Why Is My Electric Bill So High in the Summer?
The dreaded summer electricity bill. We’ve all been there. Afraid to open the envelope. Avoiding your inbox. Seeing a bill that could be triple your last one! Why does that happen every year? Well, the answer is quite simple actually…
During the summer months, the sweet relief of air conditioning at home is real! Air conditioners use a lot of energy, which can significantly increase your electricity bill. Keep reading to see one easy thing you can do right away to help your AC unit do its job in less time.
Increased energy usage
It’s not just the AC that causes people to typically use more energy in the summer than in other seasons. With more daylight hours, you might spend more time outdoors, which can also mean an increased use of appliances and electronics. If you have a pool, you may be spending more time in the water. The pool pumps and pool vacuums have to work hard to keep up! Check our guide to Energy-Efficient pools to help you save money.
Higher energy rates
Some retail electricity providers may increase their rates during the summer months when demand for electricity is higher. This can lead to higher electricity bills even if your energy usage remains the same as it was outside the summer season.
If your home is poorly insulated, hot air can enter, and cool air can escape more easily, which can cause your air conditioner to work harder and use more electricity to maintain a comfortable temperature.
To help reduce your electricity bill in the summer, you can try to conserve energy by using your air conditioner less, keeping your home well-insulated, and using energy-efficient appliances and electronics. You can also consider switching to a different electricity provider or plan with lower rates. One of the quickest and easiest ways to make sure your bill is in good shape is to sign up with Energy Ogre…
When it comes to picking out Texas electricity plans for our members, Energy Ogre is always focused on enrolling our members in the most competitive, cost-effective plan available at the time of enrollment. We consider the market circumstances now and in the future to help our members net maximum savings on their electricity bill.
Texas Electricity Pricing Trends - Summer 2023
As we can all probably remember, last year was an unprecedented year of high electricity prices. This was caused by the limitation of natural gas (a key electricity generation source), the war in Ukraine, drastic weather and providers trying to hedge their risk.
Summer 2023 should be quite different.
“We're at a decent point right now as far as rates and how we think they'll be over the summer,” said David Kinchen, Energy Ogre’s chief operating officer. Rates should stay relatively the same as they are currently at the all-in rate of 10 to 13 cents. An all-in rate, also known as an effective rate, is truly the price per kilowatt hour you’re paying on your bill. The effective rate includes your energy rate, delivery charges, meter charges, and various taxes. And if any new, unfortunate storms or events happen, we are in better shape than last year as America has a larger amount of stored natural gas.
Bottom line, if you’re coming out of a contract you signed up for last summer, there’s a good chance you could end up in a much more favorable plan this year!
To see how your current electricity bill stacks up to a plan Energy Ogre could find you, fill out our free savings calculator. It takes less than 30 seconds!
Energy Ogre's Plan Selection Strategy During the Summer
We select plans that are custom fit to each member and their electricity usage. We search from hundreds of providers and sometimes can even offer custom, below-market rates available only to our members.
That being said, here are just a few key aspects we typically look for in a contract:
- A contract term ranging between 3 and 12 months.
- Which plan delivers the most savings throughout the year.
- We consider the offered rate as well as the projected rates that will be available when the contract ends.
Ways to Reduce Electricity Consumption at Home
There are several ways to reduce electricity use around the house, including:
- Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs: Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs, which use up to 80% less energy and last up to 25 times longer.
- Unplug electronics when not in use: Many electronics, such as TVs, computers, toasters, hair dryers, and phone chargers, use energy even when they are not in use. Unplug them or use a power strip to easily turn them off.
- Use a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat can help you automatically adjust your heating and cooling settings to save energy when you are not at home.
- Change your air filters: Changing your air filters at least once every 90 days can make a big difference. With cleaner filters, your air conditioning unit won’t have to run as long to cool down your home.
- Reduce hot water usage: Take shorter showers, fix leaks, and turn down the temperature on your water heater to reduce energy usage.
- Air dry clothes: Use a clothesline or drying rack instead of a dryer to save energy and money.
- Use energy-efficient appliances: Look for Energy Star certified appliances, which use less energy and are better for the environment.
- Install ceiling fans: Ceiling fans can help circulate air and make your home feel cooler, reducing the need for air conditioning.
- Seal air leaks: Seal gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and other areas to prevent heat loss and save energy.
- Use natural light: Open curtains and blinds during the day to let in natural light instead of turning on lights. But, if you’re out of the house, it’s a smart idea to close the blinds.
- Cook efficiently: Use a slow cooker, microwave, or toaster oven instead of the oven to save energy when cooking.
Current Electricity Rates - Comparing Your Electricity Contract to What's Available
Compared to last year, pricing is a lot more favorable. Current energy rates are around 6 to 8 cents, with the all-in rate combining to be around 10 to 13 cents once all delivery charges are factored in. If you’re currently paying more than that, don’t wait to get into a better deal!
To see the lowest rates currently in your zip code, enter your zip code into the tool below.
Compare Texas Electric Rates
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ERCOT Voluntary Conservation Notices in 2023
On multiple occasions during the summer of 2023, ERCOT has asked Texans to conserve electricity use at certain times. Why does ERCOT issue these appeals? Well, this summer has been extraordinarily hot, and at the same time, Texas hasn't had much rain or cool days in between. The electricity generation needs to meet demand, and with such hot weather, we've seen record demand numbers.
As Texans transitions into using more renewable energy generation such as wind and solar, the afternoon/early evening times have been a point to watch. Wind and Solar are intermittent resources, meaning they're available when they're available but you can't turn them on and off so to say. The sun has to be shining, and the wind has to be blowing. During those early evening hours, we see the sun start to set and generation from solar goes down. Typically at night, wind generation helps a bunch. However, there becomes a pinch point if the wind hasn't picked up yet, and the sun has gone down.
It's important to remember that advances in battery storage and demand response are in the works, but as we all go through this energy transition, these are spots we have to be mindful of.
What to Do if ERCOT Asks Texans to Conserve Electricity?
One of the most effective things to do is to turn your AC up 2-3 degrees during peak hours. Like mentioned above, using fans and unplugging devices that aren’t in use can help as well. One more thing to think about, it's often easiest to simply shift when you are using electricity. For example, if you can run your laundry machine in the morning, instead of peak time, that's a big help. For more tips take a look at the graphic below.
Enjoy the Texas Summer!
We know the Texas heat can be a lot. At least with Energy Ogre on your side, you can stay cool without overpaying on your electricity bill. We’ll find the right plan for you, so you can set that thermostat, turn on a baseball game, and love your summer in the lone star state.