All posts by Juan Elizondo

This One Tip Really Will Cut Your Electricity Bill

Save money this summer with a smart thermostat


ThermostatOf all the money-saving electricity conservation tips and tricks, there’s one that truly moves the needle – and, of course, it’s the one many people avoid: managing your thermostat.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a business operator, allowing your air conditioner to run while homes and businesses are empty is usually 100 percent waste. So why do people do it? Two time-worn reasons stand out.

The first is that people prefer to set it and forget it. That would be fine if outside temperatures stayed constant, but that’s not the case. Think of it this way: On a 70-degree day, walking outside doesn’t cause much of a sweat. When it’s 85, you might sweat a bit. At 100+, you’re sweating buckets before the door is locked behind you.

Your air conditioner faces the same impact. It doesn’t work much when outdoor temps are 70, but it’s in overdrive at 100. Adjusting the thermostat setting based on outdoor temperatures is a sure way to reduce your air conditioner’s runtime, and that helps lower the bill.

The other reason people don’t manage their thermostats is because they don’t want to arrive to an uncomfortable environment at home or work. That’s reasonable and easily avoided.

thermostat programmingThe best of today’s smart thermostats are easy to adjust from the device on the wall, an Internet-connected computer or a mobile app. Some, like the TXU iThermostatTM, even self-adjust as you and your mobile devices move closer to or further away from your home. In fact, smart thermostats offer a bit of set-it-and-forget-it functionality because set-up functions are needed only once or twice a year.

While the Farmer’s Almanac says the dog days of summer are coming to a close, we know hot Texas temperatures will be with us through as late as the end of September. Now is the perfect time to take control by investing in a smart thermostat.

TXU Energy Program Equips New Employees for Success

Newest class in Analyst Momentum Program starts its 30-month run


Members of the 2016 Analyst Momentum Program get training in their first weeks on the job.

Members of the 2016 Analyst Momentum Program get training in their first weeks on the job.

TXU Energy operates in the country’s most competitive retail electricity market and the race to hire and keep great people is no less competitive. That’s why the company continues to invest in its Analyst Momentum Program, which immerses participants in a 30-month introduction to the market and the company.

The program is just one of the ways TXU Energy finds, develops and keeps great people – and it doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Participants fill real jobs across the company and department leaders expect them to bring new ideas and enthusiasm to their various assignments.

“Over the next two-and-a-half years, each class member will rotate through several positions in different areas of the company,” said Laura Campos, a manager in TXU Energy’s customer contact group and the program manager. “That’s in addition to classroom-style trainings, tours of related facilities and projects that stretch their analytical and presentation skills.”

Successful participants have the opportunity to continue as regular TXU Energy employees when they finish their rotational assignments.

“While it’s a significant challenge to move around and jump into new areas, the program gives the participants exceptional insights and points of contact across the business,” Laura said. “Those things are invaluable when it comes to the work that they take on after completing the program.”

TXU Energy revamped and broadened the program in 2013.

“At the end of the program, we’ll have well-prepared, well-rounded individuals who will have a greater understanding of the Texas electric market and what TXU Energy is all about,” Laura said.

The 2016 class includes an Illinois native with a STEM MBA from Texas Tech; four Texans with bachelor’s degrees from Texas universities; and two master’s candidates from Texas.

TXU Energy, Social Service Agencies Keep Texans Safe, Cool in Their Homes


For more than 30 years, TXU Energy has helped its customers in financial crisis through TXU Energy Aid, the largest bill-payment program among all retail electricity providers in the United States. But the longevity and size of the program aren’t the only things that make it stand out.

Kim Campbell, Community Relations Manager, speaks to the Houston community about TXU Energy Aid.

Kim Campbell, Community Relations Manager, speaks to the Houston community about TXU Energy Aid.

As the Waco Tribune-Herald noted in an editorial, the program helps TXU Energy customers who are in financial crisis regardless of their recent income history. That’s important because many assistance programs are tied to the federal poverty rate and other guidelines, which disqualifies many Texans from getting assistance.

Whether it’s an unexpected job loss, emergency medical bills or some other reason, many families are one crisis away from needing assistance. Partners in the TXU Energy Aid program, including Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, say the program gives them tremendous flexibility to help families regain self-sufficiency. In an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Catholic Charities said TXU Energy Aid brings in people who need additional help to get back on their feet.

