Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lower Business Costs with Lower Texas Power Prices

One thing to understand about the Texas electricity market, is it's the largest one in the country, and 11th in the world when it comes to consumption. While the state politicians continue to argue over a solution for their rising energy costs, the closest thing to an answer they came up with was electricity.

What this does is allow customers in the state of Texas the power to choose their electricity provider. In the beginning this new law brought excitement and change to each city, and about 85% of the commercial energy customers switched their providers at least once. Then of course residential changes hit around 40%. These are quite astounding numbers, and it's hard to believe it took this long to make the change.

The new business startup was crazy considering any way you turned, there was a new company coming out of the woodwork. The competition was so fluent; the idea was that there would be much lower prices. The good news was this was offered through both residential and commercial areas. Oddly though, prices began to rise once deregulation was embraced by customers. It was so detrimental to the public, the electricity costs increased by over 40% in a three-year span between 2002 and 2004. The end result was residential homeowners and commercial business feeling treated badly as a result.

However, proponents of deregulation tried to explain the situation as best they could. The answer revolved around electricity prices rising due to natural gas obstacles. During this time the natural gas industry had reached an all time high and reached increases of 60%. So they were trying to tell us that deregulation was saving customers money.

The biggest issue that they tried to confront head-on was the misconception of immediate savings due to the vast amount of competition. While this was going on, there were several individuals still remaining skeptical about the situation. It was almost as if they were being sold a false bill by politicians and legislators. What it came down to is the economists and supporters of deregulation were right. Once we were able to stabilize the natural gas arena, electricity bills in Texas eventually started falling. By the summer of 2008 through the winter of 2009, these prices decreased by 30%.

Keep in mind, there are many experts out there attributing to this decline through the combination of the recession and the decline in natural gas costs. Eventually we expect the prices to keep falling the further into a recession we go. While everything looks sweet on the surface, it's forcing businesses to cut prices as well. The good news is they believe that the lower business electricity costs are helping them keep their businesses afloat until the economy turns around.

Clean Energy to Get a B$G Boost

Three new venture capitalists have recently pledged $12.2 million to the PACE solar funding initiative, a venture founded by Cisco DeVries with Berkeley First. PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy and is a program that assists homeowners in making solar power affordable and convenient. Basically the PACE program is a way for local governements to use a land secured bond financing schematic to loan low interest, long term loans to homeowners in a specific geographic area. The loans are then used solely for the purchase and setup of photovaltaic arrays and equipment. The homeowner is then able to eliminate or significantly lower their electric bill, and instead pay on the loan for the solar array. This financing model has allowed numerous areas of the United States to make solar energy use affordable and simple to implement. Draper Fisher Jurvetson, New Cycle Capital, and RWE Ventures are businesses that plans to infuse PACE programs with $12.2million in the coming years in order to finance new PACE supported programs across the United States.

In addition to the PACE program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been providing many cities and municipalities insightful ways to fund new clean energy, efficiency, and conservation programs. As one of the main components of the ARRA is to provide new jobs and to stimulate the economy, and the fact that green technology and renewable energy are some of the "hottest" industries right now, it is no wonder that the Federal government finds it prudent to invest this market. The Department of Energy currently has the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant under advisement. The EECBG is an umbrella grant program that provides money to state programs, which then disseminates the funds to other local and regional programs to achieve the goals of their overall State Energy Plan. Earlier in 2009, states submitted State Energy Plans (SEPs) of which most have were approved for funding from the EECBG. Each state program has specific energy conservation and efficiency goals, which can be achieved through state incentive programs, municipal building retrofits, and/or the purchase or creation of specific energy credits.

The clean/green energy industry is an extremely volatile industry that is absolutely exploding right now. Numerous start up companies are providing new and innovative ways of not only providing renewable energy, but also the financial resources to obtain it. This has ushered in a completely different type of business model in which a company not only markets to potential customers or clients, but also develops relationships with governmental entities that can assist both the client and company through a variety of funding options. It is this type of all encompassing cooperation between government, corporate entities, and individuals that will ensure the long term viability of the alternative energy market.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Next Up on - First Choice Power

When it comes to choosing an energy plan for your home, it can be a difficult task to find the one that's perfect for you and your household. First Choice Power is a solid company that has been an electricity provider for Texas residents for decades and offers a variety of energy plans to meet just about anyone's' needs. Their signature line "Simply Better" actually sums up most of the information and personal testimonials that can be found about First Choice Power.

First Choice Power has three major residential electricity and energy plans that offer unique benefits to customers. Whether you would prefer a stable-payment option or you are looking into a green energy plan, the three major options that individuals have when signing up with the company include:

Simply Better Price Plan - Would you like to pay just one single, low cost amount for a full year? First Choice Power's Simply Better Price Plan is the fixed-rate plan that allows customers to be able to pay one single, stable amount that will never change for a one-year term. In this plan customers have price protection, which is an important benefit for those on a fixed income or others who are looking for cost savings in their utility bills.

Variable Plan - This is a plan that even though requires a variable electricity rate, the rate from month to month won't change more than once. The rates are set on the wholesale electricity prices in Texas, but will never go up more than 35% for First Choice Power customers. In addition, customers are also not obligated to stay on this plan as there is no contract and no minimum length of time.

Advantage Green Plan - First Choice Power offers this plan for green energy aware individuals who would like to help the environment and use 100% renewable energy sources. While customers are on this plan they'll enjoy both low prices and price protection so they can have the benefit of a reliable energy company while still doing something great for the environment.
Community Involvement

In addition to the three great options that First Choice Power offers to new and existing customers, they are also heavily involved in the Texas community. For example, they offer Classroom Energy Innovation Grants for teachers and students in kindergarten through high school for funding of special energy projects that benefit the entire community. First Choice Power also partners with many businesses and companies in Texas for their Simply Better Recycling program to help the environment.

Whether it's the price protection, guaranteed rates, or renewable energy plans that are available or you love that this company is heavily involved with the community, First Choice Power is able to offer unique benefits, cost savings, and a reliable company to everyone that needs Texas electricity. All you have to do is go to: and sign up.