My dad’s a penny-pinching environmentalist. Every time I go to his place in Connecticut he is doing something new to try and save a few bucks, and simultaneously help the planet. He takes ice cold showers and turns the tap off while he lathers to save on the cost of water and minimize consumption. He boils a kettle on his wood stove to cut kitchen electricity costs and conserve energy. He even shuts off all the lights after 6pm and only uses candlelight for the rest of the evening. Of course, I admire his frugality and his commitment to a greener, cleaner planet, but his most recent attempt to cut costs and lower his electrical bill had me in stitches.
When I went for a visit over Memorial Day weekend, I noticed that he had big wads of electrical tape wrapped around his power cords—one on his computer, one on his refrigerator, and one on his television. “Coffee,” he said matter-of-factly when he saw my puzzled look. “It’s going to cut my electricity bill in half.”
After a little googling, I realized that it’s actually a thing. People tape packets of a special coffee and herb mixture on electrical cords and claim that it dramatically decreases consumption and the price of electricity by reducing the surge of electric power through the cord. The story goes that a young man was able to prolong his ailing mother’s life by giving her a mixture of coffee and medicinal plants, like spirulina, moringa, and ginseng. He then had the brilliant but seemingly random idea of taping it to his electrical cords and voila–it seemed to work wonders in that context too. How these things are connected, I don’t know.
There is currently no valid scientific evidence supporting these ideas—just a few photos of reduced bills and some lofty, salesy claims—but that didn’t faze my dad. I pointed out that if he really wants to be frugal and environmentally conscious he should switch to a third-party energy supplier that offers fixed supply rates and renewable energy plans. That got his attention.
How Competitive Electric Suppliers Can Offer Fixed-Rate Bills
My dad has been with his current utility company ever since our family moved to our home, in the Blue Hills area of Hartford, when I was still in middle school. He’s never changed electric suppliers because he didn’t know there was anything else out there and he had no idea that third-party energy suppliers are disrupting utility companies in Connecticut.
So on a picture-perfect spring day, I sat down with him and explained that local utility companies buy electricity as it is being produced, which means they are subject to whatever the current market price is. This, by the way, changes every minute. Fuel costs, operational costs, and an increased or decreased demand for energy all affect the market price, so as a consumer it can be tough to anticipate when your bill will skyrocket or when it will be more manageable.
Third-party electric suppliers, on the other hand, purchase energy in bulk from local plants ahead of production. This way, they can negotiate price with the power plant and in turn, offer their customers competitive prices and fixed rates. It’s a win, win, win scenario.
In my dad’s case, his usage is pretty much always the same. He tries hard to make sure of that, so when his energy bill is higher even though his usage hasn’t changed, he gets a bit cranky—hence the (apparent) need for taping coffee packets to the cords of his appliances. Gotta love the ingenuity, though.
Renewable Energy Credits for a Cleaner Planet
What I love about my dear old man is that he doesn’t just think of himself. He’s always done his part to conserve the planet for future generations. At one point he even considered installing a turbine in his backyard so he could get off the grid altogether, but the cost was excessive and his zoning restrictions forbade it. So when I told him about purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs), he perked up. Many people, my father included (ever since the personal turbine fiasco), assume that renewable energy is out of reach for the common man, but third-party electric suppliers are making it possible to support clean, green energy in a meaningful way.
Basically, RECs help you offset your power consumption with sustainable options like wind power, solar power, biomass energy, and geothermal energy. When you purchase RECs, you ensure that for every hour of your energy consumption, an equal amount of sustainable energy is being produced. While your individual home may not be sustained with renewable energy due to the nature of the grid, the amount of energy needed to sustain your home would be pumped into the collective pool of available energy.
Save Your Coffee for Drinking – Switch Electric Suppliers
If you are both frugal and environmentally conscious, switching to a third-party electric supplier that offers competitive, fixed-rate renewable energy plans and RECs is probably the right thing for you to do. Not only does it make budgeting a lot easier, you can also make a positive impact on the environment without poking holes in packs of coffee and sticking them to your appliance cords.
Thankfully my dad was game to switch from Eversource to Liberty Power, the third-party energy supplier serving our home state. As a bonus, I now don’t have to live in fear of showing up at my dad’s house only to see that he’s covered the whole thing in tin foil.
Instead of spending your time and energy strapping packs of coffee to your cords, sit back, relax, and give Liberty Power a call. We’d love to chat with you about our fixed-rate renewable energy plans so that you can become part of the smart, sustainable energy movement.
Photo Credit: Michal Grosicki