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Texas Electricity: 3 Ways to Lower Summer AC Bills

April 5, 2010

The heat of a Texas summer sends many scurrying from their cars straight into the AC. And it’s no wonder, temperatures in the high 90s and low 100s are not uncommon. It’s no wonder that Texas crank up the AC during the summer.

According to the Forbes magazine article, Competition delivers lower power prices in Texas,Texas households use twice as much power as the national average to run air conditioners in the summer, [with bills . . . likely to exceed $200-$300 in the hottest months of the year.”

Following are three tips to beat the summer heat in Texas — all while keeping those AC bills manageable.

Get a Room Air Conditioner: Turning the AC up and down uses more energy. And this is exactly what happens with an air conditioner used to cool an entire home (or one floor), for example. But, a room air conditioner keeps a room at a consistent temperature, which means you don’t have to constantly adjust the temperature to keep the space cool.

Purchase an Energy Star-Rated Air Conditioner: If you do, you’ll be eligible for a rebate under the Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program. This program, which started on April 5th, gives rebates to consumers who buy Energy Star-rated appliances. The rebate for buying a central air conditioner under the plan is currently $600 to $1,000.

Ditch Prepaid Service Plans: If you currently have a prepaid electric service plan, you’re probably paying more for electricity than you need to. Most of these plans are designed to attract consumers with bad credit or those with low incomes. The problem is that they tend to cost more per month than regular electricity plans – two or three times as much!

If you’re currently signed to a plan like this, check with your electricity provider to see what types of plans out there that cost you less.

Since Texas deregulated its electricity market in 2002, many reliable, traditional electric suppliers have come up with innovative plans that save disadvantaged consumers money, eg, Texas’ LITE-UP program. It’s a no-deposit electricity plan that gives consumes a discount five months out of the year. Call your energy provider to see if you qualify for this plan, or others similar to it.

CT No Deposit Electricity Companies

April 2, 2010

In Connecticut there are several electricity service choices available but most of these choices are based on credit. What you will find if you were to call on a few electricity companies in CT is that for a commercial business you will be asked for as much as $5,000 – $10,000 as a deposit amount to have electric service turned on. For residential electric service customers in CT the deposits can range anywhere from $300 – $500 to have your electricity service turned on in your home or apartment.

For many people these large deposits are already added on to a large deposit they had to pay to move into their home or apartment when paying their landlord. The added electricity service deposit can be too much for many. Fortunately there  are government assistance programs for low income families. If you are not classified as low income you may find it very frustrating to find a cheap electricity rates in Connecticut while at the same time avoiding a deposit amount.

A better solution than getting the cheapest electric rate or signing up at a high rate but not paying a deposit is to go ahead and save up and pay that deposit. You will establish your self as a good paying customer with a provider that has cheap electricity prices in Connecticut and you will not have to pay a deposit the next to time you renew with them. Typically a Connecticut electricity supplier will give you your deposit back after 6 months into your electricity agreement.

There are also government assistance programs available for low income families in Connecticut which may be a solution for some families. If you believe you are one of the low income families you can still avoid going with a high priced prepaid electricity company and instead choose a traditional electricity provider in CT. The government may be able to assist you in paying your deposit with your chosen electricity company.

You may call: 1-800-842-1132 for more information on Connecticut electricity service low income assistance.

LIHEAP Contact
Public Inquiries: 1-800-842-1132

In PA You Can Sign Up For Electric Service With No Deposit

April 2, 2010

In PA you have your choice of who you want to choose for your electric provider. Many people in PA still do not realize they can choose a cheaper electric company. Right now the old monopoly electric companies in Pennsylvania have been forced to raise their electricity rates because they were fixed below energy market conditions. The artificial price freeze was causing the monopoly companies to lose money and so when the price ceiling was lifted these companies raised their electricity prices.

Competitors in PA were then able to come into the PA energy market and offer electricity prices much lower than what you may have been paying for some time. It is worth the energy it takes to shop around and find a cheaper electricity supplier in PA. One of the main concerns of many besides choosing an electricity supplier with a cheap rate is if the price comes with no deposit required.

Electricity deposits typically range from $300 – $500 for a residential electric customer with bad credit and as much as a few thousand dollars for commercial customers.

There are ways around paying a large PA electricity deposit. There are electric companies that specialize in offering prepaid electric service. The prepaid electric companies in PA will sell you electric service based on estimated usage. They typically use estimated electric usage from the previous tenant which could be good or bad depending on how energy efficient the old tenant was.

Depending on your area of Pennsylvania you may have a digital electric meter that sends back real time data to the electric utility. In your situation a PA prepaid electric supplier can install a smart meter chip that works with a prepaid electric billing system. The chip keeps track of your prepaid kilowatt hours you have purchased and lets you know when it is time to recharge your kilowatt hours on the meter so you don’t get your lights cut off prematurely.

In most cases you will pay about double the amount with a prepaid electric company in PA than you would if you went with a traditional electricity company that asks for a deposit. Most low income people will still choose the pay as you go choice simply because they cannot come up with $300 – $500 on the spot to put down as a deposit. Although we recommend not choosing a prepaid electric company we understand that sometimes that is your only option.

You do have another choice however besides prepaid electric service and paying a deposit with a traditional electric company. Pennsylvania has government programs and agencies that will work with low income families to help you pay your deposit amount or have your electric service deposit waived. For more information contact the PA PUC at 1-800-692-7380

Low-income consumers may also qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). For information regarding LIHEAP Cash and Crisis benefits and Weatherization programs please call your local County Assistance Office or the state Department of Public Welfare at: 1-800-692-7462.