Mysteries can be fun! Who didn’t love watching Scooby-Doo (even the live action one, which surprisingly holds up!) back in the day, or trying to figure out who your secret admirer was (because you totally had one, they just went to another school in Canada or something), or trying to guess what flavor the white Airheads were?

Yeah, never mind, the live action Scooby Doo does NOT hold up well.

“Why is my energy bill so high?” is not one of those fun mysteries. Mostly because there is no fun answer – like the white mystery Airheads, where every answer is fun! – instead typically boiling down to “you used too much energy” or “your rates are too high” or “there are a ton of hidden fees in here.”

If you don’t know what to look for in an energy company, you’re probably getting a bad deal on your energy bill, whether it’s hidden fees, high rates, misleading advertising or just generally high usage. Luckily, your friendly neighborhood energy company/charismatic blog presence Pogo Energy is here to save the day! Here’s some actual advice on how to lower your energy bill.

1: Reduce Your Usage
There’s no shortage of different tips out there for reducing your energy usage, ranging from “yeah, I could do that” (unplugging things you’re not using!) to “who do you think I am, Scrooge McDuck?” (outfitting your home with solar panels).

Meanwhile, we’re scrounging up all the loose change in our car in the Whataburger drive-thru.

With that in mind, though, lower overall usage will almost always lead to lower bills. The one exception would probably be if you fall into one of those scam “free nights and weekends” plans and your usage all falls during the daytime. But we digress.

The one big thing you can do to save money on your energy bill is by doing all the small things that play into reducing your energy usage. Like these!

  1. Instead of blasting the heat or air conditioning, open windows when it’s nice outside! Not only does it save you energy and give you a nice little breeze, but it’s scientifically proven to improve your mood!
  2. As mentioned above, unplug things you’re not using! It may not seem like much, but unplugging idle devices can save as much as $200 per year in many cases.
  3. Turn off your lights, too! Leaving lights on when you’re not in the room is wasteful and takes up a big chunk of your energy bill.
  4. Wash your clothes on cold! You should probably be doing this anyways, since it can extend the life of your clothes, but it also uses a lot less energy and can save you roughly $60 per year. That’s $5 per month, which is basically “yeah I know guac is extra” cashflow.
  5. Change your light bulbs! There’s some up-front investment here, obviously, but you’ll make that back and then some, to the tune of $200 of savings per year.
  6. Invest in a smart thermostat! Brands like Nest and Ecobee are very popular, and while there’s also an up-front cost for these, they can help you save money on your energy bill in the long run, roughly $140 per year.

If you do all of those things (and you’re great, so why not?), that all adds up to $600 of energy savings per year – and that’s without having a good estimate on the impact of opening windows or turning off lights.

2: Switch to Pogo
Switching to Pogo Energy is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do – seriously, it takes five minutes – and it’ll save you $387 per year on your energy bills.

Our pay-as-you-go electricity model puts you in charge, and our daily text alerts can let you know when you’re being wasteful or using too much energy. But beyond that, there’s another huge way we can save you money compared to the other guys: we don’t have any hidden fees – or connect/disconnect fees!

TFW someone asks us if we have hidden fees.

Texans already pay way too many hidden fees each year, and the Power To Choose site isn’t doing enough to halt that practice. Our Pogo Promise is that we’ll never engage in those practices. No hidden fees ever. Other guys will charge you all kinds of fees – connection fees, disconnection fees, low balance fees, reconnection fees, “today is Tuesday” fees, “you posted an Instagram photo of latte art” fees, pretty much anything they can think of.

That means that, with the other guys, you’re not just paying for your usage – you’re paying for their whims and rules, too. Beyond that, you’re probably paying to hurt the environment. That’s why, in addition to never charging hidden fees, we’re committed to only providing 100% sustainable energy.

Plus, unlike going with one of the other guys (which you shouldn’t do) or buying a bunch of LED bulbs (which you probably should!), there’s no upfront cost with us. No deposit, just load up your account and get started. We’ll even give you the first three days for free!

If that somehow isn’t enough to convince you, we’re also introducing Pogo Rewards! Our customers get Reward Dollars every month and daily gift card giveaways, putting even more money in your pocket instead of going to some energy executive with seven vacation houses.

3: Do BOTH of those things
Okay, so this isn’t really *another* thing, but the logic here works, right? If you reduce your usage, you’ll save money. If you switch to Pogo, you’ll save money. If you reduce your usage AND switch to Pogo, you’ll save even more money.

Adding together the $600 per year from reducing your usage and the $387 per year from our rates, you’re looking at *frantically pounds calculator keys* $900 per year, which is pretty darn good.

But here’s the kicker: reducing your energy usage is even easier when you’re with Pogo Energy. Our daily text alerts and pay-as-you-go setup will let you know if you’re using more energy than you planned on. Plus, you get the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll never get charged a hidden fee.

