Decorating your home and Christmas tree with lights has become a tradition for many Texas families. Depending on the type of lights you use as well as how many strings of lights you are putting up determine how much your electricity usage increase will be over the month of December. To help you stay within budget we are going to break down the cost of having Christmas lights, and when you are a Pogo pay as you go electricity customer, you can remain in control of your usage and spend this holiday season by making adjustments based on your daily usage.

The Real Savings Between Incandescent and LED Lights

The most common types of Christmas lights used today are; Incandescent Lights and LED Lights. If you are like me, you are big time into recycling and reusing what you can. Unfortunately recycling old incandescent lights may not be saving you money in the long run (or short run). Let’s say that you are Ebenezer Scrooge and only put up one string of lights. One 100-count string of incandescent mini lights runs at 40 watts. One 70-count string of LEDs run approximately 4.8 watts total. What this means is that reusing incandescent lights can cost you 90 times more than LEDs in the form of your electric usage and increase in the amount that you see on your electric bill.

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Manage Your Electric Bill Increase

Most people use more than one string of lights to show their Christmas spirit. Looking at a typical household that uses about 10 strings of lights, and maybe some random Christmas decorations will spend anywhere from $10.00 to $15.00 over the course of a month if using incandescent mini lights. That same household would spend $1.50 to $2.50 with the same amount of LED lights. If you are like one of Pogo Energy’s, Christmas obsessed employees who’s house can be seen glowing from outer space, the savings is even more dramatic. She uses 7 strands of icicle lights, 4 strings of lights to cover the fence in her front yard, 2 strings on the porch, 25 strings to wrap the trees in her front yard, 10 strings draped from the branches, 5 strings to outline flower beds, 4 strings to outline the roof of her house, a big blowup Santa and light up candy canes, (we are planning an intervention). With incandescent lights, her electric cost over the course of a month would increase anywhere from $250.00 to $305.00. The same amount of LED lights would cost her $35.00 to $42.00 over the course of the month.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that incandescent lights will cost you far more year after year when compared to the cost of LED lights. All we are trying to say is that Christmas lights are awesome! But decorating using Christmas lights can end up costing you more than you bargain for if you aren’t smart about it. Stay in control this holiday season by knowing the truth about how much your lights cost in increased usage.

Happy Holiday’s from everyone at Pogo Energy!

Ready for your mind to be blown? We debunked 15 myths about energy usage and savings to help you through this winter and beyond.

Myth: “Plugging in device designed for higher voltages (i.e. 240V) uses more electricity than a device designed for lower voltage (i.e. 120V).”
Fact: “The voltage does not impact how much electricity is used. Instead, watts are what count. The output of a device’s power (the volts), is converted to the amount of wattage (electricity), needed to make the device work, therefore no additional electricity is used.

Myth: “When I turn something off, it’s off and not using any electricity.”
Fact: Not all devices or appliances actually power off when you turn them off. If you turn off a device or appliance but keep it plugged in, it may still be using electricity either in a sleep mode or standby mode. If you don’t need it to be plugged in, unplug devices to ensure they are off, and not using electricity.

 

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Myth: “Using space heaters instead of my central heating system will reduce my energy bill.”
Fact: This is not always true for everyone. If a portable heater is powered on for long hours or even all day, it can be more expensive than turning on the central heating in your home. However, using a portable heater in one or two rooms of your home for a short period can save money on your electric bill. Remember space heaters can be dangerous – never keep one turned on while you’re sleeping.

It Does Not Take More Energy To Turn Lights On and Off

Myth: “It’s better just to leave the lights, heater or AC, computer, etc. powered on because it uses less energy than turning them on/off each time.”
Fact: Not every electrical device requires a huge burst of power when you turn it on. Only a few electronics actually use a bit more power to turn on, but the difference is so slight that you’re actually using more energy by keeping electric devices constantly powered on.

Your Lighting Choice Does Make A Difference

Myth: “Energy efficient light bulbs won’t make a big difference on your electric bill.”
Fact: Energy efficient LED light bulbs WILL save you money! In fact, incandescent light bulbs use more than 4 times the amount of energy for the same brightness as LED light bulbs. For outside, consider using solar lights when you are just looking for a small amount of light to illuminate a path.

LED-Lights-Use-Less-Electric

Myth: “Halogen lighting is super energy efficient.”
Fact: Halogen lights require transformers that use extra energy even when the light is off. While Halogen lights do use less energy than incandescent lights, the winner really is fluorescent lighting, which is three times more efficient than Halogen lighting.

