Did you know that electricity prices in Texas have hit a record high? Reports show that Texans are paying 50% more than they usually pay during such a time. And residents are feeling the effects of high Texas electricity prices.
Normally, electricity prices tend to rise in July and August. But this kind of spike is never as problematic because it returns to normal within a few months. However, this time it’s different.
It doesn’t seem like there will be any reprieve for Texans soon. Hence, it is vital to understand the factors leading to the spike in Texas power costs, and what you can do to mitigate the impact on your wallet.
So, let’s examine why electricity prices and bills in Texas are so high.
The Summer Weather
First off, it’s hot. And that means most households are using their ACs at the maximum. The truth is that your AC has to put extra work to reach and meet your thermostat settings.
A normal AC would use about 3000 watts of electricity. But the same unit can use up to 5000 watts or even more during a heat wave. However, energy experts have said in the past that this is a minor issue.
The Construction Boom
The hot weather isn’t the only thing that’s putting a strain on the electricity grid. The state is also going through a construction boom. And that means more electricity is needed.
For this reason, Texas electricity consumption has gone up.
In fact, Texas is one of the fastest-growing states in the US. And that’s brought about a tremendous increase in electricity demand of about 4000 megawatts a year. To put that into perspective, that’s enough electricity to power about 700,000 homes.
Natural Gas supply is affecting electricity prices
It is not a secret that natural gas prices have risen globally. And this is mainly due to geopolitical reasons. The thing is, most electricity in Texas is generated using natural gas.
When the price of gas goes up, so does the price of electricity.
Furthermore, the price of natural gas has more than doubled in Texas over the past year. And that’s had a direct impact on electricity prices. The main cause is the Russia-Ukraine crisis affecting European countries that rely heavily on Russian gas.
These nations are trying to reduce reliance on Russian gas by buying gas from the US. In other words, there is more demand for American gas both at home and abroad. So, this has caused the price of natural gas in the US to go up.
Although Texas produces a lot of natural gas, the state has been exporting most of it to help European countries struggling with a gas shortage. And this has led to a decrease in the domestic supply and an increase in prices.
What’s more, electricity companies in Texas are passing on these costs to customers through higher electricity rates. So, if you’re wondering why your Texas electricity bill has been so high lately, now you know.
Effects From the 2021 Texas Grid Failure
During the 2021 winter storm, the electricity grid in Texas failed. And that caused a lot of damage to the state’s power infrastructure. Since then, the grid operator has taken a more conservative approach to generating electricity.
Before the storm, grid operators’ priority was to provide cheap power. After the storm, it was no longer about affordable energy but reliability. Unfortunately, this has come at the cost of higher electricity bills too.
So, How Can Texans Lower Their Energy Bills?
Now that we know why Texas is experiencing high electricity prices, let’s look at how Texans can lower their electricity bills.
Using Energy-Efficient Appliances
One of the best ways to save on electricity is energy efficiency. Invest in appliances that are designed to use less electricity than their traditional counterparts.
And while they may cost a bit more upfront, they’ll save you money in the long run by lowering your electricity bills. So, it’s worth investing in energy-efficient appliances if you want to save on electricity.
Changing Your Thermostat Settings
Another way to lower your electricity bills is to change your thermostat settings. During the summer, set your AC to 78 degrees. And during the winter, set your heater to 68 degrees and wear warm clothes. In both cases using fans to help circulate the air is going to help the overall sense of comfort.
By doing this, you’ll use less electricity to heat and cool your home. And that will lead to lower electricity bills.
Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are a great way to lower your electricity bills. They use less electricity than AC units and can help to keep your home cool during the summer.
Plus, they also help to circulate air in your home. And this can make your home feel more comfortable without having to crank up the AC. So, install some ceiling fans if you want to save on electricity.
Find the cheapest Electricity Plan
Texas Electricity providers are very creative and offer many types of light plans and electricity prices. The reality is that there are not good or bad electricity plans. What happens is that all the advertisement can be misleading and confusing. Suppliers and comparison sites have turned your power to choose, into their power to confuse.
So, people end up making bad and costly choices by choosing plans that are not compatible with their use profile. For this reason, the key to finding the best deal and the cheapest electricity plan is to do it based on your energy use history.
The good news is that the best tool available in Texas to compare power plans and electricity prices is free. It is easy to use and only takes a few minutes. So, it doesn’t hurt to check if your leaving money in the table.
You can’t control electricity prices, but you can control your energy bills
Now you know the reasons behind high electricity prices in Texas. Consider these tips on how Texans can lower their energy bills. If you want to save on electricity, use energy-efficient appliances, change your thermostat settings, and sign up for the cheapest electricity plan.