Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Four Ways You Can Quickly Cut Down On Your Utility Bills

Our country's energy suppliers produce an unprecedented amount of electricity. In the mid-1990s, electricity was affordable at 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour in 1995; by that year the price to actually generate the electricity from the power companies was two-thirds the price of what the homeowner would pay for electricity. In 2013, United States energy use was over 13 times greater than the energy use of 1950. Moreover, the current cost to generate electricity amounts to less than half of the price of electricity according to the Edison Electric Institute. Cutting down on your electric bill is possible by following these steps to cut costs and find alternative electricity for your home.

Regulate Heat Year-Round 
Most wasted energy is due to heat or air conditioning that runs while no one is home. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can set your heater or air conditioner to run only during the hours that people are home. In total, this can help homeowners save as much as 10% per year on their heating and cooling bills.

Warm Bathing Water 
Studies have shown that most Americans dedicate up to 18% of their utility bills to water heating. New, tankless water heaters are able to store a greater reservoir of hot water while helping to eliminate costs, thus helping homeowners save hundreds on their hot water every year.

Energy-Saving Appliances 
Many Americans have joined a growing movement to find more economically friendly, low-energy alternatives to traditional appliances. The refrigerators of today use three-quarters less energy than the average refrigerator sold in 1975; this is even despite the fact that today's refrigerators are 20% larger and cost 60% less.

Alternative Electricity for Your Home 
Many homeowners are searching for more affordable alternative electricity companies in order to save on their monthly bills. Many of these companies take extra precautions to ensure that your home is using energy at a moderate rate relative to the size of your household. Already, these alternative energy companies have installed 50 million smart meters to regulate nearly 43% of homes in the United States.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

3 Great Ways That Deregulated Electricity Can Change The Lives Of Americans

For the better part of a century, electricity was strictly governed by municipal entities. These days, deregulated electricity is beginning to change the way that Americans view their home's power, and power suppliers are being forced to adjust to the changing times. 
Deregulated electricity is available in certain parts of North America, and it allows for competitive energy suppliers to offer their products to homeowners and businesses. You are no longer restricted with whatever plan is offered in your city. Here are just three of the many benefits to deregulated electricity, and how it's helping to evolve the nation: 

Make your own choice: The deregulation of electricity markets has truly changed the industry, allowing for smaller companies with innovative ideas to spread their wings and gain exposure on a national scale.  In many states, as the owner of a home or business, you now have the intrinsic right to decide who and where you get your electricity from. 

Save money: The new products and techniques being used by these alternative energy companies can result in lower bills for homeowners and businesses alike. The Edison Electric Institute says that the cost of generating electrons for renewable energy accounts for less than half the price of normal electricity. Increased monthly electricity bills can be mainly attributed to the widespread usage of smartphones, tablets, and other devices that need to be charged in order to operate. Electricity use in the U.S. was a whopping 13 times higher in 2013 than it was in 1950. You simply cannot afford to keep spending hundreds of dollars a month on a service that will only continue to grow in importance as the years pass.

Embrace the future: Deregulated electricity has opened the door for more Americans to be exposed to the many benefits of alternative energy sources. The way we produce and use electricity in 2015 will be in stark contrast to the way it is done in 2025, and there are great alternative energies working to perfect their product for a mainstream audience. There is also new technology, incentives, and reward programs being used by many of these deregulated companies that is designed to help save you money.

Be sure to explore deregulated electricity now and join the alternative energy revolution. It will only continue to grow, and you can be one of the first to be a part of this burgeoning industry.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Does Your State Offer Tax Incentives for Solar Panel Installation?

