Friday, December 30, 2016

Help Your Business, Help the Planet: 3 Ways to Conserve Energy at the Office

You’ve been trying to save on energy costs at home by being just a little more conscious of your carbon footprint. But energy conservation doesn’t have to stop at your front door. You can bring your green lifestyle into your business to save your company money and help the environment. Here are just a few ways to practice energy reduction at work.

Unplug
From the computers, to the printers, to the coffee pot in the break room, you probably use a lot of electronics in your office. Why leave them running overnight when no one is around to use them? At the end of each work day, simply power down your computers, unplug the microwaves, and shut off all the power strips. To save up to 10% on heating and cooling, install a programmable thermostat that manages the heating and cooling system when you’re not there. The energy drain from these machines and systems could be costing your business a significant amount of money every year.

Replace aging appliances
Advances in green energy technology have brought us more energy-efficient appliances and machines. So, when it comes time to replace your old microwave or refrigerator, choose an item with an Energy Star sticker. You’ll find that they have a longer lifespan and help you save on energy costs.

Switch to renewable energy
It may be a big investment, but over time the ROI can be worth it when you switch to an energy provider that uses renewable energy like solar or wind energy. Renewable energy is a growing movement for its eco-friendly nature and cost-efficiency. Last year, roughly 10% of all U.S. energy consumption came from renewable sources like wind and solar, and that percentage is constantly increasing.

When you go green at the office, you save money while saving the planet. There’s no good reason not to limit your carbon footprint both at home and at work, you can start taking baby steps to conserve energy today.

Monday, December 12, 2016

3 Reasons to Use Natural Gas Over Other Fossil Fuels

After a two-year high, natural gas prices have decreased to the lowest level since December of 2014.
"U.S. natural gas inventories remain historically elevated for this time of year, and will look to challenge the latest rise in prices going forward," said Robbie Fraser, a commodity analyst at Schneider Electric.

According to The Wall Street Journal, futures for January natural gas delivery decreased 3.2 cents (0.9%) to $3.603 per million British thermal units (BTU) on the New York Mercantile Exchange. At one point, trading was as high as $3.748 a million BTUs. "In the event that weather moderates and we get another period of normal to low-normal demand, then it’s going to quickly come back into focus," said Zane Curry, director of markets and research at Mobius Risk Group. Despite the market fluctuation, the benefits of natural gas and other renewable forms of energy are consistently positive.
What makes natural gas so attractive?
Affordability
Natural gas still costs much less than other forms of energy, and it often compares favorable to renewable energy sources. In fact, energy savings are a big part of the industry's recent success. That's why working with a reputable energy company can potentially save money in the long run, especially if they utilize alternative sources of fuel. Talk to an electricity provider and renewable energy company today if you want to learn more about alternative plans for power. Already, solar energy users save 75 million barrels of oil each year.
Better for the World
Another added benefit of natural gas is that it's so much more environmentally friendly than other fossil fuels. Although natural gas isn't as clean as wind power and other forms of renewable energy, it is the cleanest fossil fuel energy source. Natural gas also has fewer impurities, is much less complex chemically, and its combustion results in less pollution compared to other fossil fuels.
Produced in America
Wholly 97% of the domestically used natural gas was produced in North America. So along with the other added benefits of natural gas, the use of U.S.-based energy will reduce overall dependency on foreign oil sources. This can result in a better economy because more jobs are created due to high demand for natural gas. Roughly 35,000 jobs are created for every 1% of increased production.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

3 Major Benefits of Wind Power


In 2016, more than half of the renewable energy in the U.S. was used for producing electricity, and about 13% of electricity came from renewable energy sources. Environmentally friendly energy suppliers and American consumers agree that one of the best solutions to the energy crisis is wind power. Here’s why:

It’s renewable
Wind is a renewable energy source, meaning that it can be produced over and over again, never running out. The energy we currently get from fossil fuels, on the other hand, won’t last much longer. Wind energy will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, solving the problem of our ever-increasing demand for gas and petroleum products. Wind energy can also be produced right here in the U.S., make us less reliant on other countries for our power generation.

