge and the typical pass through fees associated with Oncor or your local distribution utility are waived.

What is the KWh charge on the TXU Free Pass plan?

The electricity rate for the days you do pay for is very high.  In the Oncor service area which includes, Dallas and Fort Worth, the energy charge is 16.6¢/kWh.  In addition to that, you will pay the Oncor passthrough fee of 3.135¢/kWh.  This brings the total electricity rate to 19.7¢/kWh for the days you pay for.

If you used exactly the same amount of electricity every day of a 30 day billing cycle, your 7 free days would account for 23.3% of your total electricity usage.

TXU publishes an average electricity rate of 14.5¢/kWh for 1000 kWh of usage in the Oncor delivery area.  To arrive at this number, they assume that 33.1% of your electricity usage occurs during your 7 free days.

electricity rate for TXU Free Pass Plan

Every household is different. Its hard to predict exactly what your final average electricity rate would be.

The table below shows TXU’s published 1000 kWh average electricity rate for each delivery area including the 7 free days.  It also includes the energy charge plus TDU pass through charge for the non-free days of the plan.


TXU Free Pass Electricity Rates

City (TDU) 1000 kWh Average Rate Non-Free Day Rate
Dallas (Oncor) 14.5¢/kWh 19.7¢/kWh
Houston (Centerpoint)15.5¢/kWh 20.7¢/kWh
Lewisville (TNMP) 15.5¢/kWh 20.4¢/kWh
Abiliene (AEPN) 14.9¢/kWh 19.4¢/kWh
Victoria (AEPC)15.5¢/kWh 20.2¢/kWh

Is the TXU Free Pass plan a good deal?

TXU’s other time of use plans also have high base rates.  The challenge for consumers is to shift their electricity usage habits to take advantage of the free periods.  With Free nights or mornings plans, consumers can change when they do their laundry or wash their dishes.  They can change their pool timers or do other things to plan their daily electricity-intensive chores at the right time.

It’s a little more difficult, however, to shift electricity usage to specific days of the month.  Summer is approaching in Texas which means A/Cs are about to be running all day every day.  You can’t just shove all of your air conditioning into 7 days of the month.

For most consumers, this plan would act somewhat like a free weekends plan.  If you work during the week, you should be adjusting your thermostat to use less electricity to cool your home during the days when you are working.  On the weekend, when you are more likely to be home, you probably want to keep the thermostat at a more comfortable temperature.  You’re also more likely to do energy intensive household chores like laundry during the weekend.  This adds together to make the weekends likely your highest electricity usage days.

What else do I need to know about the Free Pass plan?

  • The plan comes with a 12 month contract commitment
  • The cancelation fee is $150
  • It has a base charge of $9.95 per month plus a pass through base charge from your TDU of between $3.42 and $10.53 depending on where you live.
  • The plan has a renewable energy content of 6%

Filed under: TXU Free Pass Plan Review

Gas, Diesel or Hybrid: What’s the Right Choice for You?

Are you shopping for a new car? You have many choices. There are options to consider besides the make and model. For instance, you can choose between gas, diesel, hybrid and electric vehicles. With elevated gas prices and the threat of gas shortages looming, drivers are more conscious of fuel economy than ever before. The auto industry has responded by offering consumers a variety of energy-efficient vehicles. So you must ask yourself, which type of vehicle provides the most savings on fuel costs?

Electric Vehicles

Say goodbye to the standard engine. Electric vehicles use one or more electric motors for power — plug in, charge it and go! While there are advantages to this simpler design, there are gripes, too. Probably the biggest complaint about EVs is how many miles you can go on a single charge. That said, their ranges have improved in recent years. If you plan on using an electric vehicle for short commutes, a fully-charged 2018 Nissan Leaf® can go up to 150 miles. When you have a much longer trek, a Hyundai Kona Electric can go up 258 miles on a single charge before it needs a re-charge. And, if it’s luxury you’re after, check out the 2019 Audi e-tron 5-seater SUV; it’s got plenty of room and dual-motor all-wheel-drive handling.

With average fuel costs much lower than conventional gas vehicles, you’ll be able to save money while saving the environment. After all, electric cars don’t burn fuel and produce zero emissions. Plus, when you purchase an electric vehicle, you might be eligible for tax credits and other incentives. With so much talk about electric cars, it may be sooner than you think before EVs are mainstream.

Hybrid Cars

Hybrids are available in three subcategories: full, mild and plug-in. All three types use internal combustion engines and at least one battery-powered electric motor. One of the main differences is in how they replenish and save energy in the battery. All three types can achieve high fuel-efficiency ratings, but one is more fuel efficient — full hybrids.