Myth: “Setting the thermostat significantly higher or lower will heat up or cool down your home faster.”
Fact: No matter what temperature you set your thermostat at, your furnace or boiler will work equally as hard and fast to meet that goal. The only difference achieved by setting the temperature to a higher degree is that the system will work for a longer period of time, therefore using more energy. The same applies to air conditioners when set to a lower temperature than desired. Another downfall of setting the heat higher is that eventually the air conditioner may kick on to cool the room back down to your actual desired temperature.

running the dishwasher or washing by hand

Myth: “Hand washing dishes instead of running the dishwasher saves energy.”
Fact: All the hot water used while hand washing a load of dishes can actually use more energy than a dishwasher cycle. Remember, it takes energy to heat water to get hot water. Thankfully most dishwashers now have energy-efficiency settings to help reduce the amount of (hot) water and energy used when it runs too.

 

Is Your Charger Using Energy When You Aren’t Charging Anything?

Myth: “Electronic chargers can stay plugged into the wall all the time because they only use energy when charging a device.”
Fact: This is only true for some chargers – but not all. In fact, most chargers that remain plugged into the wall use “vampire power” when a device isn’t attached for charging. A good way to spot this is if your charger is warm to the touch, which is why it’s better to just unplug chargers when not in use.

 

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Myth: “Computers left in sleep mode overnight saves more energy than shutting it down.”
Fact: Your computer uses more energy to stay in sleep mode for long periods of time (like overnight) because it has to maintain constant readiness to turn on at a moment’s notice. Instead, the amount of energy needed to start up after shutting down your computer typically uses less energy, and therefore can contribute to lowering your energy bill.

 

Myth: “Energy efficiency products increase the initial cost of a house.”
Fact: It’s true that a lot of energy efficiency products are expensive but, in many cases, there is actually no or even less initial cost. It’s usually the premium efficiency products that cost more, but that’s likely due to the products’ features or warranty, for example, and not a higher cost for efficiency, specifically.  

Myth: “Buying an energy-efficient air conditioners and/or heating systems will automatically reduce your energy usage.”
Fact: Actually, these systems only work if installed correctly – and surprisingly that is not always the case. Make sure yours is installed properly, for these systems could be using more energy only for you to benefit from two thirds of the heated or cooled air actually produced!

energy-efficient-saves-money

 

Myth: “Duct tape is great for preventing heating system air leaks and sealing ducts.”
Fact: Unfortunately, even duct tape isn’t a match for those dusty, dirty surfaces around a heating system. Try Mastic tape instead, which can be more durable than duct tape in these situations.

Fix Your Faucets! Save Water and Use Less Electricity!

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Myth: “Leaky faucets are NBD (no big deal).”  
Fact: In fact, they ARE a big deal. Did you know that one faucet leaking two drops per second wastes about 200 gallons in a month? And you can imagine the additional consequences if that leaky faucet happens to be hot water… (see tip #8)

 

Myth: “Pay as you go costs more.”
Fact: Pay as you go energy service can actually save you money, and Pogo Energy helps you do that by sending you a daily text message! Switch to Pogo Energy and start your days by knowing how much energy you’ve used, how much you spent, and how much is left in your account so you can add more to your account when you need to.

Pay as you go literally helps you keep track of how much electricity you use, and with Pogo we take pay as you go electricity one step further and send daily texts. Our daily text messages make it easy for you to track your energy usage and see how much you are saving.

As a bonus we’ll debunk one more energy saving myth: “switching electric companies is hard work and a hassle” – FALSE! Fact: Switching could not be easier when you switch to Pogo Energy. Sign up in 60 seconds on our website and we’ll do the rest, including the break-up convo with your old provider (don’t worry, Pogo’s got your back!).  

So, what are you waiting for?? Switch to Pogo Energy today!

It’s officially sweata weatha! Time to turn up the thermostat, cozy up in your favorite cotton/cashmere/fleece sweater while sitting on the couch sipping a venti pumpkin spice latte with extra whip (is it really a PSL without extra whip?), and begin the search for what to treat yourself to this holiday season with all the money you have saved since switching to Pogo. Am i right?

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Since we’re all likely to be spending more  time at home this winter than we ever did before, there is a strong probability that you will be using more electricity than you normally would. We know that the last thing you want to worry about is a high electricity bill and the bill shock that overcomes us as we look at the amount due.