It’s better for the environment
Wind power produces green energy. It is the cleanest form of all renewable energy, creating absolutely no pollution. Fossil fuels emit harmful greenhouse gases, potentially causing climate change, but wind energy comes from the sun and does not release any toxic gas. Less pollution means a lower risk of disease for humans and damage to the environment.

It's cost-effective
The most substantial cost of producing wind energy comes from the installation of the turbines. However, the cost has decreased over the past few years, and when combined with solar power, wind provides cheap and reliable energy for both developed and developing countries. If you own a large plot of land, you can even earn some additional cash by installing wind turbines for agricultural purposes. State governments often provide interest-free loans or incentives on wind turbines. You can use the electricity generated for your own purposes, thus reducing your monthly utility bill. As a renewable energy supplier, your surplus energy will be sent back to the local grid.

More wind turbines are installed every year all across the globe, as energy suppliers discover the many benefits of using wind power. There’s no doubt that as the demand for electricity increases, so too will the prevalence of renewable energy.

Friday, December 2, 2016

5 Energy-Saving Tips That Can Reduce Your Electric Company Bills Over the Holidays

The holidays are a time of celebration. But all those festive decorations and fun gatherings can add up to a shock when you get the December bill from the electric company. The answer isn’t cutting out any of your holiday traditions, but just being a little smarter about energy use; a few small changes can allow you to achieve some serious energy savings. Here are five easy tips you can put to use in the coming weeks:
  1. Turn Down the Thermostat
    Most people already know that using a programmable thermostat can save 10% of annual energy costs, and are pretty good about keeping the temperature at a reasonable level most of the time. But when you’re having people over, you might be tempted to turn the thermostat up, since you don’t want your guests to be uncomfortable. The thing to remember is that just having more people in your house will increase the temperature, as will cooking. So by lowering the thermostat, you’ll save some energy and make sure people don’t overheat.
  2. Unplug Appliances Before You Leave
    If you’re going out of town during the holidays, make sure to unplug “phantom” energy users like TVs, computers and even coffee makers. There’s no reason for them to be pulling residual amounts of power when no one is around to use them.
  3. Enjoy the AmbianceIf you’re putting up decorative lights this Christmas, use them to replace, rather than supplement, your regular lighting sources. You don’t need to have the overhead lights or table lamps blazing away when your tree is illuminated -- and you’ll get a better effect with the other lights off, anyway. (If you really want to be smart about your tree lights, consider LED strings; they cost a little more, but draw only a fraction of the energy that traditional lights do.)
  4. Choose Efficient Gifts
    The savings of this strategy stretch far beyond the month of December. When you’re doing your gift shopping, prioritize buying energy-efficient electronics. Basically, energy efficiency means using less energy to achieve the same effect: using less power without making any sacrifice in function. For that reason, it’s often called the “fifth fuel” (coal, petroleum, nuclear power and renewable energy sources being the other four). If you’re purchasing someone a battery-operated gift, make rechargeable batteries and a charger part of the package.
  5. Look at Your Electric Company OptionsIf you haven’t investigated it already, the holidays are the perfect time of year to find out if you’re in a deregulated energy market. If you are, you might be able to buy your power from an alternative electric company but still have it delivered through the local utility like you always have. Deregulation gives you the chance to do some comparative rate shopping and to support energy companies who have business models you agree with. You can even research companies charitable and community contributions and choose the company that is the best fit for you.
What other energy solutions might people employ over the holidays?
Share your tips in the comments.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Understanding the Business of Energy Industry Deregulation

Think back to history class and the lessons about how the United States was founded and why it was built on the principles of liberty and justice for all. Although this sentiment was meant for the people of this great country, it also applies to the businesses operating here. The American economic system is known for its capitalist mentality, but it's also praised for its free enterprise system.

Like other industries, energy is a big business and an important industry in our country! After all, it's how the lights stay on in your home and how you're able to stay warm and cool throughout the different seasons. However the energy and power industries are rapidly changing due to the trend known as energy industry deregulation. Think of energy industry deregulation as a kind of free enterprise system for energy suppliers and power suppliers, as well as renewable energy companies.

