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Using Energy Efficiently
Renewable Energy: The Infinite Power of Texas


As home and property owners, there are many ways that we can use energy more efficiently to conserve our resources and to reduce our electric bills. We may not be thinking about our next month's electric bill as we go through our daily routines, but it is mainly our electricity consumption that determines our bill.
The following graph shows the typical share of residential electricity consumption by the major types of electricity uses .

graph showing typical electric usage in our homes

Most households have numerous electricity consuming appliances. Among the easiest and least cost methods of reducing our electric bill are to turn off lights and appliances when they are not being used. We can also invest in more efficient lights and appliances.

Find a Home Energy Rater in Texas
If you want to improve the efficiency of your home, especially if you have high energy bills or your home is uncomfortable, consider contacting a professional to conduct a home energy audit. Your first step should be to contact your electricity provider to see if they offer free or discounted energy audits to their customers. If not, you can hire a home energy professional, such as a certified Home Energy Rater, to evaluate your home’s energy efficiency. Many home energy raters work with small businesses as well.

What to Look for in a Professional Home Energy Auditor
This U. S. Department of Energy web site gives tips on what to look for in a home energy auditor. Professional energy audits generally go into great detail. The energy auditor should do a room-by-room examination of the residence, as well as a thorough examination of past utility bills. Before contracting with an energy auditing company, it is suggested that you take the following steps:

  1. Get several references, and contact them all. Ask if they were satisfied with the work.
  2. Call the Better Business Bureau and ask about any complaints against the company.
  3. Make sure the energy auditor uses a calibrated blower door.
  4. Make sure they do thermographic inspections or contract another company to conduct one.

Professional Energy Raters in Texas
This ENERGY STAR database lists home energy raters who have qualified at least one ENERGY STAR new home in the last 12 months. Many home energy raters work with small businesses as well.

Texas HERO
The Texas Home Energy Raters Organization (HERO) is a not-for-profit professional organization that promotes the benefits of energy conservation initiatives and monetary incentives to homeowners, homebuilders and businesses. Texas HERO consists of independent energy management professionals located throughout Texas. Many home energy raters work with small businesses as well.

RESNET Home Energy Ratings
Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) sets the standards for raters, rater trainers and energy auditing software that are used in the housing industry. A rating is required to qualify the home for an energy-efficient mortgage and for a home to be labeled as ENERGY STAR®. RESNET can help you find a rater near you. RESNET is a national network of mortgage companies, real estate brokerages, builders, appraisers, utilities and housing and energy professionals whose mission is to improve the energy efficiency of the nation's housing and to qualify more families for home ownership by expanding the national availability of mortgage financing options and home energy ratings.

Electric Service Providers

Electric Service in Texas
This Public Utility Commission of Texas web site offers resources to help you better understand your electric service.

Texas Electric Choice
Enter your zip code to find an electric provider in your area. This is a Public Utility Commission of Texas web site where customers can choose the retail electric provider that meets their own requirements. Some electric providers offer lower rates, wind or solar power, or the promise of better customer service. At this site customers can shop and compare. For additional information, call toll-free 1-866-797-4839 or email [email protected]. Also see these videos on electric choice.

Energy Efficiency Assistance for Customers of Investor-Owned Utilities
Texas law requires investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to give their customers the opportunity to implement energy efficiency measures in their homes and/or business for lower utility bills. This is achieved by providing incentives to energy service companies and other providers of energy efficiency services to offset a portion of the up-front cost associated with energy efficiency measures. The web site provides links to these Texas IOUs: AEP, CenterPoint, Entergy, TXU, TNM, Xcel, El Paso.

Residential Electricity Prices: A Consumers Guide
A DOE publication designed to give further understanding of the consumer's monthly electric bill as well as the history of retail electricity prices, and the basics of how electricity is produced and delivered to the average residential customer.

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