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Don’t let Energy Vampires ruin your Holidays

Standby or vampire power as it is most commonly referred to, wastes $10 Billion of Electricity Annually in the United States alone. The average US household has about 25 electronic devices that constantly draw small amounts of power, costing on average $100 per year.

Top 10 Energy Vampires in Your home

  1. Laptop computers (when they are plugged in)
  2. Answering machines
  3. Computer printers
  4. TVs and cable boxes
  5. Video games
  6. Cell phone chargers
  7. Internet hubs and routers
  8. Plugged-in electric toys
  9. Night lights
  10. Holiday lights and decorations

hoilday Lights

How to slay the energy vampires in your home?

Minimize the amount of lights you use to decorate this year, switch to LED lights and most importantly use a timer for your holiday lights both inside and out.

Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point when you are done using equipment, which completely disconnects the power supply.

Unplug your chargers: cell phone chargers, camera chargers, battery chargers or power adapters, etc. These are drawing energy even when not in use (and even when not connected to an end-use product).

Check out the biggest Vampire Energy offenders


Energy Star, Standby Power and Energy Vampires, Are Energy Vampires Sucking You Dry?
Standby Power, Ranges of Standby Power
AOL, Energy Conscious Holiday Lighting

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Greenhouse gas emissions are decreasing thanks to Natural Gas

According to the EPA Press Release on October 23rd, greenhouse gas emissions are decreasing due to an increased use of natural gas in power generating plants. Utilities have shifted from using coal to using clean burning natural gas, a major factor in causing a decrease in carbon emissions.

eia energy-related carbon dioxide emissions

The EPA collects annual greenhouse gas information from over 8,000 facilities including power plants, gas and oil production and refining plants and landfills. The EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, which started in 2010, collects facility-level greenhouse gas data from major industrial sources across the US.

Greenhouse gas emissions from power plants have decreased 10 percent in two years. This decrease is largely due to electricity generation switching from coal to natural gas, as well as a slight decrease in electricity production.


United Sates Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Releases Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data from Large Facilities

The Washington Free Beacon, Feds: Natural Gas Production Decreasing Greenhouse Emissions

U.S Energy Information Administration, U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2012

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For all our natural gas and electric customers not currently on a fixed price, Realgy offers ServiceMatchTM as follows:

ServiceMatchTMBuyer has the right to present all written offers to RES that provide pricing and terms for service under the Program. RES will match the proposed terms and pricing from all qualified electric or natural gas service providers. If RES cannot offer better terms or pricing or match the same terms and pricing, RES will transfer Buyer to the new electric or natural gas supplier upon Buyer’s written request at the end of the Term. ServiceMatchTM is not valid when Buyer has a Fixed Price.


Please be aware that ServiceMatchTM is not a new service.

Realgy offers this and other services including but not limited to PriceWatchTM and natural gas storage, to all our eligible customers.

If you have any questions regarding ServiceMatchTM, fixed prices, or the end of your current Term, contact a Realgy Energy Services customer service representative at 860-300-6747.

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In Response to “Local Communities on a Continent of Cheap Natural Gas”

Written by Michael Vrtis, President of Realgy Energy Services in response to the Forbes article Local Communities on a Continent of Cheap Natural Gas

So what does having an abundant source of fuel (in our case, natural gas) within our own country mean?

In a word, business! The article points out some of the industries that could directly benefit from having large natural gas reserves. These industries will take notice and manufacturer planning will develop. But the impact is well beyond just a few industries.

Consider the following benefits;

  • In the competitive business world, a $0.10 edge is huge. However consider a $2.00 edge. That is the equivalent advantage that local natural gas production provides.
  • Local natural gas prices are not tied to the price of oil. That is, oil prices can vary without ANY impact on local natural gas costs/prices.
  • Natural gas had been previously piped thousands of miles (albeit efficiently, as pipe line operations are very efficient) but that cost would then cease.
  • Planning for long-term commitments; the natural gas field has a 100-year production life with current technology (let alone what will be developed).
  • Its emissions are much cleaner than oil.

Responsible development of our natural resources is imperative. The benefit will have a more reaching effect.

Check out the Forbes article: Local Communities on a Continent of Cheap Natural Gas


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5 energy-saving tips that cost $10 or less

There are plenty of very expensive ways to save energy and reduce your utility bills, but if you’re on a budget or don’t want to spend unnecessary money on home improvements, Realgy Energy Services has a list of 5 energy-saving ideas that will cost $10 or less.

