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Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:54

Devastation

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The devastation that comes with a disaster or major event where lives are lost or property damaged, sad as they are, is an opportunity to course-correct. Hard times give people a chance to see what went right and what didn’t, what system needs an overhaul, and what worked well. With the increased amount of natural and manmade disasters that seem to be prevalent in the country, part of the aftermath includes people questioning whether their service providers are the best choice. As the regions affected dealt with deaths, loss of power, homes washed away, and cars missing, Texas electricity providers worked overtime in attempts to conserve power and avoid blackouts. In the wake of Super Storm Sandy, many people realized what plenty already knew; the U.S. electricity grid is in desperate need of an upgrade. Given that it has been well over 60 years since the current system was put into place, the increase in population, technology, and even pollution have made the case for a more effective power disbursement system to be implemented.

One of the things that the state of Texas leads the pack in is the usage of their power grid structure and system. Texas electricity market has successfully been using a separate and dedicated grid since the deregulation. Consumers, since the switch have been offered a choice of what provider they want to use for their electrical needs. There now exists a plethora of reliable providers in the state. No longer are you given your provider information upon moving in and stripped of the ability to shop and compare providers. Now, when you need to begin power, Texans have the ability to choose from providers based on their usage need, reputation, prices, and personal preference. This option and ability to choose extends to homeowners and business owners alike.

Some of the storm aftermath work and discussion occurring is that of finding and bringing alternatives to Texas that would help avoid or dramatically decrease power outages. Since the government decided to deregulate electricity, the proposed increase in competition, which was supposed to

lower prices, has proved to be an arduous task. The increase of alternative power resources has added to the conversation as now, solar power, wind, and renewable energy are viable options. Those who have investments in the industry or consult on the topic fear an inadequate supply may be eminent as soon as 2015 due to the flawed market.

The diversification of the market in Texas has mostly been a positive for those involved. Texas electricity ratings are in place to aid consumers in understanding the market and to make informed choices and use the company that best fits their electricity needs. The competition being so widespread through Texas now has allowed consumers to capitalize on lower prices and be confident that they are paying for only what they need and not stuck in a long-term contract that fails to meet their needs. As a home and/or business owner, you owe it to yourself to find out what your options are, compare them, and choose the company that fits your need.

Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:47

Saving Money

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When it comes to saving money, your home’s electric bill can be an area where a few minutes of attention spent, could equate to money saved. The summer months, while fun and exciting, can be a quite costly few months for some. However, there are some tips, and inexpensive things you can do around your home to cut your electricity bill down. Whether you plan to travel much during your summer for vacations, or if stay-cations are the plan, below are ways to reduce your monthly electric bill.

Be proactive
With the summer comes heat and with heat comes the desire and need to cool the home. Prior to the season arriving and the peak season as is called by those in the service industry, take a full inspection of your home and cooling units. Inspect your home for any cracks or places air may seem to escape, ensure all windows are fully functional and have a tight seal around them. Check that doors leading to outside, attics, and basements close tightly without allowing air to flow freely underneath as those least-used areas of the house don’t warrant being cooled. For any places you find that allow cool air to escape, seal them. Whether the spot requires a window replacement, caulking to seal gaps, or a door extender to block air from flowing underneath, those small and quick fixes equal money saved. Along with fixes, start conditioning your family now, if they don’t already to unplug anything not in use. Appliances, electronics, chargers that remain in sockets when not being used use energy called phantom power. An open current continues to run through them and costs money even when not in use.

Inspect the air-conditioning units that will be working during the summer and clean the filters in them. Ensure the unit you have is the appropriate size for the space it will be used in so you aren’t wasting money using a large unit to cool a small room. Cracks, leaks, stripped chords, these are issues you may need to seek HVAC servicing for, but again, service performed early enough before the peak season is considerably less money than a middle of the summer fix.

Use alternatives
Energy saving appliances, if you are in the market, are great choices to help save money. On days that the heat is just enough to be uncomfortable, take advantage of window, ceiling, and standing fans. Fans cool people, not spaces, so if you’re going to be sitting still for a while, use of a fan can save you money. Keep as much sunlight out as possible as this helps to keep rooms cooler. Blinds, curtains, and sunshades are a cost effective way to cut down on the need for air conditioning and save money.

Saving money on energy is great for your budget and savings, and is good for the environment. Take some time today and walk through your home and check out ways you can save money on your electric bill.

Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:45

Guidelines for finding good electricity provider

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While deciding upon the most suitable electricity provider does require you to take some efforts in the right direction which you could do so by checking out your neighbourhood and their electricity provider. Following which you could ascertain the rates and other charges which are charged by them. On basis of the reviews you receive from your neighbours you could finalise your electricity provider.

The number of electrical appliances used by your family and the number of members in your family also influence your electricity consumption. This is another most important and decisive factor is the electricity consumption of your family.
In case your energy requirement is for both electricity and gas, you could check out the dual fuel offers as well. Most energy companies offer dual fuel offers which ensure you save money all the way while you consume both the energies.

Most electricity providers have a web presence as well. You could always log on to the Internet and get latest information on the same. At the same time you could compare the offers of most of them and get yourself the best deal. There are umpteen number of comparison sites which offer to do the same for you. They also provide you with latest information and updates happening in the electricity sector and help you to strike the best energy deal for yourself.

