Electricity Education

Texas Ancillary Services – What Are They? And Why Should You Care?

If you’re a business owner in Texas, you need to know that Ancillary Services could be passed through on your bill, depending on your contract language.

That’s what a number of businesses found out after Winter Storm Uri in February 2021. They were saddled with high bills from Ancillary Services pass-through charges when the wholesale price of ancillaries spiked as high as $25,000 per MWh on the ERCOT market.

Here’s what you need to know about Ancillary Services, what to do if you see Ancillary Services charges on your bill, and what’s being discussed at the regulatory levels on this issue.

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Should I Install a Whole House Generator?

Thinking about installing a whole house generator in your home on the Texas Gulf Coast? Good call. The Gulf Coast, including Houston, is prone to hurricanes, flooding and power outages. And after Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Winter Storm Uri in February 2021, interest in natural gas standby generators is growing.

Here’s what you need to know about installing a whole house generator in Houston or elsewhere in Texas.

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What’s the Best Thermostat Setting for Summer?

What’s the best air conditioner temperature setting in the summer? You want to keep your home cool, but also want to keep control of your electricity bills. Here are our best thermostat settings for summer to set your A/C when you’re home, away from home and sleeping. Plus the best thermostat setting when you’re away on vacation, and ways to keep your house cool without touching the thermostat.

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What’s Going On With Texas Electricity? February 2021

What’s going on with Texas (ERCOT) electricity? And more importantly, why don’t I have lights?

Below we walk through what’s going on with Texas electricity during this brutal cold snap. We also have some ideas on why rolling blackouts have turned to 36+ hours without power in some areas.

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City Inspections & Permits for Texas Business Electricity

City inspections and permits may stand in the way of getting new electricity turned on for your business.

It’s pretty common. The business owner shows up on the day they expected to have lights. And there’s no electricity. And it’s all due to a required inspection that no one told them about. Here’s more about city inspections and permits, and their role in getting your lights turned on.

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Texas Electricity Trends for 2020

Texas electricity rates in 2019 were relatively flat compared to the prior year. And if you were in a fixed rate contract throughout 2019, you had a secure price. But those who were on a variable rate or a wholesale index rate (i.e. Griddy Energy) had their rate explode in mid August when ERCOT hit a historic usage level.

So what will happen in 2020? It all depends. But indications are that market forces are driving up retail energy prices in the short term, and that long-term contracts might be the way to go this year.

>>Want the latest Texas electricity trends? Here are Texas Electricity Trends for 2021

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Load Factor and Commercial Demand Charges – How to Lower Your Business Electricity Bill

You shopped for the lowest rate per kWh for your business. So what’s this other charge on your bill?

Business customers often pay a commercial electricity demand charge in addition to the cost per kWh. And depending on the type of business you run, it may be a substantial.

Read on to find out what is a demand charge, typical load factor by type of business, how your load factor impacts your demand, and most importantly, how to reduce your demand charges.

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