Findings of a study commissioned by the Texas Clean Energy Coalition were recently released. The report stated that Texas can slash power demand by 50 percent by implementing new energy efficiency and demand response programs. The new demand response programs could cap the use of power during peak times. If the new measures are implemented, it could lower electric bills and possibly eliminate the need to build more generating capacity.
Included in Demand Response Programs are agreements with electricity consumers to curtail their energy use during peak hours. This is usually done in exchange for price breaks or lower rates. Energy Efficiency would include measures such as upgrading to more efficient lighting and air conditioners.
The report also included projections on energy efficiency initiatives. It was projected that the state could experience a 4 percent drop of carbon emissions by 2032 with the implementation of demand response and consumer energy efficiency programs.
The extreme cold in Texas and the loss of two power stations caused some customers to lose their energy service. However, when it was time to bring customers back on-line, the power companies had to bring customers back on-line one line at a time. While this was great for the customers who were brought back first, there were many who had to wait hours before their electricity was restored.
This worrisome trend in power outages has Texas wondering if it can afford to have another power shortage or outage. Entergy is the energy provider in question, and they are looking at changes to their processes to ensure that every customer can be brought back on-line safely. However, these changes can only do so much. There is still a large demand for energy when the temperatures are so low.
While outages can be avoided through conservation of energy by customers, there is no guarantee that the power companies can keep up if another outage hits.
The Texas Public Utilities Commission is asking homeowners to pitch in to help control the costs of home energy. While the commission knows what utility companies are doing to put out energy, they feel that customers must be sure to take steps at home to cut down on the home heating costs in the state. Energy markets are driven by demand, and if homeowners were to demand too much power, the grid would crash.
The commission is offering to give homeowners weather audits, weatherization tips, and other services to ensure that energy usage is not too high. The commission also notes that homeowners can still put weatherstripping around their windows and doors as well as setting their thermostat to a consistent and moderate temperature.
The commission hopes that tips such as replacing furnace filters and turning down hot water heaters will help homeowners save money, conserve energy and keep the Texas power grid safe from overuse.
If you’ve ever gotten a bill from Pacific Gas and Electric, but you don’t have service with Pacific Gas and Electric, then you were solicited by one of the newest scams out there. Customers are being sent fake bills and correspondence from PG&E asking for personal information in a new scam that has hit the marketplace.
The Better Business Bureau has been receiving complaints about PG&E and CPS Energy in San Antonio. Therefore, the scam has been passing through the South of Texas for a few months. Customers must beware of the construction of emails that seem phishy.
If the email states that the customer:
- Is about to lose their service,
- Must enter personal information into a form,
- Or must submit an extra payment to keep their power on,
the customer is likely being targeted by one of these fraudsters. Consumers are encouraged to be on the lookout for scams and be guarded with their personal information.
Texas customer of Xcel Energy can expect a rate increase in their next bill. Over the last 18 months, Xcel Energy has invested over $350 million in new power lines, stations and generators. Because of this, Xcel believes it needs more income to help continue with its expansion.
The agreement that has been proposed would raise the average power bill by $10.94, but that would bring an extra $52.7 million to the Xcel Energy coffers.
Xcel has asked that the first rate increase happen March first while the remainder of the increase would happen in June. This means that half of the rate increase would happen during the hottest part of the year.
Even though the rate increases are forthcoming, Xcel is still one of the cheapest energy solutions around. They consistently rank low in customer pricing while providing energy to millions in and around Texas. Perhaps their expansion can help more people get lower-cost energy.