When you hear the name “Tesla,” what do you think of? The gas-less electric vehicle? Tesla coils? Tesla was more than an inventor whose namesake went on to brand a sleek electric vehicle; he was a visionary that brought the modern world many useful things. In fact, every electronic device that you plug in inside your home is based on Tesla’s design for electrical energy transmission: alternating current or AC.
Though Thomas Edison, a mentor of Tesla, designed the light bulb, Tesla made the transmission of energy to power the light bulb more efficient. Alternating current reverses the direction of the flow of electrons at regular intervals. Thomas Edison’s method was direct current, or DC. This sends the electrons only in one direction. We still use this method through the use of batteries, but AC is definitely superior.
Among Tesla’s 300 or so patents, he
Texas has been a part of the deregulated energy scene since 2002 when the state opened up the energy market to competition between different Retail Energy Providers (REPs). Since then, Texas has become the most competitive energy market in the world; REPs compete with each other within the state to offer the lowest rates for electricity. Consumers have full control in choosing a REP for themselves, so it incentivizes companies to make the rates as attractive as possible.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) was formed in 1975 and was given the power to preside over electrical energy generation, distribution, and sales. Approximately 60 utilities owned by cities, along with 74 rural electric co-ops managed the distribution of energy coming from five privately owned energy supply companies. These suppliers were responsible for meeting demand through either generating their own electricity or purchasing it through bilateral
It feels good to be the best, doesn’t it? When it comes to deregulated energy, Texas along with Pennsylvania take the top slots for happiest deregulated energy customers. A report that was published by J.D. Power ranked customers’ experience in deregulated markets around the US in an effort to find which markets were doing it right.
The study polled 21,744 individuals in nine different states representing 86 different retail energy providers. Of all of those, Texas and Pennsylvania came out on top with customers in those states. The overall satisfaction improved from the previous two years the study was conducted, and customers were most satisfied with their energy provider in those states. The timing for conducting these studies so long after deregulation has been purposeful. Early on, most customers were switching providers frequently, looking for the best deal. Now, more customers are more apt to hang on to an energy
It may not be a very common occurrence, but sometimes thieves will pose as utility workers and try to scam people out of money. Sometimes they call a customer, sometimes they show up at your door. Regardless of how they try to manipulate you, don’t fall for any tricks.
You will receive written documentation regarding any payments that you owe to any electricity provider or utility. If someone calls to get you to pay a bill over the phone, it is likely a scam. You can contact your retail energy provider or local utility and verify the identity of anyone that calls you as well as determine if there are any outstanding payments on your account. Similarly, if anyone comes to your home posing as a utility representative, ask them to show a company ID. Anyone working for a local utility would have a company
Autumn is here, and that means it’s time for Halloween decorations, pumpkin spice flavored everything, and some cooler weather. If you aren’t looking forward to the cooler weather and how it affects your energy bills, there are some things you can do to cut back on your energy use and save some money. Buttoning up your home for the cold months will mean a lot of energy savings, and most ways to cut back on wasted energy won’t cost you anything in the process.
The sun is your best friend in the autumn and winter months. Open up the blinds and curtains on windows facing south and west to let in as much light as possible. The sunlight will help warm up your home during the day, but once it gets time to set, close the blinds and curtains. Closing the blinds and curtains does
The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, makes sure that the electricity grid is properly managed and will be able to meet the needs of all electric customers. There are different levels of energy requirements between the summer and winter, particularly in the South where the winters can be cool, but the summers can be very hot. According to ERCOT, there are enough energy reserves to meet the needs of Texas for the duration of autumn and winter.
To predict the energy needs of the coming seasons, ERCOT calls on data from fall weather patterns for October and November between the years of 2002 and 2013. Using this data, they can look at consistent trends and determine the average energy needed to sustain the power grid. They also plan for contingencies involving high power demand and forced outages. By taking these more extreme scenarios into account,
All of our thoughts and actions are the results of electrical impulses in our brains, travelling along nerves to muscles all over our body. Just typing the words in this blog results from thousands upon thousands of little electric impulses causing the muscles to expand and contract, forming precise, deft movements (when they don’t make typos) that allow a person to type. These electrical impulses are just like any other electrical charge you’d find in the world outside our bodies. From batteries to natural gas plants, hand crank generators to wind turbines. What if we could harness that energy?
All of the electrical impulses in our body, like that in a battery, come from chemical energy. Take the heart, for example. The cells of the heart (specifically, SA node cells) contain potassium at their center. Outside of a membrane barrier, there is sodium and calcium. As
Switching from coal and natural gas to wind and solar power would save a lot of carbon emissions from polluting the atmosphere. We could also save a lot of wasted energy by making the power grid more efficient. One of the easiest ways to do this wouldn’t even require a huge investment from government subsidies or the energy sector. So how can we make it more efficient without spending a lot of money? Light bulbs.
Energy Efficiency through Better Technology
LEDs have been taking over the energy scene. Recent advancements in LED technology has allowed bulb makers to create common household bulbs that match the color of incandescent bulbs while providing more light for less wattage. The average 60 watt incandescent bulb produces around 800 lumens of light and lasts about 1,200 hours. An LED bulb that produces 800 lumens consumes about 12.5 watts and lasts 25,000
There has been a push recently to get more people to switch to electric vehicles to reduce the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere from vehicle emissions. This is a fantastic idea to reduce emissions, but it only really works if we switch to greener energy for the power grid. Even if we aren’t producing harmful emissions from our vehicles, they are taking power from the local grid to recharge, and if that power is coming from coal fired plants, the cars are indirectly producing emissions still.
President Obama has announced the Clean Power Plan, which hopes to reduce 2005 carbon dioxide emission levels by 32% by the year 2030. The majority of the nation’s power comes from coal-fired power plants, which produce a significantly high volume of carbon dioxide emissions. China is the only nation that surpasses the United States for coal based energy
Lowering your energy bills may seem like a daunting task, considering just how much electricity we use daily. There are a lot of ways to reduce the sticker shock you get when you open up your bill, including making your home more energy efficient, reducing electrical waste, and auditing your energy provider. Unplugging your electronic devices and appliances is a good way to start cutting back on energy waste, but what else can you do?
1. Home Heating and Cooling – Your heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system is the biggest draw on your electricity bill, accounting for about half of your bill. Summers down south can be especially brutal on your bill when the AC needs to run constantly. If your HVAC system is over a decade old, it’s time to upgrade. Technology makes pretty steady leaps forward, and 10 years is a decent leap. Newer