In this blog, we’ll discuss the key factors that contribute to high electric bills in Texas, your power to choose your electricity provider, and ways to reduce your energy bill.
- Stay Up to Date on Your Electricity Contract
- Paying Your Electric Bill on Time
- Understanding the Fine Print for Texas Electricity Plans
- A Break-Up Might be a Good Thing
- High Energy Usage-Ways to Reduce Consumption and Improve Home Energy Efficiency
While it may not be as important as oxygen and water, electricity is pretty darn huge for Texans! We want to run the air conditioning, plug in our devices, stream our favorite shows, and so much more. To do all that and avoid super high bills, you need to be in the right electricity plan. Having Energy Ogre as your electricity advocate can take a lot of the headaches away.
That being said, let's look into some reasons why your power bill might be higher than you’re expecting.
Stay Up to Date on Your Electricity Contract
One of the most common mistakes is people simply forget about their electricity contract, and even at times, who their provider is. Now, if you use Energy Ogre, once you’ve signed up with us, you can rest easy! That’s because we find your contract, manage your account, and then select your future plans as well. The whole time you know you’re in the right, cost-effective, and cheap Texas electricity plan.
If you don’t have an advocate on your side, and you’re on your own, you have to keep a close eye. When your contract ends is critical to know. If you fall out of contract, retail electricity providers can put you in a variable month-to-month plan. These are normally much higher than your previously contracted rate. Your bill could go way up if you don’t take care of it quickly.
At any time that you want to see if the plan you’re in now is good compared to what’s available on the market, you can run Energy Ogre’s free savings calculator.
Another thing to consider: loyalty doesn’t necessarily pay when it comes to your electricity provider. Introductory offers can be much more advantageous than sticking with the same provider year after year. In general, a renewal rate is normally higher than the one you previously had.
With the way electricity pricing fluctuates, you really want to be on the ball. Electricity rates can change every 15 minutes. If it’s not your job to be watching, it’s incredibly easy to miss good opportunities.
Current Electricity Rates in Your Zip Code
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Paying Your Electric Bill on Time
Making your payments on time will help you avoid unnecessary late fees. Missing payments? Not only does that result in higher power bills, it can also affect future contracts. Poor payment history may trigger future electricity providers to require you to pay a deposit before starting to use their service.
Additionally, providers basically extend credit to you since electricity isn't paid for until after use. So, when you don't pay in a timely manner, the provider may make adjustments, such as shortening the grace period before late fees or service disruptions begin.
Understanding the Fine Print for Texas Electricity Plans
Picking a Texas electricity plan isn’t easy.There’s confusing offers, time of use plans with free nights, weekends, and seasons. There’s so many numbers and electricity jargon - it doesn’t take much to be unsure of what works. Thankfully, every plan comes with an electricity facts label (known as an EFL). This gives you all the details and shows the payment structure of the plan. But here’s the catch. You have to understand the various fees and rate structures outlined in the EFL to make sure you avoid being in a plan that doesn’t fit your needs.
Remember there are so many things to consider when selecting a plan:
- Does the plan makes sense for the amount of electricity you use?
- How long is the plan for and when are you up for renewal?
- Generally, you don't want to be coming out of a contract in the summer or the peak of winter, when rates can be very high. We break down when the best time of year to start a plan is in this article.
- Shorter term plans may appear better, but if they drop you out in a time of higher pricing, it can be hard to get into a better rate that year.
- What is the early termination fee for the contract?
A Break-Up Might be a Good Thing
One thing many Texans don’t realize – you don’t have to wait until the end of a contract to switch electricity providers. If you find a rate that is much better than the one you’re getting, or just better fits the way you use electricity now, you have the power to choose a switch! Now, you do need to be aware that the Public Utility Commission of Texas allows your provider to charge an early termination fee (ETF) if you switch to another company before your contract expires. That’s an important part to factor in when deciding if a switch is cost effective.
Don’t want that fee? Texans can avoid an ETF if they switch no earlier than 14 days before their contract expiration date.
Another method to figure out if getting a new plan makes sense, sign up with Energy Ogre and let us do the work!
High Energy Usage - Ways to Reduce Consumption and Improve Home Energy Efficiency
One way to lower your bill is to make your home more energy efficient. Some fixes are easy to see, some are a little hidden. For example, ever heard of vampire energy?
Vampire energy, also known as phantom loads, is a problem that affects almost all homes and apartments. This comes up with several appliances such as TVs, computers, cable boxes, and video game consoles that get plugged in and forgotten about. Even when most of these devices are turned off, they still absorb energy and cost you money. One of the most simple steps in a DIY home energy efficiency audit is to make sure that everything that doesn’t need to be plugged in while not in use is unplugged. Go ahead, kick Dracula out of the house, and start saving!
Now to one of the biggest uses of electricity in your house - your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. As the heat is turning up, all Texans search for that sweet relief of the AC.
Make sure your HVAC system is up to date, you’re changing out your air filters, checking your air ducts for damage, etc. It definitely helps having a professional come out and doing a once over to fix any issues. Adding insulation to your house can also be a big help.
You’ll want to make sure air isn’t escaping the house through leaks in your doors, windows, dryer vents, electrical outlets and more.
Another easy fix is switching to CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs and LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs. If you can replace the traditional, incandescent bulbs with these, they’ll cut your electricity consumption. Plus, those bulbs normally last longer too. It’s a win-win!
The Right Plan For You
No one in the history of the world has loved overpaying for their home’s electricity. You shouldn’t be the first! Sign up for Energy Ogre and have an advocate working for what’s best for you, not the electricity provider. We shop the best plans from the best electricity companies in Texas, we manage your electricity account, and you save money!
Articles You May Be Interested In:
- Texas Electricity Bill Guide: How to Read and Calculate Your Energy Bill
- Energy Ogre's Mission: What We Do and Why
- How Do Energy Brokers in Texas Help You Shop for Electricity?