Here’s a breakdown on the modes of hybrid vehicles. When a hybrid is in series mode, the electric motor propels the car, and the gas engine serves as a power generator for the motor. Parallel mode means the electric motor and gas engine are both moving the vehicle along. An all-electric mode is as it seems, as it only uses the electric part of the powertrain. Full hybrids, like a Toyota Prius, automatically switch between series, parallel and all-electric modes. A car such as a Honda Jazz is considered a “mild hybrid” — it will always operate in parallel mode, so it’s not as fuel-efficient as a full hybrid. Finally, we have the plug-in hybrid. There are compact models that we all know, such as the Chevy Volt. However, if you think you have to sacrifice luxury for fuel-saving technology, think again. You can purchase a Mercedes-Benz C350e and enjoy a plug-in hybrid luxury sedan. Hybrids may not accelerate as quickly as gas-powered cars, but they’re a worthy investment that will save you money in the long run.

Diesel Cars

Diesel cars have a mixed reputation. After all, people associate diesel cars with a loud rumble and stinky, black exhaust. Thanks to technological advancements in fuel additives and engine technology, you no longer have to worry about that with the newer models. However, diesel cars still use expensive heavy-duty parts. They also weigh more than gas-powered cars. The parts on conventional gas vehicles are lighter than diesel vehicles, making a gas-powered automobile more affordable.

Another thing to consider is the cost of diesel versus regular gasoline. Buying diesel at the pump is usually more expensive. However, cars with diesel engines can run further on a gallon of fuel than their gasoline-powered counterparts, which means that you can expect greater fuel efficiency. Plus, unlike a gas engine, you’ll never need to replace spark plugs or have to do any costly ignition tune-ups. Gasoline-powered cars may have the greater horsepower, but diesel cars generate more torque, which is why many commercial trucks are diesel-powered. So, if you need something for heavy hauling and with high towing capacity, consider something like a Dodge Ram 1500 truck. The verdict: when you factor in the cost at the pump and the extra mileage you get from diesel engines, you’ll find that the final price of gas and diesel powertrains even up.

Conventional Gas Vehicles

Conventional gas vehicles have come a long way. You can still buy those fuel guzzling, gas-powered cars on the lot. However, you can also discover automobiles that align with your eco-friendly ethos. Almost every car maker features a model made from lightweight materials with above-average miles per gallon. Plus, gas-powered cars create more horsepower than diesel, hybrid and electric cars, which is why they remain the best choice if you’re looking for something sportier.

With the right planning, a trip to a car dealership can be a rewarding experience. All the vehicle types we mentioned have strengths and weaknesses. Go ahead and test drive the four types of cars mentioned above. Ultimately, the best choice is what makes you happy, whether you want a car that saves on fuel costs, is better for the environment, or you need one that can tow a trailer. 

What is The Difference Between Electric Companies, REPs, and TDUs?

Are you confused about the different kinds of electric companies? Unsure of the difference between your retail electric provider (REP) and your transmission and distribution utility (TDU) company? If so, you are not alone. It’s safe to say most electricity consumers do not understand the different kinds of electric companies. After all, there is only one energy company’s name listed on your monthly electric bill. But is that the name of your electricity provider? Or maybe it’s the name of the company that generated the electricity you are using?

Electric Companies

“Electric company” has become the catch-all term for the company that sends you your monthly electric bill. In a perfect world, we could always use that term and there would be no confusion.

Unfortunately, the type of electric company that sends out the bills depends on where you live. In Albany, New York, the TDU sends out the monthly bills. But in Dallas, Texas, it is the REP that sends the bills.

Texas Retail Electric Providers

In Texas, your monthly electricity bill is sent out by your retail electric provider. On your bill, you will see the fees charged by the REP listed as the “Energy Charge.”

When you use our site to find a cheap electricity rate, you are comparing the offers of many different retail electricity providers. Once you decide on an REP, that will be the electric company that actually buys your electricity from the state’s electric grid.

Although you’ve never seen a TV commercial for a TDU, the retail electric providers are actively advertising their electricity plans. Commercials for TXU and Reliant Energy are on all the time, and now even Cirro and Direct Energy are starting to get in on the action.

The term “Retail Electric Provider” is interchangeable with “Energy Company,” “Power Company,” and even “Light Company.”

Texas Transmission and Distribution Utility Companies

Also known as Transportation and Distribution Service Providers (TSDPs), the TDUs are the companies that deliver the electricity to your home or business. Your TDU owns and maintains your electric meter. It also owns and operates all of the local power lines and substations the electricity passes through on the way to your meter.

