Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Saving Money with Electricity for your Small Business

Saving money on electricity can help improve profits for your small business. There are some easy steps to take to help reduce the amount of electricity you use, and some others to reduce what you pay for electricity. We’ll give you a few tips to help keep your business on top of its game.

 Unused Rooms
            A major energy waste is lighting rooms that aren’t in use. There are plenty of rooms in a business that often go without much use throughout the day. They might include storerooms, restrooms, and conference rooms. All of these places should have their lights off when unoccupied. To improve efficiency and reduce chances of accidentally leaving lights on, you can use occupancy switches to turn lights off automatically when no one is present in the room for a set amount of time.

   Energy Efficient Equipment
            Upgrading older models of computer equipment, from monitors, to CPUs, to printers, you can save a fair amount of energy. Energy Star rated equipment is at least 20 to 30% more efficient than uncertified equipment in the same class, and many computers have power settings in them that allow you to adjust how power is consumed in certain states such as sleep or hibernation mode. It is, of course, better to shut computers off when they are not in use, especially when everyone has gone home for the day.

      HVAC System
            Clean or replace the filter in your heating, cooling, and ventilation ducts to improve airflow and reduce strain on the system. Using a programmable thermostat will also help you get the most out of your HVAC system and cut way back on its run time, prolonging its life and reducing energy use. Set the thermostat to only run the heat or AC while people are typically in the office and leave everything off for the hours when the business is closed and on the weekends.

       Changing Energy Plan

            You can also save money on your business energy by switching to a custom tailored energy plan through Shop Texas Electricity. We connect with several retail energy providers (REPs) and use your energy use history to find you the best deal through a custom plan with one of our listed REPs.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Spring Into Savings, Part 2

In continuing our coverage of springtime savings, we have some more tips that will help you save money as we head toward summer and the high temperatures that come with it. Many of our tips won’t cost you anything except a little bit of time, but even the ones that require an investment can save you a lot of money in the long run.

            Keeping your air conditioning system in peak condition will improve its lifespan and save your energy. Have a certified AC technician perform regular maintenance on your system now before the high temps really start rolling in. Service calls generally cost more as you get into the summer, as more people are desperate to get the air conditioner fixed and feel comfortable again. Regular maintenance like adding freon or changing filters will keep your AC at peak efficiency, so you’ll be more comfortable all summer long.

            Appliance and Lighting Use
            About 85% to 90% of the energy consumed by incandescent lights is radiated as heat, and a lot of lights on in the house means more heat. Some older televisions and any cooking appliances like stoves and ovens also radiate a lot of heat while in use, so limiting how much you cook or watch TV can keep your home cooler. If possible, cook outdoors on warmer days to prevent heat buildup inside. Shut off lights that aren’t in use, and switch to more energy efficient bulbs like CFLs and LEDs to not only reduce direct energy costs, but also to reduce how much heat they radiate.

            Air Leaks
            Weatherstripping your home closes up gaps that would lead outdoors, such as gaps under doorways or cracks in window sills. With all of the hidden spots you could be losing air through, it can add up to leaving one large window open all the time, and that’s not good for keeping energy use down with the AC on. Make sure to also close the dampers on fireplaces, as these can lose as much air as a partially open window on their own.

            Switching Energy Providers
            Another way to save money on electricity is to switch your energy provider to one who offers the cheapest electricity in Texas. Searching through our website lets you many providers in your area, seeing each plan rate for rate. You can compare how much each plan costs, search for specific length contracts, and find out how much you’ll save over your current plan.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Spring into Savings, Part 1

We’re pretty well into spring now, and summer is just around the corner. Some of us are already sweating the high temps, but the raised temperature doesn’t need to raise your energy bill. Take a few steps now to prepare your home for the oncoming heat, and you’ll be living comfortably and using less energy, which helps you save on electricity.

            If it’s cool enough at night, leave your windows open and the AC off overnight. The cool air will keep you comfortable enough that you won’t need to crank up the energy sucking air conditioner. Come morning, shut all of the windows and close blinds or curtains on south and west facing sides of your home. This will help keep some of that cool air inside and reduce how much heat is gained from sunlight during the day. You can also look into special window coverings that let in light, but block UV rays, which cause your home’s internal temperature to rise.
Spring into Savings

            Properly programming or operating a thermostat is key to saving money on electricity. The trick is to keep your home’s internal temperature as close to the outdoor temperature as possible, while still remaining comfortable. Set your thermostat as high as you’re comfortable with, and program it if possible to maintain this temperature during the times that people are home and awake. Set it even higher for times when no one is home or everyone is asleep. Also, remember that setting the temp lower on the thermostat doesn’t cool your home any faster, so only set it to the level you need.

            It may seem like a waste to run a fan while the AC is on, but if you are in a room with a fan and the AC running, you can raise the thermostat setting for that room by up to 4°F and still feel just as comfortable. Fans utilize the wind chill effect to help keep you cool, but if no one can feel the fan, the wind chill won’t have an effect. Turn off fans in rooms with no one in them.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

2 Easy Steps to Saving Money

Looking to save some money this summer? Who isn’t? Did you realize that there are two very easy ways to save money by changing how you use your electricity and who you buy it from? We have all the details on both of these methods!

 Reduce Electricity Usage, Reduce Bills
            Seems like common sense, right? The less energy we use, the lower our bills will be. It isn’t always about turning off unused lights or shutting off the TV when we leave a room, though both of those are important too. We don’t realize how much electricity is wasted daily because we aren’t visible able to see the waste happening.
            Did you know that just by having your television, bluray player, and cable box turned off, but still plugged in you are wasting electricity? That’s right! This is commonly known as the vampire effect, and it happens with all electrical devices. As long as something is plugged into the wall, it’s sucking up energy, even while turned off. Unplugging these devices stops the flow of electricity and saves energy. You can save time as well by plugging in a group of devices into a power strip and turning it off.
            Air leaks in your home really drive up energy bills because you’re constantly cooling air that gets lost. Sealing up windows, doors, and other gaps keeps more climate controlled air inside, so you’ll feel more comfortable and use less energy too! Kick it up an extra notch by raising the temperature a few degrees on your thermostat. Every degree of difference can equate to 1-3% difference in your energy usage.

  Switch to a New Energy Provider
            Save even more money by switching your electricity service to a new provider who is offering cheap electricity. All retail electricity providers (REPs) must have an electricity facts label (EFL) that spells out in detail exactly how an energy plan works. This includes the price per kilowatt hour (kWh) in different ranges, the cost of distributing electricity, and any fees. Depending on the plan you choose, you could save a lot of money over the course of your service contract.
Be wary of plans that offer cheap electricity but only for a certain range of use, like 500 to 1000 kWh, as it can be very tough to judge how much energy you’re using. Also read all the fees associated with a plan to ensure that you’re really getting a good deal. What may look like a cheap electric rate on the outside could have some hidden costs in the fees. All plans must list every fee in their EFL and terms of service (ToS), so you’ll never have to guess when you read those.