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How To Save On Heating Costs In Apartment

By Payal B

You’re wearing two sweaters, sitting in your house, freezing your butt off trying to save on electricity. On top of that, you don’t even know if you have the best possible electricity plan for your needs.  If you’re looking for how to save on heating costs in apartments, we’ve got you covered!

Shivering in your dark house, you wonder:

“Should electricity be this expensive?”

“Are all of my neighbors freezing their butts off?”

“Should I just start burning money to stay warm?”


There’s a better way! With Power Wizard’s Shopping Tool, you can take off one of your sweaters and turn up the thermostat! Our Shopping Tool will find you the best possible electric plan in just minutes!

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

How Are Electricity Costs Determined In Texas?

Powerlines at dusk - How To Save On Heating Costs In Apartment

Several different factors go into setting the electricity costs in Texas.

  • Supply and demand are two factors. When the demand for electricity is high, the rates tend to creep up, too. When there is a shortage in the supply of electricity, this can also cause an increase in pricing. The reverse happens if there is a decrease in supply or demand.
  • Wholesale pricing. Another factor is what it costs the individual electricity company to purchase the electricity from the provider. Some of the wholesale price is set by supply and demand also.

The individual electric company you as the consumer buy electricity from is called a Retail Electric Provider (REP). The Retail Electric Provider buys electricity at a wholesale rate and then adds a margin to the wholesale rate so the Retail Electric Provider makes a profit when they sell it to you as the consumer.

Deregulated Energy

Electricity in many Texas cities is deregulated. This means that the government doesn’t have as much control of electric utilities as it does in regulated cities.

The government has allowed individual companies to sell electricity directly to consumers. Now, consumers get to choose who to buy electricity from.

Because of this, there are over 130 Retail Electric Companies (REPs – aka electricity companies) competing to sell electricity.

Not all cities have deregulated electricity. For example, San Antonio is regulated.

Since there are 130+ Retail Electric Providers, there are thousands of electricity plans. Each REP offers multiple electricity plans that you can choose from based on the rate, incentives, and your personal needs.

How Does Deregulated Energy Affect Electricity Costs?

With so many Retail Electric Providers and plans available because of deregulation, the Retail Electric Providers compete with one another to try to win your business.

Retail Electric Providers tend to set their rates so they are competitive with the other Retail Electric Providers that are offering service in the same area while at the same time making a profit.

Deregulation does not necessarily make kWh rates low but Retail Electric Providers do generally stay within range of each other in an effort to remain competitive.

Some Retail Electric Providers offer special plan features such as free nights and weekends.

Other REPs give you a gift or incentive if you decide to sign up with them. For example, you may receive a free Google Home if you sign up for a specific plan.

It also means that you can shop and compare all of the different Retail Electric Providers and the plans that each offers to figure out which plan is the best for your individual needs.

One of the fastest and easiest ways to find the best electricity plan for you is to use the Power Wizard Shopping Tool. Plug in your zip code, answer a few questions about your apartment and energy use, and Power Wizard matches you with the best plan for you (in five minutes or less).

Discover the best electricity rates.

Power Wizard finds you the best electricity plan and ensures you won’t overpay for electricity again.

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Tips to save on heating costs in an apartment

Woman drying laundry - How To Save On Heating Costs In Apartment

When the temperatures drop outside, you want to heat up your apartment to stay warm inside. At the same time, you don’t want to pay a fortune for electricity in the process.

Here are 10 tips on how to save on heating costs in an apartment and lower your electricity bill — all while staying warm.

Tip 1: Turn Down Your Thermostat*

Turn down the thermostat 10 degrees while you are sleeping, at work, or out of the house for extended periods of time. This can help to reduce your electricity bill by as much as 10%.

During the hours that you are home, turn the thermostat down as low as you can tolerate. This can also save you some money on your electric bill.

Tip 2: Reverse Your Ceiling Fan

Flip the switch on your ceiling fan to reverse it (heat setting). This will push the rising warm air back down into the room and can help reduce your electricity bill.