Although you can choose which electricity provider you use, you have no choice in the matter of which TDU delivers the electricity to your meter.

For the deregulated parts of the state, there are 4 main TDU companies.

  • AEP Texas (Central and North)
  • CenterPoint Energy
  • Oncor
  • Texas / New Mexico Power Company

If you are interested in knowing which electric company delivers the electricity to your home, simply take a look at your electric meter. You will see the name and logo of the TDU right on the face of the meter. Generally speaking, the TDUs tend to cover specific regions Texas. Oncor distributes the electricity to the North and Central Texas regions, including delivering the Dallas electricity, as well as the Waco electricity. CenterPoint delivers the Houston electricity. AEP (Central) handles the South Texas region, which includes the Brownsville electricity and Rio Grande Valley electricity.

Case Study #1: Houston Electric Companies

The Transmission and Distribution Utility company for all of Houston is CenterPoint Energy. They have a complete monopoly over the entire city because they own every meter and all of the power lines there. Thus, you do not have the power to choose which TDU delivers the electricity to you.

You do, however, have the power to choose your retail electric provider.

Say, for example, you found that Gexa Energy had the cheapest electricity plan that matched your situation. You can lock in that great rate for a year, so Gexa will be the company you pay every month for electricity.

Interesting Fact: Before Texas deregulated its electricity market, Reliant was the only REP in Houston.

Case Study #2: Dallas Electric Companies

In Dallas, the TDU for the city is Oncor Electric. Oncor owns all of the infrastructure in the city, so they have a lock on the distribution of electricity within the city.

Luckily, you can choose between dozens of electricity plans from many different REPs in Dallas. If you find a cheap electric plan from 4Change Energy Company and you like their philanthropic philosophy, you can choose to do business with them. Each month, you will pay them for your electricity. 4Change will then pay Oncor for the charges associated with your meter.

Interesting Fact: Before the electricity market became deregulated in Texas, TXU Energy was the sole REP in Dallas.

Who Do I Call If There Is an Electricity Outage?

If the electricity goes out at your home or business, it is up the TDU to resolve the issue. After all, they own and maintain the power lines and transformers. Luckily, every electricity meter in Texas is now a “smart” meter. These smart meters use cellular services to communicate in real-time with the TDUs. This means the TDUs are constantly monitoring every meter, and they can immediately take steps to resolve any outage situation.

How Does Wind Energy Work?

The switch is on. More and more energy consumers are turning away from fossil fuels that harm the environment. People are making the switch to clean alternatives, like wind energy. This is good news for our planet, which has been suffering from the harmful effects of fossil fuels for far too long. Wind energy is not just better for the environment, but also better for us as it generates industry opportunities and creates jobs all across the U.S. It’s a win-win situation for our way of life.

Using the power of wind to create energy isn’t something new. Humans have benefited from this sustainable source of energy for thousands of years. Humans used the force of wind to set sail and traverse across the globe. Farmers used the wind to power windmills. Today, we’re using wind turbines to deliver electricity to homes and businesses across the U.S. The force of wind continues to be a constant source of clean and renewable energy.

Wind Energy: What is it and How Does it Work?

We found a way to generate power from wind years ago. From its humble beginning of mechanically powering windmills to its evolution of powering wind turbine generators to convert wind power into electricity — wind energy is a simple and effective way to provide energy. Using generators to provide electricity to buildings and homes is forging a new era that benefits energy consumers and our planet.

But how does it work? Of course, there needs to be a significant force of wind. You’ll also need a turbine. The turbines most of us are familiar with are the ones with two or three large propeller-like blades. You’ve probably seen them while driving, usually through rural areas with lots of open space. You may have also seen these turbines while flying over the ocean or lakes, where they are used to great effect. The horizontal-axis, propeller-like turbines are the most common. However, there are also vertical-axis turbines that look like an egg beater, though they’re less reliable than horizontal-axis turbines.

Here’s the lowdown. The turbines convert the energy of the wind to create electricity. When there’s strong enough wind, the rotor blades will capture the force of the wind and transfer this power to the rotor hub. The rotor connects to the main shaft, and it’s spinning the generator. All this creates electricity. It really is that simple.

One question that always comes up is how much electricity can a wind turbine generate? There’s no set answer because it depends on the size of the wind turbine and how much wind speed is going through the rotor. So, a very windy area with high wind speeds is going to be a favorable spot for well-positioned wind turbines.

