How to Lower Electric Bill in Texas: A Complete Guide on How to Lower Your Electric Bill
Electricity can be expensive, and your monthly bill is downright jaw-dropping.
It’s happened to us all—the unexpected statement that makes us stop and wonder, “When did my electricity get so expensive?”
We have seen and heard it all. From unexpected charges to an unannounced spike in the per kWh charge.
But why does this happen, and how can you find ways to reduce your electric bill in Texas?
In this guide, we’ll share how to lower your electric bill without having to sacrifice your lifestyle.
On this page:
8 Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill
Paying more than you have to for electricity is painful. You work hard for your money, and the last thing you want to do is miss out on a dinner out, or a night at the movies because your electric bill is sucking you dry.
So, how can you maintain your quality of life and avoid living in the dark to save money?
We’ve compiled a list of 8 simple ways to reduce your monthly electric expense and help you avoid googling “how to lower electric bill” for the hundredth time.
#1: Use a Programmable Thermostat
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), heating and cooling a home accounts for an average of 42% of the yearly energy expenditures.
You read that right.
Nearly half of your electricity bill is a result of your heating and cooling costs. But what can be done about that?
Consider using a programmable thermostat.
When used a programmable thermostat has been shown to save as much as 10% on the heating and cooling portion of your electricity bill. That’s huge.
A programmable thermostat allows homeowners to adjust their heating and cooling options to fit their lifestyle.
For example, if you’re not home during the day, there is no reason to have your central AC set to the most comfortable temperature. You can save a lot of energy by raising the temperature a few degrees while you’re not home, or while you’re sleeping.
In contrast, this works for keeping your house cooler during those winter months when you’re at work, or asleep.
Even when used with older heating and cooling appliances, a programmable thermostat is a good option. However, we do recommend investing in an Energy Star HVAC system when the time is right.
#2 Replace Your Air Filter
The air filter is an important part of the functionality of your heating and cooling system, and when it becomes dirty it can reduce the efficiency of the appliance.
Designed to trap…
- Pollen; and
… your air filter plays an important role in the cleanliness of the air in your home.
In addition to maintaining good air quality, regularly changing your air filter will ensure that your system is:
- Working optimally
- Wasting precious energy by working harder than required.
Not sure when you should be changing your filter?
Based on the width of your filter, every 3 to 12 months is ideal.
But there are some telltale signs that your filter needs replacing, including:
- More dust in your home than usual
- The filter is visibly dirty
- A burning smell when your furnace kicks in
- The heating/cooling system is running more often than usual
Set a reminder to help you remember when it’s time for a new filter, or replace it sooner if you notice any of the above signs that it’s time for a change.
#3 Check Doors and Windows For Leaks
The last thing you want is for that hard-earned cool—or hot—air leaving your home unknowingly and costing you more than necessary. Not to mention, letting that unwanted hot—or cold—air into your home.
Taking the time to check your windows and doors for air leaks is essential in keeping your cool or hot air in.
Replace any broken seals and add weatherstripping and caulking, as needed, to prevent heat loss and increase the overall comfort of your home.
#4 Make Sure Your Appliances Are Working Properly
One surefire drain on your electricity is an appliance that isn’t working properly, especially the big appliances that we use daily, or weekly, like your:
- Washer and
One of the easiest ways to reduce your electric bill is to simply check the working order of your appliances, and make sure that they’re cleaned or repaired as needed.
An annual inspection will ensure that everything is in working order and not costing you more than it should.
#5 Use Appliances Strategically
It’s true, there is a strategy when it comes to appliance usage.
For example, never run a load of dishes in the dishwasher, or clothes in the washer unless the load is full. Maximizing the capacity of the machine will reduce the number of overall loads required.
When using your dryer, run consecutive loads. A dryer that is already heated from a previous load will take less time drying subsequent loads.
Not only does this save electricity, but it saves wear and tear on your appliances thus prolonging the life of these expensive—but necessary—pieces of furniture.
#6 Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Not only is cold water much easier on your clothes, preventing...
- Fading; and
...but also saves up to 90% electricity per load.
Hot water heaters are the second biggest electricity consumers in your home, making up about 18% of your annual electricity costs.
Unless your clothes are heavily soiled or need a serious sanitizing to reduce bacterial build-up and lingering smells, washing in cold water will greatly reduce the overall cost of a load of laundry.
#7 Lower the Temperature on Your Water Heater
You already know that your water heater is one of the main culprits when it comes to your electricity usage.
But, you still want to know how to lower your electric bill without sacrificing those nice hot showers and sanitized dishes. We get it.
And the solution is simple. Lower the default temperature of your water heater.