1. Turning off your lights when you’re not in the room will cost $0 but will save you money!

Lighting accounts for about 10 percent of a typical household’s electricity bill, so turning off your lights when you’re not in the room is a great way to save some money off lighting costs, whether or not you upgrade to CFL light bulbs.


To find out how much money you can save simply by turning off lights when you’re not using them, head over to


2. Installing low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators for under $10 each can help reduce the amount of hot water you use in your home.

This improvement can be a significant source of energy savings since about 73 percent of the water used in a typical shower is hot water. Using low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators can reduce your home’s water heating costs by as much as 50 percent.

fresh shower


3. Replacing an old incandescent light bulb with a CFL will cost less than $10.

Incandescent light bulbs may be cheaper than compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) but they also waste a lot of energy, Ninety percent of the energy used by a traditional incandescent bulb is given off as heat. In addition, incandescent bulbs burn out much faster than CFLs which last at least 6 times longer and use about 75 percent less energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading 15 inefficient incandescent light bulbs to CFL or LED bulbs could save about $50 per light

Still confused about the difference between watts and lumens? Check out this Realgy Energy Services blog post: Watt vs Lumens: How bright is that light?


4. Use a $10 power strip to slay energy vampires.

Just plug your devices into it and flip the strip’s power switch on when you want to use your devices and off when you don’t. Make sure not to use power strips with devices that have to run in standby mode to operate, like DVRs

Standby or vampire power as it is most commonly referred to, wastes $10 billion of electricity annually in the United States alone. The average US household has about 40 electronic devices that constantly draw small amounts of power.

power strip


5. Depending on how much you need, most homeowners can weather strip their windows and doors for under $10.

More than 20 percent of all the heated and cooled air that escapes your home sneaks out through gaps around windows and doors. When installing weather stripping, it is a good idea to measure the perimeters of the doors and windows needing weather stripping, total them up, and add about 10 percent to that number to make sure you have enough weather stripping.


Learn how to select and apply weather stripping at

If you are still looking for ways to reduce your energy bills, enroll with a registered energy supplier like Realgy Energy Services. Check out Realgy Energy Services rates and see how much you could be saving



ENERGY STAR, “Light Bulbs
Energy.Gov, “Lighting Choices to Save You Money
Energy.Gov, “Reduce Hot Water Use for Energy Savings
ENERGY STAR, “Standby Power and Energy Vampires
Energy.Gov, “Weather Stripping
Energy.Gov, “When to Turn Off Your Lights


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In Response to “Carbon Taxes Make Ireland Even Greener”

Written by Michael Vrtis, President of Realgy Energy Services in response to the New York Times article “Carbon Taxes Make Ireland Even Greener”

Should the potential to emit greenhouse gases and deposit garbage in a landfill cost more than non-air emitting energy production and recycling?


Most states have passed laws to limit or prohibit smoking indoors primarily to protect others from the effects of second-hand smoke. Taxes on cigarettes have also increased as a way to fund prevention and reimburse states for the cost of care for those who develop diseases.

Should energy and waste be different?

Individual consumer choices of cars, appliances, and transportation have a direct impact on the emissions produced. For instance, some cars produce 80% less emissions than others for nearly the same footprint. Encouraging recycling by charging more to throw something away may possibly create some opportunities in the recycling industry. That is; there will be more people thinking about how to actually use what people throw away instead of burying it or burning it.

Whether it’s called carbon tax or not, the idea of accounting for the whole impact of energy and individual purchases (be it human health or environmental,) should be considered. It is already costing everyone something and now the question is: should that cost be shifted to those who produce more emissions and garbage?

Ireland and many states and cities are trying something else.

Check out the New York Times article:“Carbon Taxes Make Ireland Even Greener”


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In response to “Natural Gas Could Be Bigger Than the Internet, Welch Says”

Written by Michael Vrtis, President of Realgy Energy Services in response to the CNBC article “Natural Gas Could Be Bigger Than the Internet, Welch Says

I greatly admire Mr. Welch, having worked for him at one time. I read his article with interest and thought his statements invited comment.

Natural gas availability has been plentiful and the availability of more domestic supply calls for long term planning considerations.

