With Texas State Assistance Why Are Prepaid Electric Providers Necessary?

You would think that with all the government assistance programs these days there would be no need for these prepaid electric companies that get you to pay in advance for your electric service.

In reality the state services are not used by many people that qualify simply because there are plenty of hurdles for most of us just to get that assistance.

For instance, the reason people choose to go with a prepaid provider is because they were asked by a traditional company for a large deposit.

Now comes the need for a way to waive your electric deposit. If you call one of the many organizations that work in tandem with the Department of Health and Human Services they will tell you what you need to do to qualify.

You must as a start be a disabled adult. If you are disabled and show proof that your life is in danger by use of a doctor’s note faxed or emailed to your electric provider you can receive a waiver for your electric deposit.

Many of us have some disability and I venture to guess if you contacted the right doctor you could even get a psychologist to justify a reason that it is medically necessary that your electric deposit be waived.

Fortunately not everyone is out to work the state government system to that degree but yet there are people out there that make their whole existence about working the system in every way possible.

For the rest of us who simply have bad credit, low credit, no credit, or just don’t like dealing with a bureaucracy a prepaid provider is your best choice for waiving your electric deposit.

On average you will spend about $400 more annually by choosing a prepaid provider but since smart meter technology has gone into full effect this disparity is dramatically dropping.

You can now sign up with many prepaid providers in the market at exactly the same prices traditional electric companies charge.

How is this possible? The smart meter precisely measures your electric usage at the meter and sends it real time so your money is charged against this usage more accurately than ever before.

No longer are the days of estimating your electric usage based on a prior tenant who lived at your home or apartment a year ago.

In the past people would sometimes be charged $200 more per month than what they actually used because of estimates like these.

After 6 months to a year of inaccurate measurements a correction of charges called a true-up was made and the customer would be refunded the extra money they were charged.

There is now no reason to estimate usage with real time data available and so more people who want to keep that extra $300 – $500 in their pocket are doing so.

Electricity deposits can be very expensive but the prepaid provider offers the easiest manner of avoiding that large fee and getting lights on fast.

Our comparison tool in green offers both traditional and prepaid electric companies. Enter your zipcode and give it a whirl! 

Is the Texas Government Poisoning Residents With Smart Meter Radiation?

There is a petition that has been submitted by Devvy Kidd and John Kidd that takes on Texas smart meters because of the health hazards of RF and EMF radiation that come from these devices.

Many people with elderly heart conditions, aging body tissue, and Texas smart meter radiation dangers differences in body fluids compared to younger more healthy individuals feel that they are being sacrificed for the sake of technology. Even people not so frail feel scared by the potential high levels of RF radiation that is being emitted from Texas Smart Meters. Most states did little research on these radiation dangers and what research that was done was later found to be originally created by the industry that would profit from these new meters. You would think a little more thought  would have gone into it before mandating almost all Texans get one installed. Geniuses made microwaves safe before they went on store shelves and even then people had a choice to buy it or not.

For those that have been worried by the health hazards associated with Texas smart meters it has really become a mini-Fukushima for those concerned about radiation dangers. The idea that radiation from radio frequency and electromagnetic field energy is sending in daily waves of small X-Ray level radiation bodily exposure is a very frightening prospect. You can’t compare RF radiation to X-ray radiation as they are two totally different things. RF radiation is non-ionizing radiation and does not come with the cancer risks associated with X-ray radiation. There may still be dangers especially at higher dosages but lets not get ahead of ourselves and make the comparison with X-ray radiation as it just isn’t the same thing.

For those looking at this petition from the outside it seems a little much ado about nothing. We know most of us these days have microwave ovens in our houses and yet the smart meter is very small and on the outside of a home. Both of these devices emit RF radiation but there are some differences. For instance, the microwave is regulated by the FDA to allow for only a very small amount of RF radiation to come out of the device for the entire life-cycle of the microwave oven. The FDA has no regulation or criteria for how much RF radiation can be emitted from a smart meter. When looking at my Texas smart meter I could not find any shield or device preventing the release of unwanted amounts of RF radiation into the home and surrounding area.