In years past, the government and it's authorities worked closely on an individual level with local utility providers in an effort to give business and home owners a single, standardized solution for their power and utility needs. Some utility companies found these kinds of restrictions to be very stifling and unnecessarily restrictive. This tight control allowed the industry to stabilize and it helped to establish a significant infrastructure during the early twentieth century. As much as this system was necessary back in those days, fast forward to today, and some now find it outdated and impractical.

While the basic concept of energy industry deregulation is fairly simple to understand, it's easy to see how it's dynamics can be confusing, especially since your local power or utility provider might not be necessarily motivated to highlight the alternatives or benefits. As such, you may not even know what your options are and could be missing out on savings and alternative energy choices. Many consumers appreciate energy industry deregulation because it can make room for more sustainable, and innovative companies to serve their needs in a more efficient and affordable way.

Here are a few things to know about energy industry deregulation and how it can benefit you.

Potentially Save On Your Gas and Electricity Bills Each Month
Your monthly utility expenses can add up, so it's important to find ways to save anyway you can. As previously stated, the United States of America praises capitalism, and one of the most fundamental tenets of that is competition in order to drive prices down and keep them fair. Thanks to energy industry deregulation, alternative power companies can enter a deregulated market and win new customers over by potentially offering more affordable rates for service.

It's Greener
Energy deregulation can be greener for the earth and better for the environment. Sustainability and environmental responsibility is on the minds and in hearts of many American households and individuals nowadays, perhaps more so than ever. Deregulation can help you with this by making your electricity and gas greener! As a whole, most alternative power suppliers seek out the most environmentally friends power sources to protect the environment while still serving the needs of their customers.

No Service Interruption
It's important to keep in mind that deregulation of power only affects it's supply or where the energy actually comes from, not how it's delivered or distributed to you.  If you decide to make the simple switch, you don't have to worry about a disruption in service or a power outage. The only thing that will be different is your new energy supplier listed on your bill!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Looking to Shrink your Energy Bill this Season? Here’s some ideas.

It can be the center-piece to your living room and all, yet all things considered, your fireplace is not efficient —and quite frankly— it’s wasteful. As indicated by the Department of Energy, a lit fireplace sucks around 24,000 cubic feet of heater warmed air up the smokestack every hour. On top of it: It's replaced by frosty air that comes the other way through the same opening, making your furnace work overtime to keep your home toasty. Still, we love assembling round the hearth as much as anyone else. Remember to turn the thermostat down a little when you utilize it. Also, open a window in the room a little where the fireplace is and shut the doors to the room so it doesn't suck any excessive amount of warm air from whatever is left in the house. Also, make sure to close your damper when it's not being used.

Regular maintenance on your heating system will pay you back (with efficiency). Sediment builds up, dusty or ineffectively greased up fans, glimmering pilot lights, and free fan belts can add hundreds to your warming costs every year. Getting your heater tuned up consistently by a HVAC technician can do wonders for both your wallet and your general solace. Natural gas–powered frameworks ought to be tuned-up roughly every 2-3 years, while oil-lit units require a tune-up each year, since they burn differently. To make your furnace work more effectively, keep warmed air from spilling into your attics or closets via fixing ventilation work with mastic pipe sealant—a nontoxic, paint-on material—or foil-backed tape. Doing so will lessen your home's air leaks and could save you money on heat bills.

Speaking of attic space, adding insulation does a lot more than just make you itchy. The Department of Energy says you can lessen your heating and cooling needs by 30 percent just by including a couple of hundred bucks of new insulation. This is particularly true if your home is over 25 years of age, from the time before construction regulations turned out to be more aware of energy efficiency. We tend to concentrate on the attic, but at the same time it's smart to assess how much you have in crawl spaces, roofs, walls, and around recessed lighting installations (simply ensure those fixtures are intended for direct insulation contact). Look to see the R-Value is ideal for the cold weather. For the most part, R-values ought to be running between R-22 and R-49 in the attic, less in different areas.