U.S. Natural Gas Marketed Production from 1900 to 2012 – courtesy of EIA

In planning for the long term, consider just the following two facts:

The United States already has a more than $2.00 advantage per dekatherm (MCF) over the rest of the world. The US average cost of natural gas is about $4.00 and the remainder of the world is over $6.00.

The amount of gas discovered and presently available has occurred with a method of recovery (hydraulic fracturing or fracking) that has been exempt from most of the Federal environmental regulations. State environmental regulations are not superseded by this Federal action. Thus, states can set their own environmental regulation.  The growing state concern is ground water pollution, considering that it takes only 1-2 drops of a petroleum product (frack fluid) to make over 1,000 gals of ground water undrinkable.

So it is not regulation that will prevent natural gas from accelerating the US economy. Instead it is the over inflation of a political issue instead of any economic or environmental issue

Reducing our cost of natural gas has already occurred, reducing it further should not come at the expense of ground water.

Mr. Welch was a great business leader but his comments on regulation of natural gas fracking appear geared more toward political posturing than balancing the economic and environmental concerns that come with recovering natural gas.

Check out the CNBC article: Natural Gas Could Be Bigger Than the Internet, Welch Says

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Inc. Magazine has Unveiled Its Annual Exclusive List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies – The Inc.500|5000

PRESS RELEASE August 28, 2012 | By: Realgy, LLC

Realgy Energy Services Ranks No. 180 on the 2012 Inc. 500|5000

Inc. magazine has ranked Realgy Energy Services No. 180 on its sixth annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the fastest growing private companies. This list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy – American’s independent entrepreneurs. Realgy joins Yelp, yogurt maker Chobani,, KIND and famed hat maker Tilly’s, among other prominent brands featured on this year’s list.

“I am honored to see Realgy featured on the Inc. 500|5000 list for the second year.” says Michael Vrtis, President, “I would like to thank our vendors for allowing us to focus on our customers, the state of Connecticut for promoting small businesses and our employees for helping us to provide excellence in energy marketing.”

In a stagnant economic environment, median growth rate of 2012 Inc. 500|5000 companies remains an impressive 97 percent. Over the past three years Realgy has grown 1,919%, and is ranked 11th out of 103 companies in the energy industry. The companies on this year’s list report having created over 400,000 jobs in the past three years, and aggregate revenue among the honorees reached $299 billion. By comparison Realgy has created eight full time positions in Connecticut in the last six months, and had revenue of $32.3 Million in 2011.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at

“Now, more than ever, we depend on Inc. 500/5000 companies to spur innovation, provide jobs, and drive the economy forward.  Growth companies, not large corporations, are where the action is,” says Inc. Editor Eric Schurenberg.

Realgy, LLC DBA Realgy Energy Services was founded in 1999 by individuals who worked for many years with large utilities, energy service companies and energy marketers. Within these organizations they saw the limitations of the systems and software. Today Realgy Energy Services is an energy supplier in three deregulated states Michigan, Indiana and Illinois with plans to expand.

Realgy, LLC
Michael Vrtis
675 Oakwood Avenue
West Hartford, CT
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In response to “Natural Gas Increases are Diminishing Carbon Emissions”

Written by Michael Vrtis President of Realgy Energy Services in response to the EnergyBiz article “Natural Gas Increases are Diminishing Carbon Emissions”

The use of natural gas is decreasing carbon emission which in turn is decreasing the contribution of the US to global warming.

U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions in early 2012 lowest since 1992 – courtesy of EIA

Since 2007 it’s over a 10% decrease. The abundance of natural gas is decreasing the price the US pays and is reducing the impact of our emissions. This trend will continue.

Although all fuels contribute, natural gas being the cleanest fossil fuel contributes the least.

Check out the EnergyBiz article: “Natural Gas Increases are Diminishing Carbon Emissions”

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Pedaling to generate electricity and a shorter Prison Sentence

There is a new program that allows inmates at a prison in Minas Gerais, Brazil to reduce their sentences by generating electric power to help illuminate the town at night.

Courtesy of Santa Rita Do Sapucai Prison

Inmates charge a battery that is used to power street lamps along the town’s riverside promenade by pedaling stationary bikes. Three eight-hour pedaling shifts will reduce their sentence by one day.

This is an interesting concept; I wonder how it would work in American Prisons. Instead of using the generated electricity to power street lamps they could use it to power the prisons and reduce electricity costs.

Find the whole story here


NBC News, Inmates at Brazil prison pedal for electricity – and their freedom

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