Browsing Category: Energy & Utilities

    Energy & Utilities

    Fuel cards and the cost of fuel

    September 17, 2019

    Most large haulier companies tend to use fuel cards in order to pay for all their fleet fuel needs. They do so for a range of reasons, with the biggest being price. Fuel cards are a well established way of saving money on your fuel costs if you use them effectively. If you choose the right fleet card it is possible that you will never have to pay the full price at the pump again; many fuel card companies, including us at FuelCards.com offer discounts on fuel, as well as fixed fuel prices over an extended period. By using fuel cards, you could save your company hundreds, if not thousands of pounds each year. Even if you are not a large company and only run a few vehicles, you could make substantial savings.

    If you are looking to utilize fuel cards as a means to keeping your fuel costs low, there are a few things you should consider. There is more than one type of fuel card available, and it is very important that you choose the right one for your needs. With the first type of card, you will be required to pay the pump price for your fuel plus a small service fee on top. The second type of card, will allow you to pay a fixed fee for your fuel each week – this is usually linked to the bulk market price of fuel over that time period.

    It’s important to bear in mind that whatever fleet fuel card you opt for, the price has been pre-agreed, so you will continue to pay a fixed price at the pump however it fluctuates. This means that it will be easier for you to plan your expenditure more effectively as you will be able to calculate your fuel costs down to the last mile.

    Most large haulier companies tend to use fuel cards in order to pay for all their fleet fuel needs. They do so for a range of reasons, with the biggest being price. Fuel cards are a well established way of saving money on your fuel costs if you use them effectively. If you choose the right fleet card it is possible that you will never have to pay the full price at the pump again; many fuel card companies, including us at FuelCards.com offer discounts on fuel, as well as fixed fuel prices over an extended period. By using fuel cards, you could save your company hundreds, if not thousands of pounds each year. Even if you are not a large company and only run a few vehicles, you could make substantial savings.

    If you are looking to utilize fuel cards as a means to keeping your fuel costs low, there are a few things you should consider. There is more than one type of fuel card available, and it is very important that you choose the right one for your needs. With the first type of card, you will be required to pay the pump price for your fuel plus a small service fee on top. The second type of card, will allow you to pay a fixed fee for your fuel each week – this is usually linked to the bulk market price of fuel over that time period.

    It’s important to bear in mind that whatever fleet fuel card you opt for, the price has been pre-agreed, so you will continue to pay a fixed price at the pump however it fluctuates. This means that it will be easier for you to plan your expenditure more effectively as you will be able to calculate your fuel costs down to the last mile.

    Energy & Utilities

    5 Simple Ways to Save on Energy

    September 17, 2019

    People have always been shocked to hear about single or even double digit increases in their electricity rates. Even though residents in the state have enjoyed tremendous flexibility from the energy deregulated Texas electricity industry which gave them the power to choose their retail Texas electric company, it always is a wise move for home and business to start slashing down on their electricity bills today.
    Until the time when really cheap electricity is made possible and available to the public, people should start devising ways how they can save on Texas electricity and the following simple suggestions can them started in this area.

    Insulate to Regulate


    One of the highest consumers of Texas electricity in residential homes and business establishments is air conditioning. However, the efficiency of cooling systems tend to degrade with poor insulation in the building or infrastructure – as cool air seeps out, the air conditioning would work overtime to compensate and thus consume more energy. To remediate this, ensure that all windows are properly sealed and caulked. Check for wear and tear on weather stripping on doors and check for any fissures and cracks on walls where cool air can leak out.

    Turn Off When Not in Use


    This simple instruction has been taught to people since they were children and the wisdom behind this is simply a practical way of saving Texas electricity – as lighting accounts for about 11% to 15% of your total electricity bills. Simply turning off lights when there’s no need for it can go a long way in reducing your electricity consumption. The same thing is true with turning off your computer monitor when not in use (contrary to what people think, screensavers will not reduce your computer’s energy consumption) as well as turning your computer off during the night. And if given a choice between using a desktop and a laptop, always go for the smaller guy as laptops consume only a fraction of what desktop computers with bulky monitors draw.

    Let the Light Shine Down on You


    As mentioned earlier, artificial light can consume up to 15% of your total Texas electricity usage, so it would be a wise move to use the most energy-efficient sources of lighting available. Make use of compact fluorescent lamps to change those old energy-hogging incandescent bulbs. Make use of dimmers, sensors, motion detectors and timers to switch on the light only when needed. Go green and make full use of daylight by opening curtains or using translucent panels to let natural light pass through.

    Use Your Appliances Wisely

    Proper use and maintenance of your home appliances can get a long way in saving Texas electricity. You can start by not keeping the doors to your freezers or refrigerators wide open for a long time as you try to sift through the contents. It would be wise to know what you would like to pull out before opening the doors. Use the dishwasher at full load to minimize energy usage. You can reduce usage further by turning off the heaters of your dishwasher and washing machine during its cleaning cycle. Clean the filters of your dryers and air conditioning units at least once a month to increase its efficiency. Lastly, set your thermostat to comfortable levels and avoid using it to extreme settings.