If you are environment conscious, you could even go for a plan which allows you to use green energy ensuring your carbon emissions are negligible or almost nil. Most electricity providers do not charge anything extra for supplying green energy.
With the recent trend of smart monitoring of electricity consumption by installation of electricity monitors, you can easily monitor the electricity used by you as frequently as you can – daily, weekly and monthly basis. It is very much likely that these electricity monitors are offered free to their customers. Also, most energy providers provide valuable suggestions and tips on reducing your electricity consumption on a regular basis.
With ample electricity providers present, there are many customer friendly plans put forth by them, each of these providers offer a certain level of customer support and service, keeping these criteria in mind you could easily zero down to the most suitable service provider which value for money electricity as well as services.

Article by Christian

Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:42

Shocking Facts on Electrical Safety

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When it comes to electrical safety, many people in commercial, service and light industrial sectors view their workplaces as low risk environments where their safety is not at risk. Unfortunately, electrical shock accidents in the workplace are increasingly common in all work environments; not just in construction and heavy industrial settings. In fact, between 1997 and 2003 the workplace became the primary environment for electrical shock accidents!

Rural Infrastructure and Services
Identifying electrical hazards and effectively addressing them to prevent accidents that could cause injuries and/or property damage is essential. You may have even noticed some of the most commonly occurring electrical hazards in your workplace without recognizing them as such. For example, lights that flicker, switches or receptacles that are warm to the touch, extension cords not rated for the equipment to which they're connected, frayed or cracked wires, a slight burning odour coming from panels or transformers or equipment such as computers and photocopiers left on for extended periods of time when not in use.

Though these conditions seem relatively harmless, the fact is that they represent a serious risk of electrical shock or fire; a risk that can and should be prevented. How? By taking a common sense approach that includes:

1. Employee Training
Ensure all employees have taken the appropriate safety training relative to the work that they do; a wide range of training in electrical safety is available through the Electrical Safety Authority and other sources.

2. Awareness
In Ontario, any electrical product sold, displayed, or connected to a source of power must be approved by a recognized certification agency. Any electrical product that is not approved by such an agency may be unsafe and could pose a serious electrical shock and/or fire hazard. Inexpensive extension cords are a primary example; many imported items such as these are not certified to Canadian safety standards and should not be used.

3. Inspections
Electrical Inspections are required for all new electrical equipment installations and for the electrical maintenance of existing electrical installations. Ensure that all work is performed by a licensed electrician as mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

4. Planned Maintenance
Stop trouble before it starts! Plan electrical maintenance checks for all systems including production, HVAC and others; this not only helps to minimize risk it can also minimize costs by reducing emergency electrical services, electrical maintenance requirements and expensive, avoidable repairs.

Article by : Wolfedale Electric

Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:29

Electricity Deregulation in Texas

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Eleven years ago the face of electricity and its regulations in Texas changed forever. As the second largest state in the country, the deregulation of electricity for the state was long overdue. Senator David Sibley began the process in 1999 and first introduced the legislation. In January 1, 2002, with the passing of Texas Senate Bill 7, energy consumers would now be offered the chance to choose their electricity provider. Prior to the passing of the bill, the electricity in Texas was a monopoly, with one company handling everything. Now, the selling of, servicing, and billing of accounts are handled by different power companies, which give customers choices as to which companies best serve their needs.

The changes, which have rolled out slowly since 2002, have seen numerous Texans switching to a new company. Both residential and business customers are now offered choices of retail electricity providers (R.E.P.) and can save money. The R.E.P. do not own and wires, the incumbent utility still owns and maintains local power lines. However, the dispersal of companies handling the billing, selling, and accounts management has meant a healthy competition that has benefited consumers. There now exist over a hundred R.E.P. that handle the disbursements of accounts, management, and billing to consumers.

As the largest electricity market in the country, Texas’ decision to deregulate was a large one. The state has the highest electricity consumption in the nation, $24 billion a year. Consumers and legislators alike wanted to regulate electricity in hopes of lowering energy prices. Since the law has gone into effect about 40% of residential consumers and 85% of businesses have switched providers at least once. For consumers, the options of providers and the enrollment perks they offer are worth the effort in shopping around. The law has also seen the installment and usage of ‘smart meters’ in more than three quarters of Texas’ homes and businesses. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. They provide a way of measuring site-specific information and allow providers to introduce different prices for consumption based on the time of day and the season.

Texas is one of the fastest growing states in the nation and welcome hundreds of new residents yearly. With the presence of a new generation and multiple sources of natural energy being explored, deregulation will open doors for newer and ongoing legislation.

The market for growth and the attraction of other companies to make Texas part of their energy efforts has increased with the deregulation. The law has accomplished an additional goal of attracting competitors to the market. According to the state senate office, the profitable and growing Texas electricity market has drawn considerable investment by wind-turbine companies. In July 2006, Texas surpassed California in wind energy production.
Electricity bills throughout the nation continue to rise and government and companies continue to invest millions into finding and generating new sources of energy. Renewable energy, fuel-efficient cars, and solar screens will continue to permit customers and the state to save money for both the country and consumers.

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