Have any tips or tricks you use to keep your home warm? Share your comments below.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

3 Great Alternative Energy Sources for Your Home



If you haven't heard, deregulated energy markets are currently sweeping the nation, affording homeowners and businesses the option to choose how they get their power and where it comes from. The deregulation of electricity markets has eliminated the monopoly of municipal entities, giving you more freedom than ever when it comes to your power suppliers. 
The average American home currently used 903 kilowatt hours per month, which results in a bill of $107. You can drastically reduce these monthly  costs by switching to alternative energy sources that both save you money as well as reduce your environmental footprint. Here are three of the best alternative energy sources that you should be considering for your home or business: 

  • Solar power. U.S. electricity use in 2013 was a whopping 13 times greater than it was in 1950, and the introduction of solar energy is one of the major reasons that statistic is falling by the year. Alternative electricity companies that offer solar power now have the means to provide affordable solar panels for both homes and businesses due to the decreased costs of the materials used to create them. Since the market was deregulated, you can now even finance or lease solar panels. There has never been a better time to invest in this revolutionary technology. 

  • Wind power. One of the oldest and most trusted alternative energy sources on the planet, wind power is making a major comeback since deregulated energy markets began to surface. If you live on at least one acre of land with strong wind resources, you absolutely must consider the benefits of wind power for your home. Conservation groups across the nation continue to support initiatives that lower the cost of wind power systems, and you can save about 90% on your monthly bills once your system is correctly installed. 

  • Hydropower. Many homes and businesses are already located in an area that supports hydropower, and the recent deregulation of electricity has now made it possible to utilize this natural resource. One of the largest sources of hydropower in the U.S., the Hoover Dam, is a perfect example of just how inexpensive this technology is. The electricity generated from the Hoover Dam sells as a wholesale price of just 1.6 cents per kilowatt hour, which is exponentially cheaper than most other energy sources. As an added bonus, hydropower is naturally-produced and has almost zero effect on the environment.

Get in touch with alternative electricity suppliers in your area to see what types of alternative energy sources are available for your home or business. The way electricity is used in the U.S. will continue to evolve with each passing year, and you can be one of the first to take advantage of these breakthrough technologies.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What You Should Know About Your Energy Options


Electricity deregulation is a powerful concept that allows consumers to buy their energy from alternative electricity suppliers and still have their power delivered through the regular utility company. More and more areas have deregulated their electrical energy markets in the past two decades (primarily in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Texas), and some states have partial or suspended deregulation (such as California). One of the most powerful arguments for deregulation is that energy rates in many deregulated markets have fallen significantly more than rates in regulated markets since 2008.

A benefit consumers get from a deregulated system is that they can choose suppliers that share their values in terms of green electricity generation. But in order to make good choices, it’s important to know what the major sources of electricity in the United States are. Here’s a simple summary of some of the most important players:
  1. Coal PowerA significant amount of power generation in the U.S. comes from the burning of coal; as of 2013, coal made up about 39% of the country’s electricity production, and 90% of domestically mined coal is purchased by utility companies for this purpose. However, there are numerous environmental concerns regarding coal, and the Environmental Protection Agency has placed restrictions on coal plants due to their carbon emissions and mercury pollution.
  2. Nuclear PowerAs of 2013, nuclear power plants generated 19.4% of the country’s electricity, and the U.S. is the largest supplier of commercial nuclear power worldwide. The environmental impact of nuclear energy is generally considered to be mixed; nuclear power plants are low in emissions, but nuclear waste can cause serious problems if not properly disposed of.
  3. Wind PowerWind power accounts for a much smaller portion of the current energy market, but is rapidly growing. In the year preceding August 2014, wind energy made up 4.33% of generated electrical energy. The greatest upside of wind-generated electricity, of course, is that wind is a renewable energy source. The only major environmental concern associated with it is unintentional bird and bat deaths caused by wind turbines.
  4. Solar PowerSome homeowners may be embracing solar panels on their properties, but the implementation of utility-scale solar power is much lower in profile. In the year leading up to October 2014, only 0.43% of the country’s energy was produced in utility-scale solar power plants.
How would you prefer to have your power produced? Share your thoughts on these energy options in the comments.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

New Study Finds Customers Prefer Deregulated Energy Markets



According to EnergyManagerToday.com, the study, which was released on March 2nd, found that consumers in deregulated energy environments are significantly more engaged, and ultimately more satisfied, with their energy suppliers. One of the recurring themes was that electricity and energy suppliers in deregulated market “had a far better reputation than those in regulated markets.” 