Nationwide, the deregulation of electricity markets means that many consumers have a choice of providers for their heating and cooling needs. Although some states have not fully completed the deregulation process, many consumers stand to benefit from the ability to pick their natural gas and/or electricity providers. 
Interested homeowners and renters can also save money in a variety of ways. There are currently many tax incentives designed to make the installation of solar panels an attractive option to homeowners. Not only do solar panels have the potential to save money, many electricity companies will actually purchase excess energy generated by the panels and absorb it into the larger energy grid for redistribution to other homes.
Homeowners can save hundreds every year just by the installation and use of a thermometer that can be programmed to lower the temperature at night, for example, or to turn itself to a much lower setting when owners are at work or out of the home. Savings for larger homes that consume more electricity can add up: experts say that just a few degrees' difference can save homeowners hundreds of dollars every year.
The deregulation of electricity markets also means that many consumers have more "green" options for their natural gas and electricity providers. In some areas of the country, large turbines that harness the power of the wind are responsible for generating much of the electricity that consumers use to power their homes. As the cost of generating the electricity goes down, the consumers can expect to harness those savings as well.
Consumers report that deregulated energy markets deliver them more choices, but some states have not yet completed the deregulation process. Energy suppliers in those states do not have many competitors, if any, and some consumers express a desire for a wider range of options. Deregulated energy was designed to introduce competition between energy companies, with an goal of financial savings for homeowners.
With many power suppliers increasingly finding ways to harness low-cost, sustainable energy sources such as solar and wind power, consumers across the country are gaining the power to choose sustainable energy for themselves.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Leading Energy Conglomerate Urges for Alternative Energy Investment at Recent UN Meeting

The 70th United Nations General Assembly was held at the end of September in New York, United States. One of the main topics of conversation was the use and pursuit of alternative energy sources and the power companies that are working to achieve them. Tonye Cole, the executive director of the Sahara Group, was one of the leading advocates urging people to consider investing in affordable renewable energy companies, according to the Nigerian newspaper TheNationOnlineNG. 

The Sahara Group is one of the leading African energy, power, and infrastructure conglomerates on the continent. Cole believes with the right investments from governments and energy companies alike, vast improvements can be made that will improve socioeconomic growth in rural communities around the world by 2030. 

"Substantial investments are required to achieve affordable and sustainable energy in developing nations. Wind and solar energy are possible options that can be harnessed in rural communities where consumption is relatively low," Cole said. "With the right strategy and unwavering commitment from all stakeholders, we will be setting solid foundations for deploying alternative energy sources to transform lives and small businesses for disadvantaged communities across the globe." 

In 1995 it cost about 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour to deliver electricity to investor-owned utilities and generation accounted for nearly two-thirds of the overall price. Today, generating the electricity accounts for less than half the cost, according to the Edison Electric Institute. 

One of his calls to action was for more governments to form partnerships with private businesses in the pursuit of this goal. By working with power suppliers he believes they will be able to more effectively persuade the population at large of the value chain of the power sector to ensure support for policies as well as address any potential problems that arise. 

Sahara Group has been promoting energy companies' use of alternative sources for many years. They've even established competitions and initiatives that promote the research and development of the industry among students and professionals.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

UK Launches First Certified Supply Initiative for Renewable Energy Companies

Buying alternative electricity for your business just got more transparent in the United Kingdom. A lot of companies like to talk the talk when it comes to finding renewable energy companies to do business with, but in the U.K. they will now have the opportunity to really put their money where their mouths are. SmartestEnergy, the country's biggest purchaser of renewable electricity from the independent generation sector, is starting an initiative to make this possible in conjunction with their new Tariff Emission Factor Model, according to the environmental news source ClickGreen.org.uk

"A growing number of large businesses are looking to reduce their carbon footprint by buying 100% renewable electricity and we believe this energy label will support that ambition," said Robert Groves, SmartestEnergy's Chief Executive Officer. "We recognize some organisations will want to go further and specify the types of renewable electricity they buy... we can also support that." 

Developed with the support of the Carbon Trust, a not-for-dividend company that helps organisations reduce their carbon emissions and become more resource efficient, the new model allows SmartestEnergy to designate renewable energy labels for power suppliers to specific customers so that the end client will know exactly how the energy is generated originally. 

In the United States for example, the cost of generating electrons accounts for only half the cost of electricity today compared to about two-thirds in 1995 when the average cost to deliver investor-owned electricity was 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour, according to the Edison Electric Institute. 

The label will be made annually for all renewable energy companies involved, which will show prospective customers the carbon footprint of given power companies. The certification will allow these businesses to feel confident in what they're buying and they can relay the information to their potentially environmentally-minded consumers. 

