Electricity Education

What is a Provider of Last Resort (POLR)?

What happens if your Retail Electricity Provider (REP) were to suddenly go out of business? In Texas, thanks to the Provider of Last Resort (POLR), your lights will stay on. But, your bill will go up dramatically!

In this article, you’ll learn about the POLR, and why you should immediately shop for electricity if the POLR becomes your provider.

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Understanding Ohio’s Price To Compare

To promote energy choice in Ohio, the Ohio PUC requires that all utility bills include a Price To Compare disclosure. The intent of including this rate on electric bills is to give electricity shoppers a reference point to determine if an offer from an alternative supplier is a good deal or not. Sounds pretty straight-forward, but have you ever wondered how your Price to Compare is actually calculated and how can you use that information to save money? Read on to learn more about what the Price To Compare number is (and also what it isn’t) so that you can accurately compare apples to apples electricity rates. 

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Electricity Explained: From Flow to Dough

America’s demand for electricity is huge, totaling 18% of the world’s electricity consumption in 2015. We take for granted that electricity will be there when we turn on the lights or crank up the air conditioner. We can’t imagine life without it. But, have you ever wondered how electricity is made, or where it comes from, or how we get it the instant we want it?

Beginning in 1879, electricity was first sold in the United States by the California Electric Light Company in San Francisco which produced and sold enough electricity to run about 20 electric lights.  Since then the use of electricity has grown exponentially. Fast forward to 2016 and Americans consumed about 3.85 trillion kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In this post we cover the basics about what powers this huge amount of consumption, the sources of electricity in the US, and the role of deregulation.

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Texas is Deregulated. Why Can’t I Choose My Electricity Provider?

Texas is deregulated. That means that most — but not all — Texans have a choice of electricity supplier. If you live in an area served by an electrical cooperative, a municipal owned utility, or a utility that’s not part of ERCOT, you can’t choose your electricity provider.

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Is Your Electricity Contract Expiring Soon?

Electricity deregulation gives consumers the power to choose their own electricity provider and an electricity plan that fits their budget. With this freedom comes responsibility. That fabulous rate you signed up for with your electricity provider will come to an end when your contract expires.

Don’t let your electricity contract expire without taking action. If you let your contract expire without renewing or switching providers, you will have a shocking electric bill coming your way. Keeping your rate low isn’t overly difficult, but it does require some planning and timely action.

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Moving Before Your Electricity Plan Expires?

Electricity providers in every deregulated market offer multiple types of contracts, from variable monthly plans to long-term plans that can last up to three years. The right length of contract for you can depend on where you live and how long you plan to stay there, as well as the time of year you sign up for your plan.

Your rate plan may have been the right one for you when you signed the contract, but what if something happens and you have to move before the contract ends? Unexpected things come up, and not everyone is able to stay where they live until the end of their electricity contract. What happens if you have to break your electricity contract?

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6 Tips For Raising Energy-Smart Kids

You’re aware of the importance of having a small carbon footprint, and do all you can to leave this world a little cleaner while saving money in the process. But what about the next generation? Are you doing all you can to raise your kids in an energy-smart way?

Making your kids energy aware takes more than just nagging them to turn out the lights when they leave the room. Teaching kids to be conscious of the environment will instill good habits that last a lifetime. Try these tips to make saving energy a more fun and natural part of their day.

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How Does Average Billing Work?

No matter where you live, there will always be fluctuations in the amount of power you use and pay for each month. This also means having months where the electric bill can be as much as twice the normal amount in extreme weather.

Electricity providers have created a system that attempts to solve this problem: average billing. Also known as budget billing, average monthly billing, or balanced billing, average billing aims to smooth out the bumps in your monthly electric bill.  Ideally, this should result in a predictable electricity bill each month. But is average billing for electricity worth it? It depends.

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What Is A Kilowatt-hour (kWh) And What Can It Power?

When most people look at their electric bill, they just glance at the total to see how much they have to pay that month.

Some might look to see if the meter reading matches the one on their meter at home, but very few people look further than that. If this describes you, you’re missing out on an important piece of information about the way you use electricity: the number of kilowatt-hours you use each month.

Knowing what a kilowatt-hour is and what it can power can save you money. This knowledge can help you monitor electricity usage, make educated choices about saving energy, and lower your monthly electric bill. You’ll also learn the formula to convert KW to kWh.

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What’s the Difference Between a Utility and an Electricity Provider?

When it’s time to choose an electricity plan, it can be really confusing picking your way between all the options available and the host of new terms.

One of the most common sticking points for electricity customers is what is the difference between electric delivery vs. electric supply?

They’re both vital to the success of electricity deregulation, but they play very different roles. Understanding how they fit together can make a big difference in your overall confidence as an electricity customer trying to shop for the best electricity plan.

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