Texas, let’s move forward together.
Posted On: February 19, 2021
The people of Texas have shown incredible levels of courage and hope in the face of dire circumstances, recently. While we recover from what has shaken us, following February’s winter storm, we're committed to providing some helpful information and support. Together, we can navigate the aftermath of the storm.
You’re protected from wholesale power price swings.
You can take comfort in knowing that our residential fixed-rate and month-to-month plans are not tied to real-time market prices, protecting you from wholesale power price swings. This means you won’t see a rate increase for February usage in your next bill because of the winter storm. If you used more energy than normal to heat your home during the severe cold, you could see an increase in usage costs.
We’re here to stay.
For more than 15 years, we’ve been proud to serve as a trusted name in retail electricity. Our doors are open, and we aren’t at risk of going out of business or having any of our customers rolled onto a Provider of Last Resort (POLR). One thing’s for certain, and that is you can trust us to continue to be here for you.
Concerned about your bill and electricity usage? We have answers.
If you use electricity to heat your home and water, energy usage can be very high during extremely cold weather, even if outages occur. When power is out for an extended period of time, and then restored, your home may struggle to warm back up, which can cause your electric furnace to run continuously. Electric furnaces in winter can consume three to four times the energy that a comparable air conditioner consumes in summer, even without a power interruption. Similarly, if you have an electric water heater, it can potentially use lots of extra energy to heat water during periods of extreme cold.
Your home doesn’t have to have central heat to have consumed a large amount of energy. Space heaters can consume 1500 watts per hour or more. If, for example, you have three or four space heaters running 24 hours a day for a few days of extreme cold, usage adds up quickly. 1500 watts x 4 heaters = 144,000 watts per day or 144 Kwhs.
Weather impacts a home’s energy usage more than any other external factor. When the weather is colder, our homes are likely to consume more energy — especially when we experience record-setting low temperatures for several days in a row.
Here are a few simple ways you can reduce winter energy usage.
Setting the thermostat too high during a cold snap leads to more energy usage. Every degree your thermostat is set above 68 may increase heating costs by 3–5%. If you notice your home isn’t heating evenly and your furnace is running all day, your unit might need service, or you may need extra insulation. Contact a professional for help with repairs. You’ll also find more energy-saving tips below.
If you’re having trouble with your bill, we can help.
This winter storm has placed some unexpected financial hardships on many Texans. If you feel that the extra strain has put you at risk of being unable to pay your electricity bill, contact us as soon as you can to discuss potential payment options.
Try these tips to help the recovery process.
While the worst is behind us, there’s much to do to move forward from the storm. Here are a few conservation and safety tips you can follow while you navigate the recovery process.
- Don’t let the heat out. Check for and seal any air leaks around doors and windows to reduce the amount of electricity it takes your HVAC system to keep you comfortable.
- Check your water heater. Turn the thermometer on your water heater down to 120 degrees.
- Plan for the future. Stock up on nonperishable foods and backup power sources and establish how you’ll contact loved ones if communications are interrupted.
- Restock your emergency kit. If you haven’t restocked your home emergency kit, or if you need to build one, here’s a guide to ensuring you have what you need: https://www.ready.gov/kit.
- Call a licensed plumber. If you’re dealing with burst pipes, you can find a licensed plumber in your area by visiting the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.
- Document your damage. Make sure to get good photos of the damage done to your home as a result of the storm.
- Help is available. For shelters or community assistance programs, call 311 (if you live in Houston) or 211 (if you live elsewhere in Texas).
For more tips, visit our energy-saving tips page.
There’s still support for you.
Texas, as we recover from the extreme temperatures we faced in February, we want you to know that we’re committed to your wellbeing. We’ll do everything in our power to keep you up-to-date and current as information unfolds. You can contact us with any questions and concerns you may have. And remember, we’re committed to you.