    Use Energy Efficient Products

    It may come as a surprise but your old refrigerators, air conditioning units and washing machines can consume a great deal of Texas electricity that would eventually translate to higher electricity bills. It would be wiser and more economical in the long run to change these appliances to more energy efficient products that pass Energy Star requirements. Not only can you save on your Texas electricity usage but your appliances may even qualify for special rebates from the government.

    Energy & Utilities

    Renewable energy

    September 17, 2019

    Our generation is probably more aware of the environment and the effect that our actions have on it. We are aware that we need to pay better attention to what we do and the effect that this can have on the environment. We are also aware of how things such as recycling goods and not wasting electricity can help. We are now encouraged to recycle everything that we can, and rubbish collections now incorporate recycled goods collections in most areas.

    This awareness has brought about the fact that we need to look into different energy sources. Renewable energy sources are popping up and could soon be viable ways to run our homes. There are lots of different renewable energy resources and these are being developed and renewed all the time. People are also looking different options that are available in order to bring renewable energy to the masses.

    If you are not sure of the different renewable energy types that are available looking online is a great place to start. There are lots of informational resources online that can help you gather knowledge and gain the information that you need.

    In fact there are so many different options available that the resources online are almost endless. You can find out about the types that are available now, the types that could be available in the future, what they hope to achieve and exactly how all of these work.

    There are different scales of renewable energy sources that are available – bulk for companies and even smaller scale options for the home. If you want to do your bit for the environment then you should look into the different options that are available. In fact as they are renewable, you could even find in the long run that you save money on your electrical bills which in this day and age is something that most of us will welcome with open arms.

    So why not look online for renewable energy information online and see what is available. You could really gain a lot of knowledge on the subject within a few minutes of reading and all from the comfort of your own home.

    Energy & Utilities

    Pay-Per-Use Electricity: Is this a Viable Option?

    September 17, 2019

    Paying for electricity services can sometimes be a daunting and inconvenient task, particularly with the changing rates, contracts and deposits retail electric companies ask from customers – particularly if they have a bad credit history. Thanks to the deregulation of Texas electricity, consumers at such predicaments would now enjoy the benefits of pay-per-use electricity for their everyday needs.

    Pay-per-use electricity is a new concept for many consumers, particularly those who were used to living in a state with a regulated or monopolized electric industry. Energy deregulation gave the people the power to choose their Texas electric companies as well as coming up with several payment schemes and options never before possible in a regulated power market.

    This means that people can pay up front for their electricity and never receive an electric bill from their provider. This is now made possible with the development of smart meters that allows pay-per-use plans much like how prepaid mobile phones function. There are however, certain considerations that consumers should look into before deciding if pay-per-use electricity is the way to go.

    Considerations before Choosing Pay-Per-Use Electricity

    The following are some of the considerations that people should take before deciding to change to pay-per-use electricity and have smart meters installed by their providers.

    * The pay-per-use meter should have full credits loaded, otherwise the electricity service will simply stop until the time you top it up again with credits

    * You should be near a pay-per-use crediting outlet so you could easily load your meter with credits that you can use.

    * If you use medical equipments in the home that need a constant electric source, pay-per-use Texas electricity may not be a preferable option – unless you are ready to top the meter months in advance to ensure constant supply.

    * Pay-per-use meters use key cards for activation. These cards record how much credit is still available that you can use. It is vital that the user take care of these key cards, otherwise they will not be able to use their smart meters to get electricity.

    * Pay-per-use options for Texas electricity are not yet available in all locations. Check with your retail electric providers if this is an option they offer before you decide if this is an option to consider.

    * Take careful consideration when going on vacation for a longer period of time. Ensure that you have enough credits to last the duration of your vacation; otherwise you’ll end up with refrigerators or freezers shutting down on you and spoiling whatever content left inside them.

    * During extreme periods (hot or cold), consumers use more electricity. This should be a serious consideration during these times so you can allocate enough credits to get your electricity going.

    * If you are considering pay-per-use Texas electricity, choose a provider that offers an emergency credit facility so you can have back-up options should you’ll be unable to buy credits at the appropriate time.

    * Choose a Texas electricity pay-per-use provider that sends out a quarterly or annual statement that will show you usage and consumption details which you can use to plan energy conservation in your own home or facility.

    Energy & Utilities

    Energy Conservation: Doing Your Part in This Crusade

    September 17, 2019

    The latest addition to the “Karate Kid” series of movies included martial-arts action star Jackie Chan, who played the kung-fu master Mr. Han, and Jaden Smith who played 12-year old Dre Parker as the latest martial-arts kid who played the lead role. During one of their earliest scenes, Mr. Han came to Dre’s apartment unit to fix the hot water, only to find out that Dre and his mother did not know how to operate the flip switch that turns the hot water machine on.

