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finding the cheapest electric rate often requires you to know your average monthly usage. By reading the fine print of your contract, and by understanding past usage from previous bills, you can find the cheapest energy rate that applies to your actual usage level. Find your true costs at ComparePower today.
Some ads are too good to be true. Utility providers often advertise rates that the average consumer won’t qualify for. Be sure to read the fine print, and make sure your power costs are those you expected.

If you don’t know your average monthly kWh usage, then you may be paying more on your electric bill than you originally thought you would when you signed up.

The average kWh usage level refers to the typical amount of energy your household consumes in a given month.  Electric providers commonly charge different monthly rates and fees related to the usage level your household falls into.  500 kWh, 1000 kWh, or 2000 kWh.

Don’t be caught off-guard. The best way to ensure you aren’t overpaying is to first start by understanding your household’s usage. Keep your power costs as low as possible by knowing this information when shopping around for your electric plan.

Why It Matters

Energy suppliers often advertise the rates associated with their highest usage level, as those tend to be the lowest prices offered. However, these companies neglect to mention that the average household rarely consumes enough power in a given month to qualify for these cheap rates, leaving you paying more.  In fact, the average household in Texas consumes between 1200-1500 kwh of electricity per month.  Some apartment dwellers, may use far less, while some larger homes may use far more. But given that the average usage is less than the rates advertised at the highest tier of 2000 kwh, many people are left with a higher bill than they anticipated.

Here is an example from a real Electricity Facts Label (EFL).  While this rate is clearly a very good deal for a household that uses 2000kwh, it is not at all appealing for those using under 800 kwh monthly (that’s the cutoff level for this particular plan’s $9.95 usage charge).  It’s a natural tendency for providers to advertise their lowest rate, so it’s important that as a consumer, you are aware of the issue at hand and are armed with the knowledge on what to look for.

This real EFL Snapshot shows why it's so vitally important you understand your usage and shop accordingly. 500kwh households will pay 11.4c, nearly 35% more than 2000kwh households, for the same plan!
This real EFL Snapshot shows why it’s so vitally important you understand your usage and shop accordingly. 500kwh households will pay 11.4 cents per kwh, nearly 35% more than 2000kwh households (8.4 cents), for the same plan!

Don’t be misled by tricky advertising. Take the time now to do your due diligence, and you will save loads more on your power costs in the future. There are even options available to consumers to make this whole process simpler. Using our electric rate comparison portal instead of shopping directly with each individual provider can make selecting an electricity plan fast and easy. ComparePower lists the average prices at 500, 1000, and 2000 kwh usage, including fees and taxes, so you can see the true rate that will appear on your bill.

Calculate Your Monthly kWh Usage

Kilowatt-hours (kWh), usage levels, low-consumption fees – all the industry jargon is enough to make you want to tear your hair out. You shouldn’t have to be an electrical engineer to know how much you are going to spend each month on power costs.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average US residence in 2011 consumed 940 kWh per month.

Here are a few more statistics to help you calculate your energy consumption:

  • A 2-ton central air conditioner uses 1450 kWh/month
  • A typical water heater used by a 4-person household consumes 310 kWh/month
  • A dishwasher uses 30 kWh/month
  • An oven range uses 58 kWh/month
  • A microwave uses 16 kWh/month
  • A 17-20 cubic foot refrigerator-freezer uses 205 kWh/month
  • A washing machine uses 9 kWh/month
  • A dryer uses 75 kWh/month
  • Lighting for a 4-5 room residence uses 50 kWh/month
  • A television set uses 27 kWh/month

(The above statistics are all based on average home use)

Back to you…

If you have access to some previous bills, use that to help determine which usage level you should be shopping rates at.  It really can make a world of difference in the effective rate you end up paying for energy.  We have observed many plans advertised at very competitive 2000kwh prices end up costing more than 35% higher for users at the 500kwh usage level.  

Be smart – grab those previous electric bills, figure out your average usage, and shop at your average usage level accordingly.  This alone could save you hundred of dollars a year, and is quite possibly the most important aspect of shopping for electricity.

save money on energy and find you cheapest electric rate
Saving on energy costs is easier than cutting back in many other areas of your lifestyle. Implement these 5 best practices to start saving money for your household without having to pinch pennies.

Texas is a huge state with diverse weather conditions across its many regions. But there’s something every resident of the state deals with…

 

The insane heat during the summer.

Cooling your home is a huge portion of your monthly electricity bill, so here are some ways to reduce the amount of money you spend on electricity every month.

 

Here are 5 quick ways to quickly realizing energy cost savings:

 

1. Find a Cheaper Energy Provider

For those of you in deregulated energy markets, there are hundreds of options available for consumers to choose your energy provider. Depending on the plan you choose, you might be paying more than your neighbor for access to the same source of electricity.

ComparePower is the go to tool for customers to find energy plans that are the best for their situation. No gimmicks, no sales, just information.

Simple navigation makes comparing available plans for your region a breeze. With a single click, every important document – Electricity Fact Labels, Terms of Service, and Your Rights as a Customer – are all in front of you in one place.

There are countless ways to improve your energy efficiency at home, but if you want to make your electricity bill cheaper in one rapid, hard hitting move, it might be more efficient to consider switching your provider in favor of a cheaper electric plan. Find out more today at ComparePower and start saving sooner.

 

2. Weather Stripping

One of the best and easiest ways to keep your house cool is to prevent air from getting in or out.

Spending all that energy on air-conditioning doesn’t do much if that conditioned air leaves your house.

A common way to prevent this is by weather-stripping your windows and doors. Installing pre-weatherstripped doors and windows can have benefits beyond insulation, including water-damage prevention and keeping entry-ways cleaner.

 

3. Thermostat Management

Tiny variations in your thermostat can make a huge difference in the cost of your electricity bill.

On the hottest days, most people crank up the AC, which accounts for most expensive energy bills.

Though it may take some willpower, keeping the thermostat above 78 degrees will greatly reduce your energy use. For every degree of difference over 78, your AC has to use almost 5% more energy!

 

4. Window Treatments

In Texas, the sun can fry an egg.

Installing shades, blinds, or other types of window treatments is a great way to keep the hot sun from your cool den.

The most effective place for window treatments are on windows that face South or West, where the sun lingers the longest. Preventing the sun from getting in can be more useful than fighting its effects.

 

5. LED or Fluorescent Bulbs

Another great way to keep your electricity bill down is to change the type of lighting you use at home.

Low-wattage light fixtures have a two-fold benefit: they use less energy and create less heat. Fluorescent and LED  lights are designed with energy efficiency in mind, so switching the type of bulb you use at home can bring the temperature and overall electricity use down.

 

What do you think? Let us know!

Have you personally implemented any of these “best practices” for saving on your energy consumption?  What else have you done to lower your power costs?  Let us know with an email. We’d love to hear from you!