Source Secure: Short-Term vs. Long-Term Fixed Rate Electricity Plans

The price of energy is constantly changing every day; if you have an indexed or variable rate plan, you will notice this change every month because your rate will go up or down monthly. Unfortunately, events such as hurricanes can have a negative effect on these plans, driving rates up quickly. By switching to a fixed rate electricity plan like a Source Secure Fixed, you can avoid these kinds of spikes.

Fixed rate plans lock in your rate from the time you sign up with the plan to when your contract expires. You have the power to choose either a short or a long term fixed rate plan. But which one is better? A fixed rate means you continue paying the same energy rate whether the market goes up or down. Short-term fixed rate plans allow you to lock in a low rate, but give you ample

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Breaking Down Deregulation in Texas: Your Rights as A Customer

Deregulation in Texas has brought about an age of choice. Most consumers in the state of Texas now have the power to choose their energy provider and energy plan for their home or business. The Your Rights as a Customer (YRAC) document is required to be provided by every energy provider to a customer when the customer signs up with them for service. This document was created by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), and it mandates what terms and conditions are applied to the plans that are made available by the retail energy provider (REP). The entire document is available under the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 25, Subchapter R, Subsection 25.475. The 13-page document may seem a bit overwhelming, so we’ll break down a few sections for you.

First and foremost, all terms and conditions, electricity facts labels (EFLs), marketing materials, communications, and YRACs must

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Fixed Rate Plan: The Best Time to Lock In Your Energy Rate

If you’re looking to choose an electricity provider, you may be wondering when the best time to switch to a fixed rate plan is. The market rates are constantly changing every day and that has an effect on the price you pay per kilowatt hour. Certain months see higher energy usage, and those months would have higher rates. By contrast, there are certain months that see lower rates than the rest of the year. So when is the best time to exercise your electric choice and shop for an electricity provider that provides a fixed rate plan?

To understand which time is the best for switching, you need to understand how the market fluctuates. Certain events like hurricanes and shale drilling accidents can drive prices up at any time of year; otherwise, demand follows a pretty regular pattern. In the winter, energy demand is extremely high because

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Light Bulbs – The Biggest Bang for Your Buck

If you still have incandescent bulbs in your home, it’s definitely time for a change. Those old light bulbs consume a lot of electricity for the amount of light they produce, making them extremely inefficient. If you want to streamline your energy use, save yourself some money, and even keep your home feeling more comfortable (yes, lights affect that), read on.

Incandescent bulbs use a wire filament that glows when sufficient electricity courses through it. For the average light bulb, that’s about 60 watts. About 90% of the energy consumed by these bulbs is emitted as heat. The other 10% produces about 800 lumens of light. The heat radiated from these bulbs actually causes your air conditioner to work harder in the summer. The AC tries to compensate for the extra heat and runs longer than it typically would. By switching to a more energy efficient bulb,

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Breaking Down Deregulation in Texas: Lingo Cheat Sheet

Do you have an auto-pay plan? Have you ever experienced a discontinuance? Been a victim of slamming or cramming?

If you’re unfamiliar with the previous terms, it may be time to brush up on your energy lingo. There are a lot of terms associated with the energy market, especially since deregulation came into effect for many parts of Texas in 2002. So if you need a refresher course on deregulation in Texas (or maybe even a beginner one), here are the most common terms about electric choice that consumers need to know.

Auto-Pay / Auto-Debit
An account set up with an auto-pay or auto-debit feature means that every billing cycle, your bank account will be debited for the amount of electricity you consumed during that cycle.

Base Charge
This is a flat, monthly charge that is applied to your bill for the cost of providing

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15 Energy Saving Tips to Help Lower Your Electricity Bill

If you’re looking to save some money on energy consumption this summer, we have some tips to share with you. These energy saving tips will help you save on electricity, which will in turn allow you to keep more green in your wallet. We will cover everything, from vampire electronics to best practices with your air conditioning and lighting.

1. Even when an electronic device or appliance is turned off, it continues to draw electricity. Eliminate energy vampires! Unplug electrical cables from wall outlets to stop the flow of electricity through them.

2. A great way to shut off the flow to multiple devices at a time is by plugging them into a power strip.

3. Maintaining your air conditioner (AC) will prolong its life and keep it running at peak efficiency. It should be tuned up every

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Roll Call! Learn About the Players in Texas Electricity

Before Texas became deregulated in the energy market, utilities ruled. They would set the prices for residential and business electricity plans, and there was no way to avoid paying their rates without moving to a location with a different utility. Beginning in 2002, the energy market was deregulated, splitting up the roles of various parts of the market. Generation facilities, utilities, retail energy providers, PUCT, and ERCOT emerged to manage Texas electricity.

Generation Facilities

Generation facilities are the places that actually generate electricity. They could be coal-fired power plants, nuclear plants, or wind farms. Utilities manage the power lines that send electricity from the generation facilities to your home or business. Retail energy providers, or REPs, purchase shares of electricity from the generation facilities and sell the electricity to you. Despite being “deregulated,” the energy market is still closely monitored for fraudulent activity. That’s where the PUCT

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Shopping Around for a New Texas Electricity Provider

In 2002, the great state of Texas became deregulated. That means that Texas electricity can be purchased from different residential electricity suppliers. The competition between the various suppliers has served to lower the cost of electricity. Legacy providers, the companies that supplied electricity prior to deregulation, can no longer set the price where they want it. They have to adjust along with the market to keep active.

Legacy Providers: Overpaying for Energy and the Fear of Switching

Many people may have stayed with their legacy provider, even after deregulation came into effect. It was much simpler to stick with what you knew rather than try to understand the vast scope of all these competing businesses vying for your business. Unfortunately, legacy providers tend to have higher prices for their electricity and as such, sticking with them means overpaying for the electricity you use.

One of the reasons

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16 Energy Efficient Tips for College Students Going Back to School

College can be a costly necessity of life, and if you or someone you know is headed away from home to attend a university, share these energy efficient tips with them to help keep their electricity costs down. These tips can easily be implemented and most of them are free, which will be sure to please even the most frugal, ramen noodles-every-night student.

1. If you’re going to be leaving a room for more than 10 minutes, shut off any electrical appliances in the room.

2. Unplug appliances that will not be in use for more than an hour. This can include DVD players and televisions, or even coffee makers and toasters. Electrical appliances continually drain electricity, even when they are off; that includes phone and tablet chargers.

3. Shut off any lights that are not being used.

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Show Them Who’s the Boss – Beat the Heat!

No, we’re not talking about San Antonio’s domination of the Miami Heat. We’re talking about the heat that has your outdoor thermostat boiling and your energy bills skyrocketing! Summers in the south can be brutal, especially in areas with triple-digit temperatures and high humidity. Keep cool however you can, whether it’s by visiting locations with air conditioning, or building your own air conditioner for your home (we’ll tell you how!).

Simple Ways to Beat the Heat

First and foremost, stay hydrated! When you sweat, your body loses moisture. If you lose too much moisture, you will become dehydrated, which could lead to hospitalization. The general recommendation is to drink eight glasses of water per day, but on hot and humid days, you will want to increase that if you’re not in an air-conditioned location. Drinking sports drinks that contain electrolytes will replace minerals in your body that

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