In a study that surveyed over 1,000 U.S. utility ratepayers, about 68% of those in deregulated markets said they were satisfied with their providers, compared to just 51% in regulated markets. 

Similarly, if predictability and consistency are important to you, then deregulation is right for you, too. Approximately 62% of consumers whose energy suppliers competed in a deregulated environment knew exactly how much their electricity cost last month. 54% of consumers in regulated markets could say the same. 

Finally, if that isn't proof enough for you, one look at the reputation of these kinds of companies is really all you need to know. The majority of deregulated market consumers (62%) thought their supplier had a good reputation. Consumers in regulated markets were not so thrilled, as only 42% said the same about their energy suppliers. 

It's easy for people to tune out, calls for competition and free market policies as industry propaganda, but when you look at the numbers, it's clear that the people actually experiencing this kind of choice are saying the exact same things. 

The deregulation of electricity markets began in the 1970s and today, many states have accepted the idea, along with the deregulation of power companies too. The rising demand for these resources is one of the primary factors behind these recent trends. In fact, electricity use was more than 13 times greater in 2013 than in 1950. The industry has been forced to innovate as a result. According to the Edison Electric Institute, the cost of generating electrons currently accounts for less than half of the price of electricity, compared to accounting for two-thirds of that cost in 1995.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

6 Easy Tips to Lower Your Electric Bill

As a homeowner or renter, it is always a good idea to look for ways to cut bills. Not only will it save you money, but it will prevent the waste of power. Becoming energy efficient is a trend, so following these tips can help you cut your electric bill. 

Choke Your Chimney 
If you don't use your fireplace then why don't you seal your chimney? This way you will not be paying for heat or air conditioning to be wasted by going up into the sky. Plus, you will get an immediate payback from this investment. 

Put All Your Electronics On Stand By 
Sometimes your appliances use energy when they are not even in use. Make sure to get rid of these power-sucking vampires by ensuring all of your electronics are on stand by when not in use. Or better yet, just unplug them after you are done using them. 

Get New Light Bulbs 
This may be the easiest solution yet. Many energy suppliers offer energy efficient light bulbs that you can put in your house to save money and limit waste. This alternative electricity for your home is a great step towards making your home 'green'. Just make sure you get the soft white light bulbs as they look more natural.

Maintain Your Heating and Cooling System 
In theory, you should maintain your HVAC system twice a year. This way you can ensure it is clean and working efficiently. Also, during the inspection the power suppliers will be able to locate any leaks that could be running your bill sky high. If you are need of a new HVAC system, contact alternative electric companies in order to talk about different methods of being energy efficient. 

Use The Sun To Your Advantage 
Don't want to turn the heat on during that off-season cold day? Then open all your windows and blinds and let the sun shine in! The sun will warm up your home and it won't cost you a single penny! 


Check Your Electric Bills 

Check and compare your electric bill regularly. There is a possibility you are living in one of the nation's deregulated energy markets, which means that you can choose different energy suppliers if you are unhappy with your service. It never hurts to check!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Beat the Summer Heat Without the Big Energy Bill

Americans look forward to summer vacation all year, but the warmer weather can also bring it's own set of challenges. The heat is great for a beach vacation, but it also makes the average energy bill go through the roof. Air conditioning represents the largest use of electricity in American homes, and that statistic is unlikely to change with the record high temperatures that the United States has already seen this year. Alternative energy companies encourage consumers to think differently about their power suppliers for environmental reasons, but there are also economic advantages involved.

