Lovely Low Electric Bills
I pride myself on being a pretty savvy gal when it comes to handling money. Sure, I’ve made my share of financial mistakes, we all do! But I learn from each and every one. (check out my blog post about debt payoff!) A life hack I have stumbled upon in the past three years is how to keep my electric bill low by switching providers and scoring the best deals (while staying energy efficient, of course).
To be clear, I live in Texas. Purchasing power may be different for my California friends or folks who live elsewhere, but in the Lone Star State… this is (in my humble opinion) the best way to do it!
Power To Choose
If you do not live in a rural area served by an electric cooperative, then you likely have a choice as to who your retail electric provider (REP) will be.
The best way to browse REPs is to visit powertochoose.org. This website allows you to type in your zip code and select your wires provider (mine is Oncor). If you aren’t sure who that is, look on the actual electric meter. Once that is selected, you’ll be given a plethora of options for electric plans.
Keep an eye out for a stellar company named Payless Power if you are looking for a prepaid option! (A prepaid option is great for those on a fixed income and also really helps you pay attention to your consumption!!)
How to Select The Best Plan For You
If you are not a very organized person – be honest with yourself here because this could make or break a low electric bill streak-then you may consider a long plan. Signing up for 12-36 month plans could save you a bit in the moment and you won’t have to worry about the plan expiring quickly. However, the electric market fluctuates. What is a great price today could be a bad price four months from now. What if you locked in a 9 cent per kWh price and then a month later the price dropped to 6 cents per kWh and you were all signed up for 2 years of 9 cents like a chump!? Take that into consideration when purchasing power long term like that.
If you are pretty organized and on top of things – I’m one of these weird people – then check out the 3-9 month plans. These will likely give you a better rate but it will expire quickly. REPs do this in hopes that you will forget to renew and they will “autorenew” your contract for a WAY higher price per kWh. It happened to me once… ONCE! I will never let it happen to me again. I went from pay 5-6 cents per kWh to closer to 10 or 11 cents per kWh. Not cool man… not cool. But these REPs are sneaky and will try anything to make a buck! But you could score an awesome deal and then find the next awesome deal 3 months later. I once had a company pay ME! Yup, that’s right… they paid ME around $30 to use electricity from THEM! (To be fair, this was a special, unusual rate that gave a credit if you used a certain amount of electricity)
Keep A Calendar
Once you select the plan that works best for you, write the contract end date on your calendar. Then, two weeks before the contract end date, write on your calendar “Shop for new electric provider”. Every contract I’ve ever had with an REP allowed for no penalties if the contract was canceled within 14 days of the contract end date. If you catch yourself in a crummy plan, you can go ahead and switch at that 14 day mark without a cancellation penalty. If you have a great plan, wait till the last day possible to switch to a new provider. I guarantee you will be able to find a better plan the the auto-renew plan you’ll get with even the best company.
Remain Energy Efficient
Close your blinds and curtains in the summer to keep the heat out.
Set your HVAC as high as you can stand it in the summer and as low as you can stand it in the winter.
Switch from incandescent to LED lights.
Clean out your dryer lint trap regularly.
Replace your air filter regularly.
Check your windows and doors for air leaks and seal up the cracks.
Turn the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees- this prevents scalding and it still keeps your water hot.
These are just a few suggestions but keep energy efficiency in mind at all times.
Best of luck and I hope you are able to keep your electric bills as low as possible like your girl Katie Bug over here!