Comparing Safety Levels of Microwave Ovens and Texas Smart Meters

So lets compare the two to start off with to see how a microwave oven’s danger compares with a Texas smart meter’s possible dangers. A microwave uses non-ionizing radiation which does not have the cancer risks associated with it as do X-rays. This radiation is however still harmful to some low degree and so there are rules about how much radiation leakage can occur in a microwaves life-cycle. Only 5 milliwatts of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 2 inches from the surface of the oven is allowed by the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Doing a search on the FDA’s radioactive emitting product search database for “Smart Meters” it came back with nothing. It turns out that Smart Meters also produce the same type of non-ionizing radiation known as RF radiation. This radiation is much much safer than X-ray radiation but it is still potentially dangerous and so precautions are recommended and followed by many product manufacturers with the regulation of the FDA behind it.

The potential health impacts of smart meters. The California state legislatures asked for an independent review of the safety of smart meters to be conducted in order to have an unbiased report to look at that was an independent science based study. The California state legislatures were hearing from PG&E that there was nothing to worry about so they wanted to get confirmation on this from a clear scientific review that had no ties with PG&E or any company that would benefit by the sell of smart meter technology. California Council on Science and Technology did not go forward with an independent review but instead reproduced the same claims that the Electric Power Research Institute had made. The problem with this is that the same group PG&E used for their report (Richard Tell Associates) was in charge of producing the report for the Electric Power Research Institute as well. There was a table in the EPRI report used by the California council comparing the RF radiation doses from a smart meter, a cell phone, and a microwave oven. The issue with the table and report is that they were comparing apples and oranges.
Smart Meter RF Radiation
They looked at whole body exposure from a smart meter and compared it to the dose of an ear from a cell phone. Rather than comparing the whole body dose of a cell phone and comparing that with the whole body dose from a smart meter they did it much differently with resulted in a significant skewing of results. Richard Tell Associates assumed a 100% duty cycle for the smart meter and a 1% duty cycle for a smart phone because you only uses the cell phone for less than an hour during a day on average. They never corrected for the enormous comparative difference in usage of 45 minute total cell phone exposure next to the continuous use a smart meter would be on for. They did not look at cumulative exposure which would make sense because the smart meter is usually attached to your house near a major room and running 24 x 7. So in the study they assumed 99% of the time the cell phone was not producing radiation but 100% of the time the smart meter would be which is a good assumption and correct for the most part but cumulative exposure was completely left out of the study. They did adjust the smart meter number to 50% exposure as a reasonable adjustment but even still this doesn’t come close to solving the problems with the study. When you correct the two major blunders in the study, the whole body and the cumulative aspect of it rather than a cell phone being 100 times more exposure than a smart meter a smart meter shows to be 100 times more cumulative exposure than a cell phone.

Corrected Graph Using Daniel Hirsch’s findings in the EPRI Graph

Corrected Smart Meter Graph

These inaccuracies were exposed by Daniel Hirsch who teaches Nuclear Policy at the University of Santa Cruz. He spoke to the California legislature and asked for them to revise the numbers based on these new findings regarding whole body exposure and cumulative exposure.

What is the Smart Meter Risk to the Public?

At the moment no one really knows what the risks could be even with these corrected findings on radiation exposure from smart meters. The health risks from RF radiation are uncertain but consider that your microwave oven also uses non-ionizing radiation just as the smart meter does. The United States Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health regulates the RF radiation of a microwave and I believe they should do so for the smart  meter. A spray on coating and shield backing may be all the retrofits that are necessary to offer the same protection you currently receive against RF radiation exposure as you get from your microwave oven. The health dangers could be found to be harmless but it could just as easily be found to be extremely severe. The main issue is that currently knowing nothing about the long term health risks of smart meter RF radiation exposure the government is conducting a very large experiment on millions of the population. A big part of this experiment is completely involuntary as most Texans don’t remember ever being asked if they are okay with  the new smart meters being installed on their homes and paying that extra $5 a month for the luxury of continuous 24 x 7 RF radiation exposure.