Three Ways Homeowners can Slim Down Their Summer Electricity Bills:

Install a programmable thermostat
Even before alternative electricity suppliers become involved, homeowners can reduce their summer spending by installing and programming a smart thermostat. This appliance can maintain your desired room temperature to keep you comfortable. Heating and cooling systems will kick on and off as needed, rather than working continuously. 
Motivated homeowners can even set temperature changes according to time of day, so that their system isn't burning energy to keep the house cool while everyone is away at work. The result is an efficient heating and cooling system that expends less energy. Programmable thermostats save consumers an average of 10% on their yearly energy bills. 

Update your appliances
Alternative energy companies often suggest an energy audit, or an appliance-by-appliance look at where your home uses electricity. Out dated TVs and old refrigerators can be significant drains on your energy bank. It may be more cost effective to replace those appliances than to pay for their inefficiency. For instance, modern refrigerators are 60% less expensive than they were in 1975, and they use 75% less energy. 
This means you can abandon that weird ice cave in the back of the freezer and save. Heating and cooling systems are especially big drains, so think about your hot water heater, oven, and microwave in addition to your fridge. Updating appliances is a great way to slim your energy bill before you consider alternative energy companies.

Consider alternative power companies

The energy market is slowly shifting and becoming more competitive.  Previously, regulated markets meant that only one power provider supplied all aspects of a home's energy and the cost was controlled publicly. Deregulated markets allow companies to become innovative and compete to offer the best services for the best price. The deregulation of electricity markets isn't about making the power supply less controlled; it's about letting new technology improve the market. Look into your options and decide what's best for your energy needs. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer is upon us and it's going to be a hot one! Before you crank up your AC, take a look at these simple tips for conserving energy this season.


Six Ways to Conserve Energy:

Use a Programmable Thermostat: Did you know that the largest use of electricity in the United States’ residential sector is air conditioning? AC accounts for 19% of electricity use in homes. However, you can save approximately 10% every year on heating and cooling costs simply by using a programmable thermostat.

Replace your HVAC Filters: When an HVAC system is not functioning properly, it must work even harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Replacing the filters is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your system running smoothly. Some energy companies and power suppliers offer incentives for installing high-efficiency systems, so talk to your electric company.

Keep it Shady: Your house doesn't have to be a dark cave, but too much sunlight will heat up your living space quickly. Insulated drapes and blinds will keep the sun at bay, preventing the interior of your home from becoming an oven. This way, you won’t have to crank up the AC at all times.

Use Cold Water/Limit Hot Water Usage: Heating water accounts for up to 18% of a home’s utility bills. You can save energy just by washing your clothes in cold water and cutting down your shower time.

Air Dry Laundry and Dishes: Rather than wasting energy on machine-drying clean clothes and dishes, hang your laundry on a line or drying rack and allow your dishes to dry on their own.

Unplug Chargers and Other Devices: Some chargers and other electronic devices continue to draw power even when they are not in use. Always unplug anything that does not need electrical power at that very moment.

We use a lot more electricity than we realize these days. In fact, U.S. electricity use in 2013 was more than 13 times higher than electricity use in the year 1950.  Fortunately, those who live in deregulated energy markets have options. 


The deregulation of electricity markets gives consumers a choice of energy suppliers. Deregulated energy markets can motivate suppliers to help offer competitive prices and can also allow for the institution of renewable energy companies that provide green energy products. As a result, consumers can help cut costs and do their part to improve the environment, especially during the hot summer months.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Deregulation of Electricity Markets: A Brief History

Today, 17 states across the nation have varying degrees of deregulated energy markets. In the future, that number is only likely to grow. 
Why is the deregulation of electricity markets such a big deal, and why is it only a relatively recent occurrence? Learn about the history of energy industry deregulation with this quick timeline. 
1935: The Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA)
Congress passed PUHCA during the Great Depression era as part of Franklin Roosevelt's widespread trust-busting campaign. Back then, eight utility companies controlled 73% of the country's electrical grid. The act limited the geographic reach and scope of energy suppliers by putting them under state-by-state regulation.