As always, Pogo’s got your back and we’ve gathered some of our favorite tips to help reduce your electric usage and save you money, so you can relax and enjoy sweata weatha.

Tip #1 – If you’re leaving home for more than 4 hours, lower your thermostat to 68 degrees – UNLESS you have pets, consider setting it to 73 degrees at least.

reduce_energy_usageTip #2 – Turn the ceiling fans on low and switch the fan direction to blow air up (button up/blades turning clockwise). This forces warm and cool air to mix in the room (so hot air doesn’t rise and stay there) keeping the room at a steady temperature. On average, ceiling fans only use 60 watts whereas central AC units can use up to 3,500 watts of energy – fewer watts, lower energy bill. Don’t forget to turn the ceiling fans off when you leave your home for continued savings.

Tip #3 – Did you know that heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use?” Stop the breeze by insulating your windows to keep hot air inside your home during the winter.

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Tip #4 – When baking in the oven, check the status of the food through the oven window instead of opening the oven door, if you can. By opening the oven door, you decrease the temperature inside the oven by 25 degrees, which in turn extends the total cook time.

 

Tip #5 – Keep the shades, blinds and drapes open and let the sunshine help to warm your home. Let the sun help you save, and let the sunshine in!

 

tips-for-saving-on-electricTip #6 – Adjust the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and then insulate the hot water heater to help reduce energy usage by about 10-15%. While keeping your thermostat at 120 degrees will save you money, it also reduces scalding and slows mineral buildup and corrosion in your heater and pipes.

 

Tip #7 – Save hot water for yourself and do not wash your laundry on Hot or Warm, choose the cold cycle so that your hot water heater isn’t trying to supply your washer with hot water. Also, if you are a creature of habit, and take showers around the same time each day, put your hot water heater on a timer. Installing a timer to turn off your heater during the times you do not need hot water will help conserve energy.

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Do yourself a favor before sweata weatha becomes a Texas winter and switch to Pogo Energy today! Follow our 7 tips to save money on electricity in cold weather, and you can spend winter cozied up, ordering in and watching your favorite series – powered by 100% clean energy.  

 Want more ways to save money and reduce your electric usage? Check out 3 Ways to Cut Your Energy Bill.

What’s this, a 100% (well, 90%) serious blog post from Pogo Energy? Yup – listen up y’all, we’re here to talk to you about hurricane preparation. 

Hurricane season runs through the end of November, and so far this one has been a doozy. So far, 2020 has seen 23 named storms, with eight of those reaching hurricane status – that’s already five more named storms than last year and two more hurricanes, with more than two months to go.

 

prepare for storMS As y’all know, parts of East Texas have been hit hard by tropical storms and hurricanes in recent years. Hurricane Harvey in particular brought record rain levels, unprecedented flooding and over $125 billion of damage, according to one estimate. 

 

While models for storm paths can be unpredictable, everyone can do their part by making sure they are as prepared as possible for mother nature. Not all of the advice you’ll see out there is super practical (replacing your roof, installing high-impact windows, etc.) so we’ll try to keep this as actionable and universal as we can.

Without further ado;

 

Make Sure You are Prepared Incase of a Hurricane or Storm

 

1. Get waterproof containers for important belongings 

Water damage is no joke. Anything valuable – whether it’s an expensive electronic device like a laptop or something sentimentally valuable like a photo album – should go into a big ol’ waterproof plastic tub. You should be able to find these pretty easily at your local hardware store. Just make sure to store it in a high place, just to be extra safe! 

 

 

2. Copies of important documents (license, birth certificate, social security, etc).

Do you enjoy standing in lines or sitting on hold for hours on end? No? Well then, you should do everything you can to make sure you never lose an important document! 

 

3. Bottled water

So, this is the one that everyone will rush to stock up on. Trust us, we’d love to just stock up on Kool-Aid Blasters® and call it a day, but you’ll need to brush your teeth and whatnot – plus obviously water is super healthy and stuff.

 

 

4. Nonperishable food items

This one is the obvious one, but here’s a caveat: make sure you can actually eat whatever’s in the container. For example, if you’re stocking up on canned goods… make sure you keep the can opener in your emergency kit. Sounds obvious but the last thing you’d want is to have food you can’t open. 

 

 

5. Purchase portable USB charging banks 

If you’re like us, you have DOZENS of these lying around. The trick is charging all of them – but once you do, you won’t have to worry about your phone running out of juice. Also, plenty of these have USB-C support – great for a Nintendo Switch (but obviously your phone is waaaay more important in an emergency).

