kWh is an acronym for a *k*ilo*W*att *h*our. A kWh represents 1,000 watts (kilowatt) of power being used for an entire hour. This measurement is used because it simplifies energy bills for both users and providers. Energy use is most often done inconsistent intervals of usage rather than one instantaneous burst, which is why the measurement used on energy bills clearly represents energy use over consistent intervals of an hour.
There are two forms of energy that serve as the power source for our electricity – renewables and non-renewables. Renewable energy simply means energy that will be around and is able to be replenished for essentially forever. Examples include solar energy (which comes from the sun), wind energy, and geothermal energy.
Deregulation means the removal or reduction of government regulations. At WattBuy, energy provider deregulation is our main focus. Energy deregulation means that the government previously locked consumers into a small amount of utility providers, but have now freed up the sphere, increasing competition and (hopefully) driving down prices through fair play competition. Unfortunately, it also makes the process more complex, which is why services like WattBuy exist.
Distribution is the final step in the process of electric delivery. This stage is the most visible to consumers - it’s evident through the power lines that lead to homes and the bills paid to distribution companies. Electricity distribution generally occurs at a low voltage through networks that connect smaller electricity substations directly to the consumer’s home or business. By creating effective distribution channels, energy companies are able to separate many consumers from potentially negative dangers of having an electricity substation near their home. Thanks to effective distribution companies and technology, consumers are able to enjoy the use of electricity across the grid.
Transmission is the unseen workhorse of the electric delivery process. Electric transmission is somewhat similar to electricity distribution; however, electric transmission generally takes place directly from the power plant. Once electricity is generated, it’s delivered at high voltage to substations, where the high voltage product is decreased through a transformer and then delivered through the electricity distribution network.
The first step in the electricity delivery process is the generation of electricity. In order to generate electricity, another energy source is expended. Electricity is typically created through spinning a magnet inside coils of wire, and so many electric generation sources involve using various energy sources to create steam that turns a turbine, or in the case of wind energy, directly turning a turbine via wind power. Currently, the most common energy source are fossil fuels, coal, and non-renewables thanks to their convenience and cost.
Fixed Rate Plans
A fixed rate plan is a plan that maintains the same (fixed) rate month by month, regardless of whether electricity rates rise or fall. Every month, for as long as your plan lasts, each kWh of power used will cost the same amount. This type of plan is beneficial in times of rising electricity costs, but can also come back to bite the consumer if electricity rates fall and the user is still on the higher fixed rate.
Variable Rate Plans
A variable rate plan changes month by month. The rate for each kWh used will change in response to many different factors. This type of plan is beneficial for consumers in times of falling electricity rates.
Prepaid plans allow the consumer to budget for the price of their electricity bill in advance. A prepaid plan means that the consumer won’t be surprised by high electricity bills. In this type of payment plan, the user is able to pay in advance for their expected energy use at a given price. If the prepaid balance gets low, users are able to reload their account by depositing extra credits.