1978: Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act
This act came as part of the 1978 National Energy Act, which itself was a response to the energy crisis of 1973. In an attempt to promote domestic and renewable energy companies along with consumer-based conservation initiatives, this act enabled non-utility generator companies to produce power -- a small first step towards eventual deregulation.

1992: National Energy Policy Act
The deregulation of electricity markets took another step forward in 1992 with a congressional reform of PUHCA. This act expanded the choices for utility companies in sourcing their energy, which aimed to help smaller utility companies compete with larger ones.

1996: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 888
By 1995, electricity delivery cost from investor-owned utilities averaged seven cents per kilowatt hour; two-thirds of that cost came from electron generation itself. Order 888 from FERC allowed for open competition between energy providers in hopes to drive down energy costs, though jurisdiction still ultimately fell to individual state regulation.

2005: Energy Policy Act
This act finally repealed 1935's PUHCA, which seemed no longer relevant to many. Today, electron generation makes up less than half of the costs of electricity, and open market competition, thanks to the deregulation of electricity markets, continues to have an impact on consumer price, choice, and freedom.

When it comes to the most efficient and cost-effective method of providing your home with energy, the long process of deregulation has only just begun. Find out if your state allows for consumer choice in deregulated energy markets and consider your options today.

Friday, June 24, 2016

New York's Community Choice Aggregation is One Option for Deregulated Energy Markets


Deregulated energy markets can help to lower costs and increase customer service of energy companies and power supplies across this country. Well, where they're legally allowed. Unfortunately, many states are still lagging behind when it comes to deregulated electricity and alternative energy sources. 

One state that does have partially deregulated energy markets, even if many residents are still unaware of it, is New York. In fact, New York recently became the seventh state to implement a community choice aggregation program: Sustainable Westchester Smart Power. 
According to Greentechmedia.com, community choice aggregation (CCA) allows municipalities to buy power in bulk on behalf of their citizens. The goal is to procure cleaner and more sustainable power from renewable energy companies. 

Currently, only about 25% of Westchester County's residents have elected to seek out new sources in the deregulated energy markets. Under this new CCA, the majority of towns in the greater Westchester area (population 800,000 total) will be included in this agreement. Right now, the largest of such CCA programs is in Ohio. 

“As the first community choice aggregation in New York state, Westchester Smart Power holds the potential to transform how consumers purchase, use and choose the energy for their homes and businesses,” Richard Kauffman, chairman of energy and finance for New York state, said in a statement. 

One of the interesting facets of the New York deal is the emphasis on new renewable resources, whereas most deregulated energy markets tend to focus on cost-savings. Average electricity use, which was 13 times more in 2013 than in 1950, costs households approximately $107 per month. In the residential sector, air conditioners account for the biggest use of electricity (19%). 

“If Sustainable Westchester can get private suppliers to bite at a peak demand reduction contract feature, they have created a private-sector solution to a major challenge,” Karl Rabago, executive director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, said in a statement. “An efficiency solution would address reliability issues, and add substantial economic value with an environmentally beneficial approach.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Is Your Refrigerator Running with Alternative Power Companies? You'd Better Go Catch It

Refrigeration has come a long way since the days of the icebox. Today's typical home refrigerator is 20% bigger than the average one of 1975, even though they tend to cost 60% less now than they did back then. More importantly, though, modern refrigerators use 75% less energy to operate today than they did 40 years ago. 

That's great news for energy-conscious consumers and power suppliers. But is it enough? Overall, U.S. electricity use is now 13 times greater than it was in 1950, and many residential homeowners and energy companies alike are increasingly looking for ways to either decrease their energy costs or minimize their carbon footprint. After air conditioning and water heating -- which account for roughly 19% and 14-18% of in-home electricity use, respectively -- refrigeration is a major contributor to home electricity bills. Think about it: your refrigerator is running all the time and all year round, working to maintain a constant temperature for food storage and safety. 