 

 

6. Personal hygiene products 

Ever go on a trip just to realize that you don’t have a toothbrush, and the ones that the hotel front desk sells are like $5? Well getting stranded at your house without power or clean water and not being able to get to your toothbrush is a thousand times worse. 

 

first aid kit

7. First aid kit 

Pretty straightforward here. Wounds aren’t fun. But not having a first aid kit to treat a wound, well that can be a nightmare.

 

8. A light source that isn’t your phone

Flashlights, electric lanterns, even unscented candles can do the trick for this one. The last thing you want to do is burn through your phone’s battery using its flashlight! 

 

9. A few changes of clothes 

Sweatpants, gym shorts, tank tops, etc. – doesn’t have to be fancy, should be functional and comfortable. 

 

10. Books and board games

Hey, you gotta pass the time somehow, right? If you have roommates, a few games of Cards Against Humanity should help you pass the time. 

 

11. Get refills on your prescriptions

 Again, super obvious, but super important.

 

12. Set aside food for your pets

They’re family too, y’all! And family members need to eat. 

 

13. Unplug all electronic items and put them as high up as you can 

Routers, video game systems, etc. – put that up in a high place where potential flood waters can’t get to it. Also in this category, but not electronic (unless you live in the future): area rugs! Roll those suckers up and put them on top of something. 

 

For those home owners out there, we have some additional tips for y’all. Mostly because we realized that our list of tips ended at 13, and we aren’t sure if 13 is gonna be lucky for us or not. 

 

14. Bring all patio furniture and outdoor decor inside 

That potted plant you got last week, or the wind chime you got from the Secret Santa at work last Christmas- well, bring those items in along with chairs and trash cans and anything else that you don’t want flying through the air. If you’ve got space inside, that’s where your stuff should be. 

 

15. Shutter or board up your windows 

This advice is more for homeowners than renters, but if you’re renting make sure you yell at your landlord until they shore up your windows somehow. 

 

16. Install a heavy-duty deadbolt on your front door

Again, more for homeowners, but a weak deadbolt is no match for hurricane-force winds that can throw heavy objects around. 

 

17. Trim tree branches within 10 feet of your home 

Remember what we said about the potted plant above? Well a tree is just like a potted plant, only not in a pot and way bigger and you know what, at this point we’re just stating the obvious so let’s move on to…

 

18. Clean out gutters  

Too much debris and water means flooded gutters, which means a ton of damage. Clean those bad boys out!

Truth is- anything that you can do to prepare for severe weather is good, especially a storm as concerning as a hurricane. So take a minute to GET informed, GET what you need, so you are prepared when mother nature shows her nasty side. And if you are asked to GET OUT when the weather becomes too dangerous for you to sit through, please do so, because no matter what- we want you and your family to stay safe throughout hurricane season.

As your Prepaid Electric Provider– We are here for you through the sunshine and the storms.

Lately, every time we log onto our social channels, we see posts with graphics that are charting the spread of coronavirus along with the historical amount of unemployment claims. We are all in uncharted territory as we experience a new level of stress where saving money to stretch every penny holds vital importance. 

 

 

  We are right here with you and waiting for good news as we are being bombarded with the worst-case scenario of where our country and economy are headed in the weeks and months to come.  We totally get it, you are freaking out. But before you go into overdrive let us shave some of the stress off the top with, Everything You Need To Know To Survive the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Saving Money & Stretching Your Dollar-

How to keep your energy usage in check to make sure your keep your electric affordable:

saving money during pandemic

Googling “energy saving tips” will usually lead to things like “get new windows” or “install a smart thermostat” – those things work in the long run, but they’re useless for those of us who are renting and/or don’t have funds available to invest in expensive upgrades at the moment. Y’all know this already, but the easiest way to reduce your bill is to reduce your usage. That is why we send you daily text alerts – so you know exactly how much electricity you’re using each day.  