"This new service from SmartestEnergy, supported by the Carbon Trust’s expertise in carbon footprinting, is providing exactly the kind of transparency required to ensure that suppliers of electricity are not contributing to double counting or under reporting of corporate emissions, by enabling certificates to be tracked and attributed to specific tariffs or customers," Groves said. 
The growth of renewable energy companies has exploded over the last decade or so with the majority of people becoming more concerned about such matters.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Alternative Power Companies Reaching Out to Rural Customers

Since the deregulation of electricity markets in the United States, consumers have had a wider choice of power suppliers, including alternative power companies that harness wind energy or solar energy to power their consumers' homes and businesses. Coupled with a decrease in the price of standard electricity production, many American homeowners are seeing reduced heating and cooling bills at home and their places of business.

Homeowners who install solar panels may feed excess energy back into the larger electricity grid and receive monthly or quarterly payments from their local electric companies. Many homeowners see solar panels as an investment that "pays for itself" over a few years of use, and some have even installed wind turbines on land that they own, citing a commitment to sustainable energy.

Alternative power companies have seen a marked increase in the last ten years: solar power is now more efficient and affordable, and many states offer rebates or tax incentives for homeowners who install high-performance solar panels. Wind turbines are being built across America with the intention of maximizing energy that is generated from sources that are both low-cost and ecologically friendly.

Power suppliers are also providing homeowners with tips to minimize home heating and cooling costs. The average electricity bill is about $100 every month, but homeowners who install thermostats to control their homes' temperatures may save as much as 10% on their heating and cooling bill every month. Thermostats that can be programmed to lower a home's temperature while homeowners are asleep or at work may save over $1000 every year.

In areas of the country with consistently high heating or cooling costs, alternative power companies offering discounted electric rates seem to be expanding their customer base. Many Americans are willing to consider wind or solar energy now that the prices for installation have dropped considerably and report a positive experience with contractors and installers. 

Reaching out to rural areas that may have previously been disconnected from the larger electric grid, upgrading small businesses to solar power, and offering incentives and rebates to homeowners are all helping alternative power companies participate in deregulated energy markets.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Energy Bill Too High? Look Into Deregulated Electricity

Energy Bill Too High? Look Into Deregulated Electricity

In today's rapidly evolving times, everyone is looking for new ways to save on energy costs. Some people see a solution in buying a more energy efficient car while others turn down their thermostat for the winter. Whether you like to recycle or double-check your lights before you leave the house, deregulated electricity is an effective way of making sure your living habits are easy on the environment and on your wallet. If your energy bill is stressing you out and you're not sure where to start, never fear -- below I'll detail electricity usage in the U.S., alternative energy sources and what you can do to save on money without skimping on quality.

Electricity Usage In The U.S.

The United States has seen a lot of changes in the past few decades, due in no small part to advancements in technology as well as a growing population. Did you know that electricity use in 2013 was more than 12 times greater than overall use in 1950? That's no small sum to sneeze at! The largest use in electricity, particularly in the residential sector, is in air-conditioning. Air-conditioning accounts for almost 20% of residential use and is used primarily to alter temperature and reduce allergen build-up. Around 43% of homes, as well, have had companies install smart meters to measure their energy use. So how can you save on your own energy costs?

How You Can Save On Energy Costs

Did you know you can save as much as 10% per year on energy costs by changing your thermostat? A programmable thermostat estimates the air and turns off automatically when a certain threshold is reached, which means no more regrets! The average household costs around $107 in electric costs and changing your habits, such as installing a more efficient water heater, can decrease your bill by as much as 14%. Deregulated electricity is fast becoming the way of the future and there are multiple alternative electricity suppliers available to help you help yourself. Renewable energy companies will help you with repair, installation and sharing positive day-to-day habits that will benefit you financially.

Friday, October 16, 2015

You Could Be Overpaying for Electricity By Thousands Yearly: When to Switch

The average American household spends about $100 a month on home heating and cooling, a cost that has increased steadily since the middle of last century. Although many home appliances are much more efficient than they used to be, the average household spends up to about 40% of their heating and cooling budget just to heat water and to run their air conditioners. 