Like many of us I choose to still use my cell phone although I use a hands free set and keep that thing as far from my head as I can. When I live in my Tyler Texas home I had no choice on if I would use a smart meter but yet I have one permanently attached on my outside kitchen wall.

Consider that tens of millions of people have smart meters on their homes with potentially 100 times greater cumulative full body exposure from RF radiation than they get from their smart phone. In several years we may find this has led to a sharp increase in cancers but it could also mean we find that it actually produced no cancers and is perfectly safe. Regardless I am still paranoid about smart phone cancer risks and this is only a 45 minute per day exposure risk.

What do I recommend? I would like to keep my smart meter but I would like a retrofit similar to what already comes on my microwave oven. I want to be able to in case or spray on something to my smart meter that keeps RF radiation exposure to 5 milliwatts of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 2 inches from the surface of the smart meter. If a cheap $30 microwave can meet those requirements I  don’t see why we can’t easily make that happen for a smart meter. A word of warning about assuming the risks are not great when it comes to non-ionizing radiation: It took years to understand that with ionizing radiation that comes from disasters like Fukashima there is a latent long term danger from cumulative long term exposure that always results in terminal cancer. We do not yet understand what these latent long term cumulative dangers are for non-ionizing radiation that come from devices like the smart meter which is an always on device. There is always a low ball estimate of risks from governments in order to get the mass public to not worry and accept new policy. If you think the smart meter experiment is a big gamble in Texas consider that China will install over 300 million smart meters by the end of 2015. If there is a cancer risk with smart meters it looks like we will all go down with it at the rapid rate these things are being installed. These risk estimates always go up over time after the public has already accepted the magic device. Go ahead and do what you need to do to protect yourself from exposure by buying an after market product that can assist with this. The good news is that a retrofit is likely very inexpensive and easy to install to block out the radiation although it may require a little sweat.

Tyler Texas Electric Company

Tyler Texas Electric Company

Tyler Texas is one of many East Texas towns that has their electric market deregulated. The positive to a deregulated energy market is the ability choose from multiple companies and rate plans.

The negative aspects are there too but I believe the positives far out weigh the negative. I remember when first moving into my own place in Tyler TX I was asked for an electric deposit from the monopoly electric utility.

I had no established credit and so I had to come up with the extra money. With the ability to choose your electric company in this area you don’t have to settle for paying a really high deposit just because you haven’t established any credit yet.

There are Tyler Texas electric companies that will allow you to order electricity service without having to come up with $300 or more.

The catch is that you will need to sign up with a prepaid light company. A prepaid electricity company is very similar to traditional energy suppliers accept they bill you upfront instead of 30 – 45 days later.

Some prepay light companies will estimate your electric usage based on the size of your home or apartment.

Other Tyler electric suppliers will use an advanced meter and a prepaid device that you slide a prepay card into similar to a credit card.

The device deducts the amount from the card based on your exact electric usage.

If you have a smart advanced meter I recommend choosing a prepaid electric provider that uses one as you only pay for what you use.

The alternative to the smart meter reading is estimated readings which usually are a little higher than your actual electric usage.

There is a company I have seen on TV in Tyler called Apollo Electric that offers prepaid electric service although we do not know much about them.

We have a comparison of a few no deposit prepaid electric providers that service Tyler if you need to search and find a good company with no deposit.

Just use the comparison chart at the top of this page to compare no deposit energy offers in Tyler TX.

Regarding East Texas Electric Cooperatives, Municipalities, and Monopoly Providers

Tyler is unique in that the city is surrounded by electric cooperatives who do not offer energy choice to their customers.

Places like Longview cannot compare competing electric supplier prices because there is only one energy company in this area.