Here are a few simple tips to reduce your electric usage;

  • Simplify your wardrobe – pick out a few outfits that you can wash in the cold cycle since that uses less energy than warm or hot laundry loads. 
  • Make sure every load of laundry is a full load of laundry.  
  • Pick one or two “meeting only” formal shirts, wear them on video conference calls only, then hang them right back up. They won’t get *that* dirty from an hour or two of use. Nobody will know if you wear the same two shirts for a couple of weeks. Maybe throw on the occasional sweater to throw them off the scent.  
  • This is a wonderful time to keep your windows open!  
  • Try to avoid using the oven if your A/C is on – it’ll heat your living space, making your A/C work overtime.  
  • Make sure you only leave kitchen vents and bathroom vents running when you need them to run. They suck out air- which means that cool air that you have paid for, is leaving.  
  • Unplug. If a devise does not need to be plugged into an outlet or turned on, unplug it, or turn it off.  
  • Check into window film for your home windows. Home window film reduces heat, helps maintain inside temperatures, blocks UV rays and is cheaper than replacing your windows. 
  • Not to mention- with window film installed, you can keep the lights off during the day and let natural light shine through and help your overall mood.  

Want even more tips to help save money on your electric bill? Check out our blog and we give more tips and tricks to reduce your energy consumption.

Covid-19-Wearing-a-mask

How to stay social while practicing social distancing and staying in isolation:  

  We all miss our happy hours, gym buddies and small talk at the office. For many, the toughest part of COVID-19 has been social distancing and isolation. If you’re a social butterfly, you may want to consider trying one of these suggestions to keep you as close to sane as you were before COVID-19: 

  • Phone conversations, you know an actual conversation (not text messaging) with family and friends to keep you feeling connected. 
  • Sharing surveys and “challenges” on Instagram and Facebook and tagging your friends 
  • If you’re working from home, coordinate video lunch breaks  
  • Start a book club and a Discord channel or group text to discuss  
  • Venture outside and take a walk. (don’t forget to adhere to the social distancing guidelines).  

Don’t feel pressured to be productive: 

  “I could do this job from home, and I’d have so much time to do more personal projects!” 

  Odds are, you’ve said this to yourself at some point over the last few months before any of this stuff happened. And if you’re like us, you have discovered that you are not as productive as you thought you would be. Sure, maybe you’re getting all of your work done, but the dishes and laundry are piling up, or you keep seeing all of your friends sharing Instagram workout challenge but you can’t muster up the energy to match them. Don’t worry about it.  

toilet paper covid-19We’re all going through an unprecedented, ongoing traumatic event. You may be feeling anxious- maybe a little lost or even overwhelmed with all the changes and restrictions, but do not worry – it doesn’t mean that you’re failing. Try to find something to be happy about, thankful for and something to find joy in every day and focus on that for a bit.

Consider a new hobby, video games, a board game with the kids, or cleaning out the closet to feel productive and accomplished. Find time for happiness and find time for you. 

  (side note-please refrain from any hobby having to do with toilet paperthat stuff is in short supply for some of us).  

(As the great Celine Dion so powerfully stated, “All By Myself, Don’t Wanna Be All By Myself… ANYMORE…”) But since we have little choice in the matter, let us share some thoughts and insight into who we are, as individuals and as a company. As anyone who follows us on social media can attest to, we are often described as being an eccentric group’ that is full of ‘personality. Like the rest of the nation, our sanity is being tried as we settle into the wonderful world of social distancing.  

Whether you’re on the front lines helping patients fight coronavirus in the ICU, working at a grocery store to ensure that people can still get groceries or even if you’re just practicing social distancing, we all need to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19.  

We started Pogo Energy because we have never found an electric company that we *liked* – and we wanted to change that. We did not set out to be “the best”. We set out to be different, honest, and transparentWe want to be the perfect company for your needs – whether you are just in it for a(n electric) hook-up or a long-term light solution.  

All of that led us to this: 

  • No hidden fees (they are dumb and bad!)  
  • No long-term contracts (also dumb and bad!)  
  • No deposit (bad and dumb!!)  
  • No BS (meaning Bill Shock, but also meaning exactly what you think it means)  

We are fans of keeping it real, so it made sense to build a company that strives to do the sameWe are not in the price gauging or fee exploiting business; we are in the “helping out the people in our community” business.  

 Our goal is – has been –and will always be, to bring empathy and fairness to an industry that has been lacking in such qualities for far too long.  

 

To the essential personnel:   covid 19 essential workers

Keep in mind, this won’t last forever, and even if what we once considered to be our normal is left in the past, we are here for you, today, tomorrow and for as long as you need us. If you are struggling, please check out these useful Covid-19 Resources. Pogo Energy thanks all of those on the front line. To every grocery store employee, pharmacist, doctor, nurse, veterinarian, and supply distributor, you are appreciated.  

  From our family to yours- Stay home- Stay safe, and we hope that you are staying sane. 

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