Before the relatively recent advent of deregulated energy, customers often had only one option when it came to picking local power suppliers. These large companies set their own prices and did not have any competition locally, and therefore had to reason to lower customers' costs. There was no choice when it came to power companies and no recourse for the customer if they were dissatisfied with a company's services or prices.

Nowadays, many energy suppliers are taking full advantage of the deregulation of electricity markets and are striving to help customers save on their monthly bills. Now that customers are free to choose among energy suppliers, the pressure among power companies to compete for customers is driving energy prices lower, giving providers the ability to offer perks and placing a firmer emphasis on customer service and satisfaction.

In addition to choosing lower-cost power suppliers, many Americans are choosing to upgrade their appliances and home heating and cooling systems. If the average home spends approximately $1200 yearly to heat and cool the home, the estimated savings from the simple installation of a programmable thermostat can be upwards of $120 every year.

Deregulated energy markets, coupled with appliance and home heating improvements, seem to be benefiting the American energy consumer by offering lower prices and enhanced consumer choice. A competitive energy market means that energy companies have incentives to upgrade their customer service and repair times as well as to continually improve the quality of their facilities. 

Overall, electricity customers are reporting an increased level of satisfaction, citing a wider range of choice in electric providers and overall lower costs.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Is Your Refrigerator Green? Making Changes to Save on Energy Costs for the Home

Homeowners are always on the lookout for energy savings, and the good news is that recent technological developments are making energy conservation much more attainable. And with the average bill topping $100 every month, the quest for energy solutions can be an important one. 

That cost could drop to $90 monthly just by the installation of a thermostat that turns itself off and on in the homeowners' absence or regulates air temperature at night, when people are asleep. Keeping the house just a little bit cooler for eight hours a day during the winter months can add up to a savings of over $100 a year.

Solar panel systems are also becoming increasingly popular for homeowners who want to maximize their energy savings. There are tax breaks for commercial and home installation available in many states across the country. In fact, many homeowners report receiving monthly checks from electricity companies due to the fact that their solar systems generate more electricity than their home or business can use.

Smart appliances are also helping many Americans save big on energy costs. While the typical family spends about $20 monthly just to heat water for showers, dishes, and cooking, an insulated water heater can generate big savings.

Add in an eco-friendly shower head designed to save water and a washing machine that operates more efficiently, and the savings can mount rapidly. Even refrigerators are now designed to use one-quarter of the energy they did 50 years ago.

The idea of a $0 energy bill is very appealing to most home and business owners, and thanks to recent technological advances the cost of homeownership is becoming much more affordable. Although ecologically friendly appliances and solar panel systems require a financial investment, renewable energy can save thousands of dollars for a home in the long-term, maximizing energy savings and contributing to a healthier home.

Friday, October 2, 2015

3 Reasons to Support Energy Deregulation

Energy deregulation is a relatively new concept in the United States. For a long time electricity and energy companies were allowed to exist in regulated monopoly environments with the government controlling the process. However, recently more and more states have decided it's time they deregulated energy markets and gave the consumers the power to choose. Many of the changes in the industry over the last 20 years have been beneficial. In 1995 the generation of electricity accounted for about two-thirds of the price. The cost of generating electrons accounts for less than half the price today, according to the Edison Electric Institute. Here are three reasons to support energy industry deregulation to continue these developments.

1.) Antiquated System: The system of regulated power companies started at about the same time energy suppliers came into being in the 1800s. The main reason for the system being regulated and monopolies to be allowed was because there simply wasn't enough qualified people and companies to reasonably compete in the field.The government decided it would be in the best interest of the people to control distribution and prices. At the time it made sense. Times have changed. For example, the total electricity used in the U.S. in 2013 was 13 times more than in 1950. There are plenty of companies that can provide these services across the country in an efficient and easy manner. 

2.) Competitive Prices: The most important result of energy deregulation is the increase in competition. Whenever you allow competition to exist, the consumer will be better off. Even though the government regulates how much a company can make, it doesn't mean that's the cheapest rate it can be made available. All businesses are looking to maximize profits, but when you open competition you will have them competing for customers. That leads to decrease in prices and increase in service. 

3.) Increased Sustainability: Second only to the cost-effectiveness, energy deregulation can have huge benefits to the sustainability and environmentally friendly improvements in the industry. Another result of competition. When you have more people working to create something better, chances are you're going to get better results.  Now, people that are concerned about these matters can influence companies to work harder at it by giving them their business, or in turn taking it from them.