Other electric Coop’s that exist are Cherokee County Coop, Deep East Texas Electric Coop, and East Texas Electric Coop.

Smith County Texas Electric Company Commercial Rate Comparison

In many ways commercial and residential electric rates are the same. The main difference between these two account types are the fact that residential load profiles are all the same.

Electricity providers can offer all the same rate plans no matter the customer when speaking to residential customers because none of them will cross a thresh hold that would increase the cost to the provider significantly.

Commercial businesses vary dramatically in how they use electricity. A large industrial manufacturing or chemical facility uses far more energy and in much different ways than a small smoothie franchise.

Because of variations even between restaurants and retail clothing stores commercial electric rates are priced individually by a provider based on how the business uses their energy.

The tailored made nature of a commercial energy price in Tyler TX usually means a more competitive rate. A stunning exception to this rule is if you have a Tyler church.

Churches will always pay way more for their electricity compared to what they use because of their KW demand. Electric companies charge you for both kilowatt hours used and how much is demanded.

Because a Tyler church demands energy all at once on Sunday they get hit with a large fee for this no matter the electric company they choose. This fee is more of a grid, transmission provider fee than a fee from the retail electric company.

Unfortunately there is no way out of these high cost TDSP fees for churches at this time until the PUCT and ERCOT choose to offer some type of relief to this type of operation as found in a church.

Regardless if you have a church that needs a commercial electric rate comparison or some other type of business we can help facilitate a reverse energy auction for your energy account.

To learn more about this topic and others please call one of our local Tyler TX commercial energy consultants at 1-800-971-4020.

The Smart Meter Website: Irving, Texas Customers Path to Better Electric Management

irving texas electricity pricesIf you are one of the millions of electric customers in Irving, Texas with a smart meter, you can access the smart meter website. The website, SmartMeterTexas.com, is designed to allow customers to manage their electric bills with more precision. If you do not have a smart meter yet, contact your service provider about having one installed. Smart meters are digital meters that replace traditional electric meters. Smart meters have proven to be more accurate than traditional meters.

By combining a smart meter and the smart meter website, you can view your electric usage as often as every 15 minutes. In the future, you will even be able to register certain devices in your home and monitor how much electricity each one uses. You can do all of the monitoring from the comfort of your home or office. All you need to access your private information is your most recent electric bill so you can provide indentifying information.

The smart meter website will allow you to see how much electricity you use. You can then use the information to save money. You can save money by reducing your electric consumption. You probably do not realize just how much electric you use every few minutes. Now, you can see your usage, monitor it, and make changes to save money.

If you want to save even more money, use our comparison chart to compare the electric rates of providers in the Irving, Texas area. You can view the current rates of competing providers. You may even decide to make a switch. Our comparison chart will help you every step of the way. Combined with a smart meter, you can save more money than ever!

Do You Have a Smart Meter in Harlingen, Texas?

harlingen texas electricity pricesThe Public Utility Commission of Texas conducted a study on smart meters. The results were simple: smart meters clearly outshined traditional meters. The study revealed that smart meters were shown to be 99.96% accurate. Compared to an accuracy level of 96% in traditional meters, this is quite a change. Customers also gave positive feedback on the use of smart meters. The question remains: do you have a smart meter in Harlingen, Texas? Or are you still stuck with an outdated traditional meter that might be costing you money?

If you still have a traditional meter, check with your electric service provider about smart meters. In today’s tough economy, every little bit saved helps. A smart meter can make a big difference in the accuracy of your electric usage. Your electric usage is the number used by service providers to calculate your bill. Why pay for electricity if you are not using it? Request a smart meter and see what a difference it might make.

If you already have a smart meter and still want to save money, use our comparison chart to help. Our comparison chart displays the Harlingen, Texas electric service providers. It compares the electric rates of the providers and gives you a chance to evaluate your provider. You may or may not be getting the best rate on your electricity usage. It costs nothing to use our comparison chart and you are never obligated to switch providers. Give it a try and see where your provider stands in comparison to the others!

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

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