Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Choosing an Energy Plan

Shopping for cheap electricity in Texas is pretty simple when using an easy to compare site like Shop Texas Electricity, but you have to understand exactly what kind of plan you need to get the most out of it. There are two main plans: fixed and variable. Both plans get you the same electricity, but you will pay different amounts and your terms and conditions may be different depending on which you choose.

  Fixed Rate
            Fixed rate plans are the best when you can find one at a low rate. These plans lock in your residential electricity rates for the duration of your contract length, which can be anywhere between three months and three years, depending on your provider and plan. Even if the energy market changes and prices go up, you will continue to pay the same amount for your electricity. The only way your price can change is if the transmission and distribution utility change their fees or the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas changes their fees or implements new policies which could impact costs on the REP or TDU end. These types of plans usually have an early termination fee if you back out of your contract before it ends.

  Variable Rate
            Variable rate plans work just the way they sound: they vary. Every month, your electricity rate, the cost per kilowatt hour of electricity used, will go up or down depending on how the market is changing. These plans are best if you only need electricity for a very short time, as they are often a little under the cost of a fixed rate plan, but due to market conditions, their prices could climb much higher than if you locked in a fixed rate price. Variable rate plans don’t have a contract length, so you can cancel any time.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Federal Energy Tax Credits

                        It’s tax time again and millions all over the country are preparing their documents and records to fill out all the tax paperwork in the hopes of getting money back. If you recently performed some energy related purchase or upgrades, you could be entitled to some pretty good tax credits.
            If you purchased a plug-in electric vehicle like a Tesla in 2015, you could be entitled to a tax credit of $2500 to $7500, depending on the capacity of the vehicle’s battery. The minimum credit of $2500 applies if your vehicle’s battery capacity meets or exceeds 4 kilowatt hours, and you’ll get an additional $417 per kilowatt hour above that, up to a maximum of $7500.
 If you have installed renewable energy systems on your property for your home, you may also be entitled to tax credits. According to Energy, you can claim up to 30% of the installation cost as a tax credit for small wind turbines, solar panels, or geothermal pumps that provide power for your home. This includes both new and existing homes, but does not apply to rentals. Furthermore, you can $500 in tax credits per half kilowatt of power capacity attained through the use of residential fuel cells.
            Going green and using renewable energy systems or switching from a gasoline to electric vehicle can really help you on your taxes. Renewable energy is the future, so it certainly helps to get a leg up into the new era of energy production. Take advantage of using renewable energy to power your home with cheap electricity can reduce your energy costs.