Roll with us, and you’ll never have another bad surprise from your energy company. Just good surprises in your bank account. It’s a no-brainer, right?

Looking for cheap electricity? Hey, good for you, more people should! Unfortunately, it’s almost as tough to find as it is to define – despite all of the advertisements out there promising low rates – but hey, you’ve come to the right place for both of those answers!

First, yes, we have cheap electricity – but don’t call us “cheap”, please. We certainly provide energy at a lower cost to you than a lot of the other guys, because we know that in our modern world, electricity is a necessity, and shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Why do some electric plans on the Power To Choose site cost less, though? For that, let’s go to our Marketplace Fairness Correspondent*, Caelynn from ABC’s The Bachelor. Hey Caelynn, is cheap electricity different than expensive electricity, or the same?

Season 23 Episode 6 GIF by The Bachelor - Find & Share on GIPHY

[*Note: She doesn’t work for us, it was just the first GIF that popped up when we typed ‘same’]

Thank you, Caelynn from ABC’s The Bachelor!

So, will your lights flicker if I choose a “cheap electric company”? Absolutely not.

Will your grandma’s chili recipe take longer to bring up to a simmer on your electric stove? Dude, no, but share that recipe with us.

Is the electricity different in any way? Nope!

See, we all get our power from the same Transmission and Distribution Utilities (TDUs) across Texas. You have the power to choose how much you pay, and how you pay for it. So “cheap lights” doesn’t mean lower quality.

In other instances, yeah, going cheap isn’t a great idea. How do you feel after picking Taco Bell over Torchy’s or Chipotle? Not great!

Sxsw 2016 Omg GIF by Torchy's Tacos - Find & Share on GIPHY

Love you, Torchy’s! Send us free tacos please!

Sometime we have to buy some  cheap shoes, and they just don’t last as long and they’re not as comfortable. And let’s skip past that time you saved some money one-ply toilet paper. You see where we’re going with this, folks, and “cheap” can get pretty ugly.

What about with utilities? Good luck streaming the best show on Netflix (spoiler alert: it’s Jeopardy! reruns) on the cheapest internet plan. Skimping on your cable TV package (or skipping it altogether) might not be a huge deal if you have your friend’s HBO Go password. But don’t you hate getting cheap (and bad) internet service. After all, Game of Thrones is coming back soon, and we can’t wait to see if [REDACTED SPOILER] finally kills [REDACTED SPOILER].

Game Of Thrones Puppy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

We’d just be happy with more screen time for the direwolves, to be honest.

Electricity is a different story, though, because of *what* makes it expensive. Why do the big guys charge more? Do they have some kind of special VIP electrical grid with a velvet rope, sparklers and bottle service? Nope. Is it artisanal, hand-crafted electricity? Nope.

Obviously, if there was some kind of VIP section, we would’ve been on the guest list.

The difference isn’t the electrons themselves – it’s the companies peddling it. They pretend that their plans are the cheapest, then lock you into a long-term contract and make their profits off of all the hidden fees they didn’t tell you about. You shouldn’t need a law degree to save on your energy bills – electricity is a necessity! – but with some of these contracts, that’s the only way.

Contracts and fees aren’t the only shady practices these companies engage in. That “free nights and weekends” plan you signed up for is probably a scam, too.

And energy companies with higher rates don’t have much reason behind that. Do they charge more because of their customer service? Ha, good one. You’ve called your electric company with a billing questionThat usually ends with their customers doing this.

Angry Hate GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

(Of course, if you do want good customer service… well, click here)

So, even if a company claims that they have the lowest rate, you can bet they’ll make up for it with fees. And… if a company has a high rate, you’re not really getting anything extra for that money.

Want actual cheap electricity? Here’s how: find a better energy company. Like us!

You won’t find any hidden fees here, not because they’re hidden *really* well, it’s because we don’t have any to begin with. Same goes for things like deposits, credit checks, annual contracts, snakes, etc.

What we do have, though, is a ton of extremely satisfied customers, low rates, full transparency, excellent service, 100% clean energy, fresh baked cookies (just kidding on that one – we wish!) and a burning desire to change the electricity game in Texas. In other words, you could pick us on price alone, but there are so many other reasons to switch.

Speaking of paying less, you know the best way to do that? Actually being aware of your usage in real-time! Our pay-as-you-go model (also known as prepaid electricity, but without all the dirty tricks that many prepaid providers pull) includes daily text alerts telling you how much energy you’re using. Putting you in control helps you reduce your usage, which means reducing your bill no matter what your rate is.

Looking for cheap electricity? Hey, it doesn’t get any cheaper than free – and we’ll cover your first three days at no cost to you and no strings attached. Don’t like us? No worries – you can cancel any time – but we’re confident that won’t happen.

Between helping you cut your usage, not charging you hidden fees and not locking you into a long contract, we think we’ve got the perfect recipe for *actual* cheap electricity.