Budget billing is a payment plan with your utility company to even out your monthly bills throughout the year. Although it sounds like a great idea, there are some disadvantages.
- Administrative fees – Some plans charge administrative fees which add to the total cost of your monthly bill.
- Fuel assistance – Low income customers who would normally qualify for fuel assistance to help with energy bills may not qualify if they use a budget billing plan.
- Balance due – If your energy bills for the year exceed your monthly payments, you will be required to pay the balance due. This defeats the purpose of budget billing and creates a real hardship for some customers on fixed incomes.
- May not be eligible – All budget billing plans are different but some may require a minimum 12 month billing history with the current utility company. If you recently moved to the area or have a bad credit history, you may not qualify.
- Strict payment rules – There is little patience for delinquent payments under most budget billing plans. Paying your bill late may result in being disqualified from the budget billing plan or having your power shut off.
- Quarterly adjustments – Some utility companies will adjust the monthly budget billing amount on a quarterly basis, so if you were planning your budget on a set amount for the full year be wary, it may change.
- May not get refunded – The hope is that if your payments exceed the amount of power used throughout the year that you will get a nice refund. Depending on your contract, that may not be the case.
- Moving – Depending on the timing and terms of your contract, there could be complications and extra fees if you plan on moving.
- Complicated contracts – Make sure you read the contract very carefully and understand all the terms and conditions.
- No Savings – While budget billing will even out your monthly bills you will still end up paying the same rate for your energy use as you would have if you were not signed up for budget billing.
The only way to truly lower your utility bills would be by enrolling with a Registered Energy Supplier like Realgy Energy Services. Check out Realgy Energy Services rates for June 2012 and see how much you could be saving www.realgyenergyservices.com
NASA Astronaut Don Pettit has generated electricity using a Lego kit aboard the International Space Station.
He used Legos and some tinfoil he scavenged from the space station to build a functional Van der Graaf generator that produces 30,000 volts.
Check out the YouTube video Science off the Sphere:1.21 Legowatts to learn more about the Lego generator
The electricity powering your light bulb is produced in a power plant by generators. Energy cannot be created or destroyed just changed from one form to another. Newly generated electricity is then transported over the power grid to your electrical outlet.
The United States has three power grids that keep the lower 48 states powered:
- The Eastern Interconnected System east of the Rocky Mountains
- The Western Interconnected System from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains
- Texas Interconnected System
These three separate systems are interconnected and require constant oversight to ensure that all the components are linked together. Since large quantities of electricity cannot be stored effectively or efficiently, electricity must be produced as it is used, this increases the need to watch over the grid. Control centers are utilized to monitor the supply and demand to safeguard against blackouts. To avoid blackouts there must always be a perfect balance between supply and demand.
From the control centers electricity is constantly monitored as it travels from the power plants to high-voltage power lines that transport electricity throughout the three grids. The higher the voltage the more efficiently they transport electricity. In other words the higher the voltage the more electricity will get to the end point. However, there will always be losses as electricity flows through the power grid.
From the high voltage power lines the electricity is “stepped-down” to lower voltage power lines, utility poles and wires before it can be safely used in your home or office.
Do you know how much you are paying for the electricity you use?
Why not reduce your electricity rate with Realgy Energy Services. Give one of our Energy Brokers a call (877) 300-6747 or check out our website for more info www.realgyenergyservices.com
BoingBoing, Where electricity comes from
US Energy Information Administration, Energy In Brief, What is the electrical power grid, and what are some challenges it faces?
1. Markets are Local
Natural gas from American wells is transported through pipelines on land across the US. Unlike oil which must be shipped in from overseas
2. Mild Winters
The mild winter of 2011 resulted in less demand for natural gas to heat homes, leaving suppliers with too much natural gas still in storage.
Fracking has greatly increased the supplies of natural gas in America.
4. Lack of Consumer Demand
Only 19% of natural gas consumption in America is used by end consumers, 31% is used to create electricity in power plants and 28% is used in industrial settings.
Read the whole story at Investopedia
According to a poll by the AP -NORC Center for Public Affairs Research which surveyed 1,008 Americans nationwide, most Americans are more concerned with savings money on Energy Costs, than taking a summer vacation or having the latest electronic. In fact saving money on energy costs came in second only to having reliable transportation.
The most common ways American are choosing to reduce energy costs include turning off lights, turning down the heat, installing energy-saving appliances and driving less. While Americans are generally aware of the most effective ways to save energy, they report that many of these actions would be extremely or very difficult for them and their families to implement in the next year.
However, there is another way to cut energy costs that is very easy and requires just a phone call. Third party suppliers such as Realgy Energy Services supply the same energy at lower rates than your local utility. Check out Realgy Energy Services rates for June 2012 at www.realgyenergyservices.com or call one of our Energy Brokers 877-300-6747 to learn more.
Learn more about the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll on Energy Issues:
Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, Energy Issues: How the Public Understands and Acts
Last Thursday May 24, 2012 Governor Malloy announced that five Connecticut small businesses had qualified for assistance through the state’s Small Business Express Program. The program was created as a part of the Jobs Bill passed last year, to encourage Connecticut business expansion and job growth.
“I am very pleased to announce that Realgy Energy Services was one of the five Connecticut businesses that qualified for assistance under this bill.” Stated Michael Vrtis President of Realgy Energy Services “I would like to give credit to the state of Connecticut for making this program available. It is competitive to programs in other states and has encouraged Realgy Energy Services to stay in Connecticut and continue to grow and expand.”
Realgy Energy Services is combining company funds of $309,800 and a matching grant of $59,500 to invest in computer software and equipment, employee training, marketing and contractual services. Realgy will also hire 7 new employees, which will more than double the existing work force of 13.
“Realgy’s plan to increase its workforce by 50 percent with the help of this state grant is proof positive that Connecticut is committed to helping local businesses grow and thrive,” State Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) said.
“This is the result of our jobs bill walking the talk,” State Representative Joe Verrengia (D-West Hartford) said. “Not only are we saving existing jobs in West Hartford, but we’re creating new jobs and providing the training and infrastructure to make these jobs last.”