Electricity from wind

Why Care About Wind Energy?

Anyone that cares about a healthy environment, and wants the next generation to inherit a healthy planet should care about wind energy. Wind power is carbon-free, so it doesn’t produce any carbon emissions. Also, the wind is a renewable energy source — we won’t ever run out of it. With climate change a reality, there’s no better time than now to start weaning ourselves from our dependency on fossil fuels. Today, wind power only represents a small fraction of power generation. It’s still struggling to grab hold of the fossil-fuel giants. However, the future is looking up. Wind turbine use is steadily increasing by more than 25 percent a year, and it’s creating great-paying jobs. In fact, the second fastest growing occupation in the United States is a wind turbine technician. According to the American Wind Energy Association, the wind industry in the US supported over 105,000 jobs, and Texas is leading the nation with up to 25,000 people employed in wind industry jobs.

How Will Wind Energy Improve the Future of the Industry and Planet?

We know that the use of fossil fuels is driving climate change. Power plants that rely on coal, oil or natural gas to create electricity are polluting the air with toxins and emitting harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. If we keep up with fossil fuels as our primary source of energy, what’s going to happen to our planet? Wind produces no toxins. Also, while some might complain that a wind farm takes up too much land, and tends to look like an eye-sore, one wind turbine alone won’t take up much space and some people like the design. Wind farms can have a positive financial effect on landowners too. Landowners can harvest wind energy and produce cattle, corn, wheat and other commodities. Also, big-time corporations like AT&T and Walmart are buying wind energy, so the shift to clean energy is well on its way. Today, the electricity generated by wind can power up to 24 million homes. Investments in wind projects are on the rise, leading to a greener future for generations to come.

If you’re ready to give wind energy a shot, Vault Electricity can help. You can compare green energy electricity providers and select one that is perfectly suited to your needs. 

What Factors Make Up Your Electricity Price? | Infographic

The amount of power used by your household influences your electric bill. The time in which you use energy could also be a significant factor in your electricity price. For instance, the peak hours for electricity demand are highest in the afternoon and the early evening. During these peak hours, wholesale electricity prices are usually higher. Supply and demand affect the cost of how electric power gets to your home.  Some electricity plans charge different rates at different times of the day because of this.

Share this Image On Your Site

The Factors that Influence the Price of Electricity

Electricity supply costs vary minute by minute and are calculated per kilowatt hour (kWh).

Fuels: High demand for electricity can increase demand for fuels, including natural gas. Higher demand results in higher costs to generate electricity.

Power Plants: The cost of constructing, maintaining and operating power plants influences the price of electricity.

Transmission and Distribution: Maintenance is a factor in the price. Costs also include repairs from damage caused by accidents or extreme weather conditions.  The expense of generating electricity is only a small part of electricity expenses.  Much of the cost associated with supplying electricity to consumers is in the cost of transmitting the electricity from the power plant to the end user.  This includes maintenance and upkeep on powerlines and relay stations along the way.  These costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher electricity rates.

Weather conditions: Rain and snow provide beneficial amounts of water for generating low-cost hydropower. Favorable wind speeds provide low-cost electricity generated by wind turbines. Extreme weather conditions can raise prices. The cost of electricity is usually highest in the summer when demand is high for cooling.

Regulations: Where you live has an influence on what you pay for electricity. Some states have fully regulated prices. Others have a combination of both. Many states have deregulated energy markets, including Texas, California and New York.

Pro Tips On How to Cut Down on Your Electricity Bill

If possible, try to do all your laundry, dishwashing and other power-intensive tasks during off-peak hours. Tip: Some electric companies charge more for power used during the day rather than at night.

Pick the Right Provider: Do some research and discover a provider that offers time-of-day pricing. This format encourages electricity conservation and can help reduce peak demand. You can also choose a provider that utilizes green energy.

Lower Your Thermostat: During the summer, adjust your thermostat to 80 degrees, and when you’re not at home, adjust to 62 degrees in the winter.

Turn off Ceiling Fans and Lights: When you circulate the air in your home, it can make you feel more comfortable. However, if you’re not home, turn them off. The same thing applies to lights. If you don’t need them on, turn them off.

Unplug: Unplug fixtures or switch off the power strips when they’re not in use. When you unplug unused devices, you can reduce what is called “vampire energy.”

Replace Old Appliances: Older appliances are less likely to employ energy efficiency technology. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers. You can even upgrade to an ENERGY STAR®-certified television.

Visit www.VaultElectricity.com for more information on how to choose the right electrical service provider.