Consumers who know they cannot pay their current electricity bill should call their provider as quickly as possible to seek assistance. They can also call the state’s 2-1-1 referral network to find an agency that can provide help.

TXU Energy is honored by the trust millions of Texans put in our company to power their homes and businesses. The company is also grateful to the hundreds of social service agencies that help our neighbors through TXU Energy Aid and other programs.

 

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TXU Energy Plays Role in Effort to End Poverty

Catholic Charities of Fort Worth credits company for TXU Energy Aid program


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Heather Reynolds, CEO, Catholic Charities of Fort Worth

The Star-Telegram is shining a light on an ambitious effort to end poverty in Fort Worth – and TXU Energy is part of the story.

Heather Reynolds, CEO of Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, told the Star-Telegram editorial board that money provided by TXU Energy, its employees and customers allows her organization to help TXU Energy customers who are in financial crisis and preserve other funds for long-term, poverty-ending efforts.

Catholic Charities of Fort Worth has been a partner in the TXU Energy Aid program for more than a dozen years. In the past five years alone, the agency has used the program to help TXU Energy customers pay about 90,000 electricity bills totaling about $2.5 million.

In all, TXU Energy works with about 80 social service agencies across the state to administer the more than 30-year-old emergency assistance program. It also works closely with hundreds of additional government and non-profit agencies that use public and other private funds to help consumers who are in financial crisis.

Reynolds calls TXU Energy a model for corporate partnership.

You can hear more from her and other TXU Energy Aid partners in this recent video about the program, and check out one customer’s story.

Connecting Consumers to Solar Power in Texas

TXU Energy has one of the most comprehensive solar programs in the country


The Texas sun is shining bright and thanks to TXU Energy, consumers have access to a wide range of solar options to power their homes and businesses.

sp_los_altos_2 copyAccording to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas had 341 megawatts of utility-scale solar generation capacity at the end of November. That was enough electricity to power about 65,000 average Texas homes for a full year. While that’s a small percentage of Texans, utility-scale solar generation is growing faster than other types of electricity generation in Texas.

Just as it did during the early days of wind generation in Texas, TXU Energy, the state’s leading retail electric provider, is helping business and residential customers understand the benefits of solar electricity. The company is also developing a variety of ways to meet consumers’ diverse needs and preferences related to solar electricity.

In recent months, TXU Energy:

2016 Texas Solar Farm Barilla Solar Project First Solar Inc. - 2“We have one of the most diverse portfolios of solar offerings in the market, and we are proud of the benefits these plans deliver to the state, environment and consumers,” said Scott Hudson, chief operating officer for TXU Energy. “Working with our sister company, Luminant, we are bringing together the best companies to work for Texans.”

TXU Energy and Luminant, the largest electricity generator in Texas, are working with solar-industry leaders, including SunEdison®, SunPower® and First Solar®.

“While our customers benefit from our ability to deliver great solar plans and services, the industry benefits from the growing consumer interest in solar electricity and the state benefits from jobs and the deployment of more renewable electricity generation,” Hudson said. “We are proud to be doing our part and we’re honored that so many Texans trust TXU Energy to power their homes and businesses.”

TXU Energy Puts Texas Sun in Greater Reach

New electricity plan is the state’s first to be backed by 100 percent Texas solar power


TXU Energy is giving the option of renewable energy to even more Texans with the first retail electricity plan to be backed by 100 percent Texas solar power.

TXU Energy Solar AdvantageSM builds on TXU Energy’s commitment to provide consumers the products and services they want with price protection and guaranteed satisfaction.

Consumers who choose TXU Energy Solar Advantage will lock in their electricity rate for three years and can cancel the plan for any reason within the first 60 days.

The plan is the latest renewable electricity offer from TXU Energy. In addition to TXU Energy Solar Advantage, the company offers TXU Solar from SunPower – a rooftop panel option – as well as a plan backed by 100 percent Texas wind energy and the option to add 100 percent Texas wind energy credits to almost any TXU Energy electricity plan.

“More and more Texans are becoming interested in electricity from renewable sources and we are excited to provide plenty of choices for our customers,” said Sam Sen, vice president of TXU Solutions.

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