It’s a little known fact that most water heaters are pre-programmed to a temperature of 140 degrees, but according to the EPA 120 degrees is enough to allow for proper sanitizing.
In addition to the electricity savings, setting your temperature to 120 degrees can also avoid scalding and burns.
#8 Switch Electricity Providers
Let’s say you take all of our advice on how to keep your electric bill low, but you’re still not satisfied.
Maybe your neighbor or mother keeps bragging about how much lower their electric bill is than yours, and you keep thinking you must be doing something wrong.
It’s very possible that your retail electricity provider (REP) just isn’t the right one for you and it may be time for a switch.
But how do you know, and what’s involved in switching REPs in Texas? Read on to learn everything you need to know about finding the right REP for your electricity needs.
How to Get Lower Electric Rates in Texas: Switching Providers
Now that you know how to keep your electric bill low, you may be wondering how to find the best electricity provider for your household’s needs.
It’s a common misconception that REPs are all the same, and the cost of electricity is what it is.
But this simply isn’t true. There are more than 250 REPs in Texas, all of them trying to convince you that they have the best rates.
But rates aren’t always everything, and in fact, shopping based on rates alone can end up costing you more in the long run.
Why Are There So Many Electricity Providers in Texas?
You may be wondering why there are so many retail electricity providers in Texas. More than 250 REPs seems crazy, right?
But, when the Texas senate decided to deregulate electricity in Texas%2C including the incumbent utility.) it changed the way consumers shop for electricity.
Deregulation gave 85% of consumers in Texas the power to decide who they wanted to provide their electricity, and as a result, the market became highly competitive.
Will It Cost Money To Switch Electricity Providers?
Depending on your current contract, it may cost you a cancellation fee and reconnection fee to switch providers.
Some REPs have a cancellation fee that is prorated based on the number of months you have left in the contract; the more time left in your contract the more you’ll pay.
Whereas other REPs have a flat-rate cancellation fee that remains the same regardless of the time remaining on your contract.
If this fee is higher than the potential savings you’d receive by switching companies, then it would be best to wait until the end of your contract.
However, there could be a REP offering a contract for which the savings far outweigh the one-time fee of canceling an over-the-top expensive electricity bill.
How to Get a Low Electric Bill: Finding a Provider That is Right For You
Before you switch over to your search engine and type in “how to lower electric bill in Texas”, read below to learn about the best way to switch REPs and find the best possible electricity contract for you.
Research and Compare Over Hundreds of REPs Yourself
It’s true that with more than 250 REPs in Texas, finding the provider that best suits your unique lifestyle can seem like a daunting and nearly impossible task.
And you’re right. It could take hours, even days, to:
- Research every single REP in your ZIP code
- Break down each of the plans they offer; and
- Compare their rates and plans based on your usage
Take it from us, or rather Sayeed, who decided he was going to get to the bottom of his high electricity bill and find a better REP for his needs.
Sayeed had a plan. He was going to wake up to his 6 am alarm on that Saturday, make his famous espresso, and head into his office for a little bit of research.
Sayeed planned to find a REP that would lower his electric bill. Easy, right?
Wrong. Sayeed was very wrong.
Three espressos later, and six hours in, Sayeed felt no closer to finding the right provider. He was more confused than ever. What’s with all these options, anyway.
- Connection fees
- Free evenings and weekends
- Prepaid vs Contract—which is better?
- Perks and bonuses—that free Google Home does sound nice
- Green plans (because who doesn’t want to be environmentally friendly)
- A huge range of per kWh rates
Needless to say, Sayeed was pulling his hair out and gave up completely. Sayeed stayed with his current plan, and potentially spent hundreds more than he needed to on electricity that year.
You can do this the Sayeed way, or you can do this the easy way.
Use Our Partner’s Free Savings Estimate Tool
We have a better way.
Our partner, Power Wizard, has created a Free Estimate Savings Tool designed to find the best REP for any consumer at any time.
It’s possible that this could be the REP you are currently on contract with, but not likely.
By taking five minutes or less (and only one espresso) out of your busy day to enter your information into Power Wizard’s tool, the unbiased algorithm will find a REP that best suits your electricity needs.
And what’s even better is that Power Wizard doesn’t just stop there. Not only will they find a new REP that you’ll be much happier with, but they’ll assist in canceling your old contract and starting your new one.
It gets better.
With the ever-changing electricity market in Texas, Power Wizard knows that a new plan may become available and that it could be even better. They will continue to shop for electricity plans that work best for you and update you on potential savings.
Had he known, Sayeed could have saved himself six hours, serious caffeine jitters, and a few fistfuls of hair.
*Try Power Wizard’s Free Savings Estimate Tool today, and start saving tomorrow.*