NRG Energy The Company That Owns Reliant Buys Green Mountain Energy

NRG Energy just bought Green Mountain Energy for $350 million dollars.

NRG Energy is the New Jersey based power generation company that bought Reliant Energy not that far back.

So Green Mountain Energy and Reliant Energy are now under the same corporate umbrella known as NRG Energy. Very interesting development.

I wonder what the Green environmental activists will have to say about a power generation company buying “Green” Mountain Energy?

Comparing Texas Electricity Prices and Green Energy

When comparing Texas electricity prices you have several energy companies out there competing for your business. If these companies have to use words like green energy, environmentally friendly or quite a few other buzz words to get your business they will.

Now comparing these green energy plans is a little challenging as you have to deal with companies selling quite a few different variations of this green energy stuff.

For instance, many of these electric companies are buying biomass renewable energy credits in other states and than applying that to their dirty energy.

These electric provider in Texas than sell you clean energy but in reality you are cleaning up another state and not the state of Texas.

It’s great that at least you are doing your part for the US as a whole but wouldn’t it be nice if it helped out Texas?

The government is about to cramp down on these green energy buzz words that providers use to sell their electricity service.

Soon many packages for things as simple as baby diapers may have to remove the environmentally friendly labels from their packaging.

Texas electricity providers may not be able to call their electricity renewable energy unless it meets a high enough percentage and overall things will hopefully be a little more transparent as to what it is your buying.

In the big picture it will be easier to compare green energy providers in an apples to apples comparison and choose the lowest price.

However, this may have more to do with setting up the whole cap and trade system rules in which electricity companies and manufacturers aren’t simply no longer advertising that their products are no longer environmentally friendly. Instead, government deadlines are set for manufacturers, energy generation facilities, electricity providers, and so on to make their power plants and products meet these new green friendly and carbon neutral requirements.

A large part of the requirement will be a tax on these products and services if these power plants and so forth can’t operate as carbon neutral as required. These taxes will than go into a slush fund where the government may choose to do something completely different with this money as they did with Social Security taxes.

Tips for Selecting a Texas Energy Provider

Independence Day Promo Electric Rate From Bounce EnergyEvery May, our contract with our Texas energy provider comes up for renewal, and we have the power to choose whether to stay with our current provider or switch. In looking for a new provider and/or plan we not only want a good rate, but we first have to decide if we want a contract and what kind, and if we want to use green energy, all the while paying close attention to possible promotions and rewards programs. Here is the process we usually go through.

In order to choose a provider, it is best to start with a plan. The two most common plans are variable rate and fixed rate. With a fixed rate plan you’ll pay the same rate for electricity throughout the term of your contract (which is typically 2 years). The price can change only to reproduce actual price changes that are allowed by Public Utility Commission rules due to changes in law or regulatory charges. This plan is great for people who have a household budget since the rate stays the same, which protects you from rising energy prices; however, if market prices fall you have to wait until your contract is over to switch to a lower rate. If you think you might want to discontinue service after a short period of time, look for a company that does not have contracts or offers short term contracts. Companies that have contract periods often have a minimum term and if you cancel your service before the contract period ends, you might have to pay a penalty.

Variable rate, or often referred to as “month-to-month”, plans have no minimum contract period and are based on current energy market conditions. With this kind of plan, the rate you pay can fluctuate depending on the changes in the electricity market. Which means you can benefit from lowering energy rates and could help you to save on your energy bill. However, just as this type of plan allows you to save money when market prices fall, it could also have a negative affect if market prices rise because so would your electricity rate. For some people, dealing with constant changing electricity rates can be stressful so a fixed rate works best for them. On the other hand, there are others who like being able to always get the best rate and don’t mind searching for it, making a variable rate plan their best option.

Next is to choose between a non-renewable (standard) and a renewable (green) plan. You can check a Texas energy provider’s Electricity Facts Label (EFL) to see if their plan produces electricity from renewable resources such as solar, hydroelectric, landfill gas, biomass, geothermal, or wind. EFLs allow you to easily compare what each company has to offer to find the best fit for your energy consumption and budget. Each label contains the following information:

  • Electricity Rate: This is made up of the electric company’s average price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for 500 kWh, 1000 kWh and 1500 kWh, as well as a possible monthly customer service charge and seasonal pricing. Rates can differ depending on the number of kilowatt-hours so it’s important to look at your past usage. With some companies the more kilowatt-hours you use, the lower the rate will be.
  • Contract Terms: Some companies have minimum terms and will charge you an early cancellation fee, while others may not require a contract.
  • Power Generation Sources: The electricity provider should list from what resources the electricity is produced (coal, natural gas, renewable energy, etc.) The percentages will be graphed to compare them to the average usage for electricity generation statewide.
  • Emissions: In this section companies provide details on the types and percentage of emissions they create per kWh of electricity generated. The energy provider’s percentages will be graphed to show if the emissions are better or worse than the Texas average. This might be an important section for you if you’re interested in decreasing your carbon footprint.