Monday, September 28, 2015

More Electricity Providers Going Green

The world is changing around us, at a faster and faster rate each year. The advancements that we have made as a species are absolutely astounding. Discoveries from the depths of outer space and beyond, technology in our hands that not long ago was barely a thought in science fiction, developments in medicine and wellness. In 2013, electricity use in the United States was not double or triple the electricity use in 1950, but 13 times greater! Think of everything that you use on a daily basis that requires an electrical charge, then think of the billions of other devices just like yours around the planet. That's a lot of energy! Electricity providers are never left wanting, that's for sure. There have been significant advancements in conserving energy, even as the demand for it goes up. Take for example the refrigerators we use today. In the U.S., average refrigerators currently on the market are 20% larger than the average refrigerators in 1975, they cost 60% less, and they use three-quarters less energy! And yet even with that progress of learning to conserve, we are still struggling to keep up with the energy demands without draining our planet dry of all resources.

So What Do We Do Now?
The answer to that, and the energy solutions we need, come from several different directions but begin with being conscious of the issue and spreading awareness of the need for energy conservation. First and foremost we need to be conscientious with our energy use. In American homes the largest portion of electricity (19% of electricity use in the residential areas) goes to air conditioning, and one of the largest costs when looking at utility bills is the 14 to 18% spent on water heating. So the things we learned as children still ring true today in regards to energy savings: don't leave the water running, there's no need to leave the air on when we're gone, take quick showers.

Energy Suppliers Adapt To Demand.
Companies sell what consumers continue to buy. So if we change our habits as consumers, and seek out renewable energy and green energy companies, the market will begin to change to the benefit of our planet, and of course, to us. There are more electricity providers that are focused on the health of the earth and sustaining the only home we have. And with President Obama's focus on climate change and with the enforcement of the Clean Power Plan, electricity providers across the board may need to switch gears, so that renewable resources will be the main supply for producing electricity, as opposed to precious fossil fuels.

While there may always be debate in the political realm over such issues, we can make it our mission as inhabitants of this marvelous planet to take a stand.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

10 Easy Ways You Can Conserve Energy Today

Feeling the heat of summer electricity costs every time you open a bill from the electric company? You’re not alone. Between the costs of electricity generation and growing environmental awareness, people all around the world are looking for ways to cut down on their usage and see some energy savings. Fortunately, energy conservation doesn’t have to mean giving up modern comforts. Here are 10 easy ways you can start reducing your energy usage today:

1. Get a Programmable Thermostat

Air conditioning actually accounts for the largest portion of U.S. residential electricity use at 19%. But you can use about 10% less energy for cooling (and heating) by controlling temperatures with a programmable thermostat.

2. Replace All Your HVAC Filters

Inefficient HVAC systems have to work harder to keep your home comfortable. Replacing filters is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to give your system a boost. You should also ask your electric company if it offers any incentives for putting in high-efficiency systems.

3. Don’t Let the Sunshine In

You might want to soak up the sun this summer, but the same doesn’t go for your house. Insulated drapes and blinds can keep the sun from heating up the interior of your home. Long term, you might consider painting your house a light color and planting shade trees in order to reduce energy spent on summer cooling.

4. Install Low-Flow Shower Heads

Water heating is another major energy expense in most homes, accounting for 14 to 18% of utility bills. Use less hot water by installing a low-flow showerhead -- it will take literally minutes to do.

5. Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water

For the same reason, you can save quite a bit of energy by washing your clothes in cold or warm, rather than hot, water. Even if you do only two loads of laundry per week, you can also save around 500 pounds of CO2 from being released each year by doing so (that’s if you have an electric water heater; the figure is about 150 pounds for a gas water heater).

6. Embrace Line-Dried Laundry

Especially in the summer, many light fabrics don’t need to go in the dryer. You can get a folding drying rack for clothes if you don’t have space for an outside line.

7. Fill the Dishwasher All the Way

Don’t run the dishwasher until it’s full -- it will use the same amount of resources whether it’s washing five plates or 50. You can also turn off the drying cycle and allow dishes to air dry, which can shave around 20% off your dishwasher’s electricity usage.