Tip 3: Put On More Clothes

Dress warmer or put on more clothing. Put on a sweatshirt or sweater over your shirt. Put socks or slippers on your feet. Adding clothing helps to trap the heat in your body to keep you warm so you won’t have to keep the thermostat at such a high level.

Tip 4: Check Windows And Doors For Leaks

If you can feel cold air leaking in from closed windows and doors, then you need to fix the window and door seals.

If you are renting an apartment, talk with the landlord or management office about fixing the seals. Otherwise, you easily seal the windows and doors yourself with supplies from a local hardware store.

Sealing leaks around windows and doors helps to keep the cold air outside and the hot air inside.

Tip 5: Change Filters

Change the filters in your heating unit monthly. If you are renting, the maintenance office might change the filters for you. Otherwise, you can purchase filters and change them out yourself.

Tip 6: Cover Windows

Hang curtains, drapes, or blinds on your windows. Keep them closed during the winter months to help keep the cold air out if you have drafty windows. If you do not have air leaking in through your windows, then you can open blinds, curtains, and drapes to let the sunshine in to warm the room.

Tip 7: Leave The Oven Door Open

When you use your stove and oven to cook, it has the tendency to heat up your apartment. When you do bake in the oven, take the items out when done and leave the oven door open.

This allows the hot air from the oven to warm up your apartment while the oven is cooling off. The extra hot air keeps your thermostat from kicking on as much and as often.

Tip 8: Keep Vents Clear

Make sure that rugs, furniture, or other items are not blocking your vents. If vents are blocked by these types of items then the warm or hot air cannot flow freely into the room.

This can cause the room to feel cold and make the heater work even harder and run longer to try to heat up the room. A harder working heater and one that is running longer than necessary can rack up your electricity bill.

Tip 9: Keep Vents Dust Free

Dust acts as insulation. If your heat vents are dusty then it insulates the vent and traps the warm air so that it does not enter the apartment. Dust trapping the air and keeping it from flowing into the room can make the heater work harder and run longer trying to heat up the room.

Again, this drives the cost of electricity up to heat your apartment.

Tip 10: Install Plastic Window Treatments

You can install plastic window treatments to single pane windows in your apartment. The plastic acts as insulation. It keeps the cold air outside and the warm air inside.

Keeping the cold air out and the warm air in can help to keep your heater from working overtime and can cut down your heating expenses during the winter months.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

Reduce Your Heating Costs By Changing Electricity Plans

Mother and daughter in front of fire - How To Save On Heating Costs In Apartment

You may also be able to save money by switching electricity plans. It might be that you can switch plans with the same electricity company.

It might be that to get into a better electricity plan that you have to change to a plan with a completely different electricity company than the one you are with now.

You might think that you should find an electricity plan with a lower kWh rate than you are paying now and that is how you can save money.

This is not necessarily the case.

The cheapest rate is not always the best plan for you.

Instead, you should consider the various types of electricity plans that are available and match the features of the plans for your needs.

Let’s take Bonnie, for example. Bonnie is currently living in an apartment in the downtown Dallas area. She is a nurse and works nights and weekends.

She is currently on a plan that has free nights and weekends. That’s great for someone who works all day and is at home on nights and weekends but this someone is not Bonnie.

Bonnie’s kWh rate is okay but her free nights and weekends are not doing her any good since she is not home anyway.

What electricity plan types are available?

Several different types of electricity plans exist. Each type of plan has its own advantages and disadvantages so you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each to choose the best plan for you.

Fixed-Rate Electricity Plans

A fixed-rate plan has a rate that doesn’t change for the extent of your contract. You pay the same rate for the entire term(12, 24, or 36 months, for example).

Variable-Rate Electricity Plans

A variable-rate plan changes throughout the term of your contract. Generally, the rate is tied to an index so as the index increases, your rate increases. Likewise, if the index decreases then your rate decreases.