Once you’ve decided which plan works for you, then the next step is to compare Texas electricity companies. You can do this by going to ElectricityBid.com where you can compare prices and ratings. Just enter your zip code and then pick the kind of plan you want. You will be able to see different Texas energy providers and their company rating, different plans offered, cancellation fee, if electricity is produced from renewable or non-renewable resources and the terms and rate for each plan. These websites will also show you promotions and incentives offered by each company and if they have a rewards program.

Lastly, review and compare all the possible incentives and rewards programs offered. Some companies offer rewards programs to their customers such as cash back and gifts. For example, Bounce Energy is currently rewarding its customers for paying their bills on-time. Customers who pay their bill on-time for 6 consecutive months receive their choice of 2 movie tickets or a free companion airfare ticket and also gain access to Bounce Energy’s VIP Customer Service line. The longer you pay on time, the more you get in return. Power providers might also offer incentives or promotions for signing up with a new plan such as gift cards, airline miles, charitable donations, or better rates if you sign up online. For example, Bounce Energy’s Express Move plan. This short term fixed rate plan makes moving much easier by not only turning on your electricity, but Bounce Energy will submit your USPS Change of Address form, add your name to the Do Not Mail and Do Not Call lists, give you free identity protection service and give you either a $25 Walmart or Home Depot gift card. Bounce Energy’s Terrific 12 plan gives the customer their choice of $25 gift cards to Target, Wal-Mart, GAP Inc., Shell, or a $25 bill credit.

As you’ve probably seen, there are many Texas energy providers and plans to choose from but by doing some research you will be able to find one that is right for your electricity needs and budget.

Online Resources
http://powertochoose.org
http://www.electricitytexas.com

Texas Electric: How Wind Makes Electricity

 

Wind energy is a growing green energy option for many Texans. In the last four years, in fact, wind turbines have provided a significant portion of the state’s electricity. But, have you ever wondered how wind produces electricity? Here we explain how.

Wind is simply air in motion. The surface of the earth is made up of different elements, ie, land and water, which absorb the heat of the sun at different rates.

During daylight hours, the air above land heats up faster than the air over water. This warm land expands and rises. When this happens, cooler air rushes in to take its place. This creates wind. At nighttime, the process is reversed because air cools more rapidly over land than water.  

This makes wind a renewable (ie, green) energy source because as long as the sun shines, wind will be produced.

To produce electricity, wind machines (aka wind turbines) use blades to collect the wind’s kinetic energy. When the wind flows over the blades, this creates what’s known as “lift,” akin to the effect wind has on airplane wings. Wind turbine blades are connected to a drive shaft, which turns an electric generator and makes electricity.

If you’re interested in this green energy option, shop around for Texas electricity suppliers who provide it.

Another Way to Bring in the Green

Going green in your energy options is not the only way to save some green (money). If you’re on a prepaid electric service plan, for example, you are paying more for your energy.

Solution: Switch to a conventional electric service plan. If you’re worried about having to pay a deposit, take comfort in the fact that there are low-deposit and no-deposit electric plans offered by energy suppliers that have been serving Texans for decades.

For example, the LITE-UP Texas Program. It’s a no-deposit electric service plan that gives customers a discount on their energy bills every May through September. Even if you have to save up to pay a deposit to take advantage of energy savings like this, it’s worth it because you not only get the lowest rates around, you get the best service as well.

Texas Electric: Get Federal Tax Credit for Making Energy Efficient Home Improvements in 2010

The federal government is going all out with its green energy initiatives. One of the ways it’s doing this is by incentivizing the program, ie, giving tax credits to homeowners for making their homes more energy efficient. Following is an overview of one such program for the year 2010 that can help Texas electric customers.

FAQs: How to Get Federal Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Home Improvements Made in 2010

How do I get the tax credit? Basically, you have to make the improvement/purchase qualifying products and “place them in service” during the year 2010. You then claim the tax credit when you file your taxes next year.

How much of a tax credit can I get? The maximum amount is $1,500. The credit is 30% of cost. So in essence you get to spend $5,000 and get a credit for 30% of this.

Does this apply to products/improvements I make on my rental and/or vacation properties too? No, it must be your primary residence.

 

Which products/renovations qualify for the tax credit? Following is a partial list. Consult the Energy Star website for full details.

Windows and doors; insulation, metal and asphalt roofs, HVAC (including air conditions, heat pumps, furnaces and boilers; water heaters; and biomass stoves.

How to Lower Your Texas Electric Bill for $0

Don’t have any money to spend on energy-efficient home improvements? It’s okay; you can still save on your electric bill. How? By doing some comparison Texas electric company shopping.

Traditional Texas energy providers offer a host of money-saving options for budget-conscious consumers, eg, the LITE-UP Texas program. With this program, you can save money on your energy bill five months out the year (May through September)? And, it’s a no-deposit electric service plan.

Plans like this are ideal for consumers who are currently on prepaid electric service plans because they can significantly lower your energy bill during the five most high-consumption months of the year. And it needn’t cost a dime. All you have to do is call your Texas electricity company to get full qualifying details

Electricity Bid helps you find an electric rate and provider to save you money and keep life simple.

Get in touch with us!