8. Seal Around Your Windows

Caulking costs less than $1 per window, and can make a big difference when it comes to energy losses.

9. Unplug Battery and Device Chargers

Many chargers continue to draw power even when not in use, so it’s best to only plug them in when you’re actually charging something.

10. Cook Dinner on the Grill

Instead of cooking inside during the summer -- which will produce extra heat that your air conditioning will need to tackle -- grill outside. It’s more fun anyway.

Want to do even more concerning electricity conservation? Ask your electric company about smart meters that can help you accurately track your usage.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

20-Year Study Shows Benefits of Energy Deregulation

Given that U.S. electricity use had, by 2013, gone up by 13 times since 1950, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the average American household now uses 903 kilowatt hours of electricity each month -- and pays $107 to the electric company for each bill. And while there are some measures you can take to lower your bills (installing a programmable thermostat, for example, can help you save about 10% on heating and cooling costs), it may seem like the larger market that sets prices on electricity is out of your control. But that’s not precisely true: You can help yourself and other consumers in the long run by supporting deregulated energy markets.

New analysis of nearly 20 years’ worth of data has shown that consumers see benefits in price, investment and reliability when markets are deregulated, meaning that the method of power generation are separated from the companies that distribute that energy. Those benefits of energy deregulation are detailed in a study sponsored by the COMPETE Coalition and released in July.

“In a compelling example of what Justice Louis Brandeis termed states serving as laboratories of democracy, for nearly two decades, two retail electricity models, choice and monopoly, have operated in parallel allowing reliable comparison of the two models on key indicators,” COMPETE Counsel William Massey explained in a news release. “The data demonstrate that customer choice jurisdictions that steadily adapted and expanded retail choice out-perform, or at least compare favorably with, the states that have so far rejected broad-based customer market access.”

Here are some of the key points of the study, broken down:

- Between 1997 and 2014, prices in markets where consumers could choose their energy suppliers rose by 4.5% less than inflation; prices in monopoly states, on the other hand, rose by 8.4% more than inflation.

- In states with utility monopolies, electricity accounted for a bigger portion of consumer cost of living in 2014 than it did in 1997; the opposite was true for states where energy deregulation was implemented.

- Power generation in states offering customers energy choices produced energy more efficiently and at higher capacities than power generation monopoly states.

“It has been nearly two decades with workably competitive electricity markets in 13 states and the District of Columbia, and we can no longer ignore the facts,” commented Robert Powelson, commissioner and former chair of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. “Customer choice works for electricity consumers and businesses, helping to drive down prices and attract billions of dollars of investment in new, more efficient generation.”

The full study, “Evolution of the Revolution: The Sustained Success of Retail Electricity Competition,” is available for download by the public online. Did you know about the potential energy savings associated with energy deregulation? Share your reaction to the new study in the comments.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

3 Steps to Conserve Energy in Your Home

It seems as if we see the terms 'green energy' and 'renewable energy' everywhere these days, but how much of a role can you play in those goals as a homeowner? The answer is, you can play a pretty sizable one! Not only would you be helping out the environment by following steps to minimize your Eco-footprint, but also you can actually benefit from it in terms of money saved. There are five main tips to follow when you decide that energy conservation is something you want to take part in:

Talk to your electricity provider.

Many energy suppliers and electricity providers now take their own measures to conserve energy, and you should first check to see if yours is one of them. If yours does not take action on their own, you can consider planning your own energy conservation accordingly.

Account for what you use.

Chances are, you aren't cataloging where you're using energy in a typical day. In order to figure out where you can conserve energy, you should first take a few days to a week and make a list of where you're using energy and for how long. You may be surprised to see how long you leave the TV on when you're not watching it, or how much energy you could save by shutting your computer down every once in a while.


Now you're ready to cut down on your energy use. Electricity providers say that you can save almost 10% on your heating and cooling just by using a programmable thermostat. Or, you can take shorter, cooler showers and save 14 to 18% on water heating costs. Throughout the summer, look for air conditioning alternatives -- it could save you about 19%.

Don't forget: even the smallest things add up! Start saving energy and money now!