Month-To-Month Electricity Plans

A month-to-month plan does not have a long-term contract (12 months, 24 months, or 26 months, for example). Generally, a month-to-month plan has a variable rate. It may also be a prepaid electricity account or a pay-as-you-go electricity plan.

Prepaid Electricity Plans

Prepaid electricity plans require you to pay for your electricity before you use it. A standard plan bills you after your electricity usage. With a prepaid plan, you pay ahead of time and then as you use electricity, the bill amount is deducted from your prepaid account.

You may also hear prepaid electricity plans referred to as pay-as-you-go electricity plans. These plans tend to be month-to-month plans as well, so you are not locked into a long-term contract.

What Electricity Plan Will Provide The Most Savings For Heating An Apartment?

There are many different types of electricity plans available. You will need to shop around to make sure to get the electricity plan that fits your needs the best.

What Is The Best Plan To Save On Heating Costs?*

There are numerous factors that go into figuring out which is the best plan for saving on heating an apartment. The best plan varies from person to person depending on their situation.

It also varies by the apartment.

No two people and no two apartments use electricity in the same way.

What is the cheapest plan for apartments?

Remember, the plan with the cheapest kWh rate does not always equal the best electricity plan. What is best for one family or individual varies according to their own unique circumstances.

Discover the best electricity rates.

Power Wizard finds you the best electricity plan and ensures you won’t overpay for electricity again.

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How To Find The Best Electricity Plan For Apartments

It’s really hard to choose the best electricity plan for an apartment based on your usage alone.

Many plans have:

  • Cancellation fees
  • Give you a gift (like a Google Home) if you sign up
  • Prepaid accounts
  • Fixed rates
  • Renewable electricity options at a premium rate
  • Automatic rate increases when your contract renews. You might be paying 8.7¢ per kilowatt-hour but after a renewal, they’ll automatically sign you up (without notifying you) for a plan that’s 10.7¢ per kilowatt-hour
  • Technical terms of service that are hard to understand
  • Free Nights and Weekends, but only during certain hours
  • Maximum usage of 1,000 kWh per month while others are for 2,000 kWh per month
  • Minimum usage fees – meaning that if you have a 1,000 kWh plan and only use 987 kWh, you’ll pay a higher rate since you didn’t meet the minimum usage

The best plan for one person may not be the best fit for another person so you need to take all of these factors into consideration in addition to:

  • Contract length
  • Fees
  • Location
  • Zip Code
  • Size of home in square footage
  • Age of home (to determine energy-efficiency)
  • Historical energy usage (you can even submit your previous electricity bills)
  • And more

There are two primary ways to find the best electricity plan for an apartment.

Manual Search – Best For Those That Think Excel Is Fun

Manual Search – Best For Those That Think Excel Is Fun

If creating Excel spreadsheets is your idea of a good time, then the manual search process may be the way to go for you (even then, though, this is an exhaustive process that requires a ton of analysis).

The manual search can cause a lot of stress, confusion, headaches, and wasted time.

  1. You have to research each individual REP on their website to make sure they service the area where your apartment is.
  2. Then, you’ll have to sift through the multiple plans each REP offers.
  3. You have to compile information on each plan that you think is right for you.
  4. After compiling it all, you still have to compare all of the information you gather to decide which is the best plan for you.
  5. Just when you think you have the plan picked out, new plans make their way to the market and rates change.
  6. Sigh…and go back to the beginning to start over again.

Use The Power Wizard Automated Option – Best For Those Who Like Easy

The Power Wizard Shopping Tool can help you find the hands-down best plan for you when all of the relevant factors are taken into consideration (age of home, size of the home, etc.)

Power Wizard has an algorithm that takes all of these factors into consideration when matching you with the plan that is the best one for you.

All you have to do is enter your zip code and answer a few basic questions about your electricity needs.

In less than five minutes, Power Wizard takes this information, searches through ALL of the plans available and matches you with the best one that fits your needs.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

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