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Blog May 18, 2016

Are You Aware of Energy Efficiency Programs?

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Here’s yet another way to improve your savings on your electricity and energy bills. Texas, like many other states, has energy efficiency programs available.

The first guideline for eligibility is that you must have a Transmission & Distribution Utility (TDU) from the list of available providers below. The TDU is the company that does all the physical maintenance and service on the wires. They also read your meter and provide the usage information to the REP. The Retail Electric Provider (REP), does not matter. The REP is the company that handles all the billing, administration, and service.

Here’s the list of eligible TDUs:

  • AEP Texas Central
  • AEP Texas North
  • CenterPoint Energy
  • El Paso Electric Co.
  • Entergy Texas
  • Onco
  • Southwestern Electric Power Company
  • Texas-New Mexico Power
  • Xcel Energy
  • Sharyland

If you are part of an electric cooperative, you also are not eligible for these programs.

Who Came Up with Texas Energy Efficiency Programs?

There’s actually a voluntary organization with yet another long acronym. Possibly the longest you’ve ever seen – EUMMOT. That stands for “The Electric Utility Marketing Managers of Texas.” The organization is made of 10 utilities from across the state of Texas.

The idea is that, since rates generally can’t be raised, it makes more sense for utilities to lower costs to increase their profit margins instead. They also have some regulation, passed in 1999, that forces them to make energy efficiency a goal.

How Do You Participate in an Energy Efficiency Program?

Even though your eligibility is determined by your TDU, you actually end up participating usually through local contractors. For example, a solar panel installer actually does the work of giving you the solar panel and reducing your costs. They then handle any additional payment or reimbursement issues through your TDU.

To figure out your eligibility for any energy efficiency programs, you simply call your TDU and ask what’s available. If you don’t know your TDU, you can use this map.

Or, simply call your REP (the company that sends you your electric bill), and ask how to contact your TDU. Your TDU can give you all the information you need to learn what programs are available and how you can take advantage of the benefits they offer.

You can go to their websites too. But, they tend to be outdated, difficult to use, and it could be hard to find the information you need.

So give ‘em a call. You just might score a savings opportunity you didn’t know existed.

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