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Old 01-22-2011, 08:41 AM
Location: Haslet...where the cows meet suburbia
85 posts, read 164,501 times
Reputation: 42


I'm considering going with a plan that uses 100% renewable energy, but I have a couple of questions.

First, does that mean your house has to be all solar panel and wind turbines, or does the power company have the capacity to store the renewable energy they generate and then deliver it to your standard wired home?

Also, I think it's best that I go with a fixed rate, but for how long, and if I don't use a lot of energy, would a variable rate make much of a difference in the long run?

I don't use a lot of energy; this past month was 533 kwh. Granted, that's in CA, but we've been having some pretty cold nights and my windows are still 1970's metal frame ones. Needless to say, the heat has been cranked! What I'm more concerned about is summertime in Texas. We don't have A/C in my house, so how many kwh does air conditioning use in say a 2300 sq.ft., 2-story home and do you leave it on all day if you have pets at home?

What's the average kwh usage in Fort Worth for a home with 4 LCD TV's, HE washer and dryer, Energy Star fridge, 3 laptops, and a desktop, with a family of 3 that will only be home on the evenings and part of the weekend? (I really don't expect anyone to be able to answer that one. I just thought I'd throw it out there to see if anyone has a similar set up who can give me their average monthly usage)

Finally, not related to power, but where do I find my options for cable and gas? I went to powertochoose for electric.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:01 AM
34,048 posts, read 54,042,513 times
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a company that provides your home with "renewable" energy has made it through those sources supposedly--maybe wind farms, maybe solar generated--who knows
considering that TX does not have large solar farms or even that many wind farms and we have only the Highland Lakes and local producers like GVEC for water generated electricity I wonder where they get all the "renewable" energy they are supposed to provide their customers who ask/pay for it...

so frankly I think that is really pretty suspect--I don't think there is anyone separating out these streams of energy or color coding them so when they come through the transmission lines to your home there is a way to really check your house is getting only "renewable" electricity

using AC drives lot of the electricity costs in houses in this area because we have way more cool than heat driven days
the energy efficienty of AC units also drops with the heat--all SEER ratings lose efficiency as the heat index rises--
one way to help that is to get cooling units set on the shady side of the house vs ones that are in the sun in the hotter parts

getting home with radiant barrier on underside of the roof does help keep down attic temps--having good ventilation in older homes' attics or having a new home with foam insulation and sealed attic space (expensive/rare) really helps cut down cooling costs

ARKLA is the major gas provider in the DFW metroplex--think you would have to move to town like Weatherford to find anyone different
some areas of DFW don't offer gas to homes--they are all electric and heating is expensive since even water heaters are electric--happens in certain subdivisions--and in certain age developments--

if you are in some parts of Keller or other areas outside FTW you might not have TXU as electric provider but local non-profit called--Tri County Electric Coop--
some coops are not well run and can screw the people they provide electricity for because they have directors that are power hunger and abuse the rules the legislature runs them under but Tri Co is pretty good one from what I have read--their rates a couple of years ago were really cheap compared to TXU--don't know about now
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