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Gotta love a good power bill

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  • power-graph-2016

In early 2016, it was time to renew my annual contract with the electric company. We have deregulation in Texas, so while everyone gets power from Oncor, we can pick which company sends us the bill each month. Strange I know, but for the past few years I've been skipping from one name to the next to always get the best deal I can.  So far, it's worked out without a hitch. If there is a power problem, you call to report it to Oncor, and they fix it.  The billing company just bills you for what you use, and doesn't provide any other service.

Well over a decade ago, this wasn't a choice in Texas.  You had one company in the area, and you paid them the rate they demanded. I remember it being about 14.6 cents per kilowatt hour.  I had electric bills in the summer that were over $400. Winter was less, but in an all-electric home you can't really save power if you need to be warm.  Fast-forward to 2016, I'm looking on for a new plan, and found a company I'd never heard of called Hino Electric. Comparing the different plans from various electric companies (billing agencies really), Hino stood out this time. I read the fine print, but still couldn't believe my eyes so I called them to confirm. The special was if you could use more than 1000 kWh but less than 1999 kWh in a single billing period, you'd get power for 1.1 cents per kilowatt hour. They told me I read it right. I tend to use about 1600 to 3100 kWh throughout the year, based on how extreme or how mild the weather is here. At best, I figured I'd get two billing periods this year at a steal.

The first bill rolled in, but they tricked me because they changed the measured billing cycle and I didn't land in that magic window. Oh well, I figured there had to be a catch. However, that next month, the bill was $16 for the entire month.  Ha, it worked!  Then summer hit and I had my normal bill which was around $175 to $220 a month.  Then November arrived, temperatures were mild, we were still getting quite a bit of unseason rain and the bill was $17. Power consumption was 1850 kWh. Let me add that the month prior, I was a mere 75 kWh over the window (I wished I'd turned off the A/C unit in the workshop that week while i wasn't feeling well) and I would have gotten a bargain bill that month too. 

Our weather has gotten colder, and my heater has been running. Today I opened up the mail and this bill (pictured above) is what I got. That's the third billing cycle with an incredibly cheap rate.  So awesome! Thank you May, November and December months. 

For all of you that say "oh, that tank must cost you a fortune in electricity" or "don't use Metal Halides, they suck the juice!"... not if you have a great power plan. lol Next year, I'm sure I won't find a deal like this one.  But it has been nice while it lasted.

It's time to do an energy audit on the reef once more, to add up what everything is using and list the costs individually as well as collectively.  That article will be added soon.

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