How To Decrease the Cost of Electricity in Texas
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Being a homeowner is an expensive ordeal for Texans. All the little things we want — and need — quickly add up. Everything from travel expenses and food to a roof over our heads cost money. Since living in San Antonio is expensive, people have to think outside the box to save money.
One area where saving up those pennies counts is electricity. Implementing energy-saving practices and Energy Star certified equipment can save Texas homeowners hundreds of dollars. Combining these energy-saving options with solar can save thousands.
Regardless of whether someone is conscious of their energy use or adds energy savings products, deciding to cut down on fossil-fuel-generated electricity can save a bundle. Being conscientious about the various ways to save on electricity takes some effort, but the rewards homeowners in this area will reap for their efforts are worthwhile.
Energy Conservation’s Impact on San Antonio Electricity Bills
One way to decrease energy usage in your San Antonio home is to use power sparingly. It’s crazy how much is saved just by using less.
As kids, we may have thought our parents were crazy when they got after us for leaving the door open or the lights on. However, now that we are paying the bills, it seems they may have been on to something.
In San Antonio, strategic energy conservation can save even more. Knowing when the cost rises and the average rates for electricity provide customers with the information they need to scale back on wasted electricity consumption accordingly.
How CPS Peak Capacity Charge Influences Energy Use
While CPS doesn’t charge a higher electricity rate during hours of peak demand like some utilities, it does charge extra if a home uses more than 600 kWh. CPS Energy charges an additional $0.0198 for each kWh over 600 kWh during the summer months.
Since these charges aren’t time-specific on a day-to-day basis, San Antonio customers don’t have to worry about when they are doing high-energy-consumption activities. However, it may benefit them to cut back on these activities. Doing high-energy activities like laundry only when it is necessary, or updating old appliances to energy-efficient ones could make staying below the 600 kWh threshold during the summer months easier for customers.
CPS Energy Cost per kWh
The Peak Capacity Charge, Energy Charge and Service Availability Charge are all part of CPS Energy’s base rate cost for electricity. As of January 2020, the current 12-month average for these charges is 10.6 cents per kWh.
Unlike most of Texas, San Antonio is under the jurisdiction of a municipal electricity provider. Municipal corporations are not required to enter the deregulated market, meaning San Antonio customers don’t have the option to switch to a different electricity provider. Instead, CPS customers need to either cut back on their energy use or add residential solar to their homes.
Why San Antonians Shouldn’t Be Complacent About Utility Rates
While the current electricity rate in San Antonio isn’t high, the problem is that utility-rates fluctuate. Because of the decrease in fossil fuels, inflation of American currency and increased reliance on electricity, CPS Energy’s rates will increase over time. These factors make the comparative cost of solar cheaper, which is enticing for many San Antonio homeowners.
Energy Saving Rebates and Products for CPS Customers
Another way to save money is to purchase equipment that decreases the amount of electricity the home needs to function in the Texas heat. Some of these devices come in the form of updated equipment others are additional equipment designed to increase savings.
All of these products require San Antonio homeowners to spend money so they can save money. Investing money in an energy-saving device can be tough when there isn’t any extra money.
The good news is that the excessive heat in Texas causes grid continuity problems, which pushes CPS Energy to encourage customers to make these updates. There are several utility-funded rebates out there to help with the cost of these energy-saving products.
CPS Energy Smart Thermostats Incentives
Smart thermostats give customers control over their energy consumption even when they aren’t home. Through Wi-Fi, homeowners can control their thermostats with their phones. To encourage San Antonio homeowners to install smart thermostats, CPS Energy has a couple of thermostat incentive programs.
CPS Energy’s Free Thermostat
CPS Energy offers qualified customers a free smart thermostat option. CPS Energy installs a Honeywell smart thermostat in homes with central air conditioners. After three years of participation in the utility’s energy savings program, the thermostat becomes the property of the homeowner.
Customers that opt into this program will periodically have their A/C compressor remotely shut off during peak demand periods, 3 p.m. through 7 p.m. They can opt-out of three energy savings days per summer.
CPS Wi-Fi Thermostat Rewards
Customers that already have a smart thermostat listed on CPS Energy’s preapproved list can qualify for compensation if they join CPS Energy’s energy savings program. They will receive $85 when they enter the program and $30 for each year they participate.
CPS Rebates for Insulation, Windows and More
CPS Energy also offers rebates for energy-saving equipment. These rebates cover central air conditioners, heat pumps, windows, pool pumps, and attic insulation. If a customer is considering updating or adding any of these items, it may be in their best interest to see if they can qualify for one of these rebates.
The Best Way To Save on Electricity: Photovoltaics
San Antonians that make an extra effort to turn off lights and phantom electronics or purchase energy-efficient devices can make a difference in their energy usage. However, energy-conscious savings can increase when paired with solar.
There are several reasons to have residential solar in Texas. However, for many San Antonians, the most compelling reason is the savings gained with solar. One of the reasons solar is cheaper are incentives like the federal solar tax credit.
Another reason why solar is such a good option for San Antonio residents is the net metering policy that CPS Energy has in place.
Texas Residential Solar and Net Metering Savings
Because of the peak sun hours in Texas, solar customers generate most or all of their electricity needs. Solar reduces CPS Energy’s Peak Capacity Charge and Energy Charge, which often means customers only pay for city fees and the connection fee, so they can participate in net metering.