One solution to further decrease your energy uses or expenses is to invest in alternative electricity for your home. Alternative power companies around the country are working to provide new kinds of energy for old kinds of technologies. While the companies that produce refrigerators are constantly developing new ways to make our most valuable kitchen appliance more efficient in and of itself, we as consumers can also attack the energy problem from a different angle in cooperation with alternative power companies. 
Refrigerators, however, tend to be one of those household items we only think to replace when something breaks or stops working -- not when the latest gadget is introduced. Refrigerator models that are only 10-years-old might be vastly inferior in terms of energy efficiency than new, advanced models. Even so, if your electricity is powered by solar, wind, or hydro energy suppliers, you can rest a little more comfortably knowing that your home is run on renewable sources of energy. 


More energy-efficient appliances coupled with alternative energy sources can mean savings on your electricity bills, too.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Global Monetary Experts Say Deregulation Can Be a Key to Boost Economies

Many believe in the spirit of competition and that it is the cornerstone of any healthy, free market economy. That's what the fight for deregulation of electricity markets and energy suppliers across the country is all about. By allowing competition among residents when it comes to choosing power suppliers, deregulated energy markets can help to lower prices and increase customer satisfaction everywhere it has been implemented. One of the world leaders when it comes to economics and monetary policy recently issued a statement supporting this notion. 

According to MarketWatch.com, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released their quarterly "World Economic Outlook Report" for April 2016 and one of the biggest suggestions they make is for governments to increase efforts to deregulate various industries. One that they specifically mention is energy suppliers and distribution. 

“A number of advanced economies still have significant room for further deregulation in retail trade, professional services and in a few network industries,” the IMF report reads. “Product market reforms should be implemented forcefully, as they boost output even under weak macroeconomic conditions and would not worsen public finances.” 
The IMF clarified "network" industries as air, rail and road transportation, energy distribution, telecommunications and postal services. 


In fact, despite energy usage being at an all-time high (it was 13 times greater in 2013 than in 1950 in the U.S.), it's fair to wonder if energy industry deregulation has already helped to decrease the cost of generating electricity. According to the Edison Electric Institute, the cost of generating electrons currently accounts for less than half of the price of electricity, compared to 1995 when it accounted for two-thirds. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Time is Now for Exploring the Benefits of Alternative Energy Suppliers

Why opt for alternative energy suppliers? Many consumers don’t even realize they have this choice. Many states today, however, have a competitive -- also known as a restructured -- energy market. This means that you don’t need to necessarily go with your default, current provider and can instead search among alternatives. 

The Benefits of Alternative Solutions Thanks to Deregulated Electricity Markets 
In most cases, the utility company has a monopoly on distributing electricity to your home if you live within their territory. What you’re not obligated to do, though, is buy electricity from them -- and today, the cost of generating electricity is less than half of what you actually pay for when you get your bill. This can allow you to not only have more control over your budget, but control over your carbon footprint, as well. In certain regions you may be able to opt for energy that comes specifically from water or wind, rather than from coal or fossil fuel. 

The average American household will pay about $107 each month in energy uses -- equivalent to 903 kilowatt hours (kWh). Knowing what your average monthly energy usage is can help when you compare your options for alternative electricity suppliers. Not all companies are the same, and some offers will be better than others based on your individual needs and typical usage. The ideal alternative electricity suppliers for a home will be different than for a business. 

Additional Ways to Cut Down on Your Overall Energy Bill 
Besides looking into your options for alternative electricity companies, how else can you save money on heating and cooling? Most households can save about 10% per year on the cost of heating and cooling, simply by using a programmable thermostat. 

Similarly, it makes sense to invest in efficient appliances, especially if your current appliances are over a decade old. Manufacturers today are often aiming for efficiency for even standard machines, and super efficient models can often be purchased for an extra cost. The average refrigerator sold today, for example, uses 75% energy than a fridge sold in 1975 -- and refrigerators today are both larger, and less expensive to purchase. 

Thanks to the deregulation of electricity markets, consumers have more choices than ever before. Don't put off examining your options -- switching to alternative electricity companies could help save you money every month you live in your home.