    During the scene, Mr. Han was surprised that Dre and his mother didn’t know about the switch, and the child replied that they don’t use a switch in America – the machine is always on. Mr. Han finally exclaimed, “Use a switch. Save the earth.”

    What was remarkable about this scene is how it pointed out that people who use electricity can all do their part in the crusade for energy conservation. People have been clamoring and rallying on the streets above saving energy, and yet are not applying simple things as using a switch to turn an electric machine on only when needed.

    Unless cheap electricity is readily available and abundant for everyone to use, every person who uses Texas electricity or any electrical power for that matter, should do their own little part in conserving energy. And they can start this right in their own homes. The implementation of energy deregulation in some states gave the people the power to choose their retail electric provider, including the option to choose green energy – but simply making the switch is not enough.

    People can start by turning things on only when needed and not leave a machine or appliance open the whole day – as Jackie Chan in the person of Mr. Han pointed out: Use a Switch! Appliances with heaters are the number one electricity guzzlers in a typical home, so it would be best to use only as necessary. Yes, it is a little inconvenient for many as you have to wait for 20 minutes to get the water to heat up – as pointed out by Mr. Han in the movie – but the amount of energy you said by turning it off most of the day can be truly significant.

    Turning your computer monitor off when not in use can have a tremendous impact too, particularly if you’re still using the traditional CRT or cathode-ray tube type of monitors. Changing to an LCD monitor is a good way to conserve electricity as these new green monitors consume only a fraction of what CRTs do. Aside from that, leaving any electrical appliances at standby mode for a long time is not a good idea. Yes, those little standby lights consume only trickles of electricity, but if you combine all these trickles – you’ll eventually be faced with a big wave.

    One way of conserving Texas electricity is by turning off the water heaters in your bath, washing machine, or dishwashing machine occasionally while in use, particularly on a hot fine Texas day. Use the power of the sun to dry your clothes off. The traditional drying of washed plates using towels can be a good energy-conservation idea too. If you really want hot water for your bath, there are now solar-powered water heaters available at affordable prices that you can use.

    The list of energy-saving measures to conserve Texas electricity can go on and on – the possibilities are endless. What is more important is that you should go out of your way and start doing your part in this crusade – and conserve energy.

    Energy & Utilities

    Texas Electricity Plans: Which One to Choose?

    September 17, 2019

    For most people, simply flipping on a switch to light up his home or business or an outlet where one can hook his appliances and other gadgets to a Texas electricity source is enough for day to day living. However, the current economic times calls for much more than simply this and businesses should practice more efficient use of electricity.

    The deregulated Texas electricity market has given people the power to choose their retail electric providers. What does this mean for the consumer? Although really cheap electricity is still a very long way off, energy deregulation has given a more competitive atmosphere to the market. It has also opened up a whole array of opportunities as well as higher levels of services never before available in this industry.

    Retail electric providers offer various payment options for the Texas consumers. Some may be based on a per month type of service, while others offer fixed rates over a predetermined length of time regardless of the conditions of the global energy market. As a consumer, choosing the best retail electric provider is not the only consideration that one should take, but choosing the best payment options and plans as well.

    Texas Electricity Plans

    The following are the usual payment plans available to the Texas consumer. Most retail electric providers offer these basic plans as well as flexible variations to suit your residential or business needs.

    * Fixed Rate Plans

    As the name suggest, fixed rate plans maintain similar rates over a set length of time and forecasted usage stipulated in your service contract with the Texas Electric company. Since the rates are fixed, you are ensured that your monthly payments will remain the same regardless of the market conditions. This is advantageous when the price of energy rises in the national market. The downside however occurs when the market price falls below your agreed rates. Contract variations can be:
    • Fixed price contract – this includes full requirements of a fixed rate plan, and any usage exceeding the forecasted amount will be billed at a predetermined price
    • Hybrid price contract – this also includes the full requirements of a fixed rate plan. The difference lies when the usage exceeds the monthly forecasted as this will be billed based on variable rates.

    * Variable Rate Plans


    Texas electricity rates are dependent on the price fluctuations in the energy market. A variable rate plan changes with these monthly fluctuations. This can be advantageous when prices drop in the electricity market, as in the case of price drops brought about by drops in natural gas prices. However, sudden spikes in the prices of energy, usually brought by natural disasters, can result to considerable increases in your monthly variable rates.

    * Prepaid or Pay-as-You-Go Electricity

    The emergence of smart meters made it possible for prepaid or pay-as-you-go payment plans to be available in the Texas electricity market. With such plans, consumers pay ahead for their electricity and will consume only what they have already paid for, much similar to prepaid plans for mobile phones and internet broadband packages.

    This is advantageous for individuals or families who are always on the go. They can have immediate use of Texas electricity without the need for any deposit, contracts, credit checks or identification – as long as the smart meters are loaded with prepaid credits for that particular month.

    Texas electric companies provide flexible rates, billing plans and payment options for residential and business consumers. The key thing here is to choose the best plans that will suit your personal or business needs and get the highest levels of customer service available only in an energy deregulated market.