Can you guess how much it would cost Clark Griswold to electrify his house? Whether you’re gearing up for a Griswold-scale holiday or spending time with loved ones, competitive power suppliers help bring cleaner and more affordable electricity to keep the season bright.
It’s that time of year again – for many across the states, nostalgic notes of pine and hot cocoa, menorahs, a crackling fireplace and classic movies usher in the holidays. But across the spectrum of traditions and festivities, the twinkling of lights is perhaps the hallmark of the season.
Without reliable power, our homes, streets and cities would be anything but “merry and bright.” And many people don’t realize just how much electricity they use – and how much a few weeks of festivities can cost.
To “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’s” Clark Griswold, holiday decorations are the star of the season with a 25,000-light display that causes the rest of his Massachusetts town to go dark. The 1989 film is priceless, but Clark’s modern-day electric bill would be a pretty penny. $5,281 for the month of December, to be exact, based on calculations by Estately!
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the 2020 average price a residential customer in the United States pays for electricity is 13.55 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). That price depends on numerous factors including your location, your electricity provider and any riders attached to your bill, time of year, consumption, and market changes or disruptions. It’s worth noting that restructured states with competitive power markets like Pennsylvania, Delaware and Illinois served by PJM Interconnection have seen residential price decreases since 2019, according to EIA data.
While most people don’t go to Griswold extremes, decking the halls and other celebrations can still add up – from indoor string lights to outdoor icicle lights and accessories in between. Choosing highly efficient LED lights over traditional incandescent bulbs can help cut costs. Competition and customer choice can, too.
Competition: The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Competitive power suppliers, like EPSA member companies, offer electricity across a state or region into a wholesale power market – helping ensure reliable power is available when and where needed at the lowest cost. In a competitive market, many companies bid to provide the best solutions to meet electric generation needs – creating more choice and price discipline than in areas where one utility controls both power generation and delivery in a service territory.
Today, wholesale power prices in many regions are at their lowest level in the history of the restructured market, helping families and businesses across the economy save money. At the retail level, in some states, electricity customers can make their own decisions when it comes to picking an electric supplier – rather than being required to purchase from one utility.
By following market signals, competition in organized wholesale markets not only fosters least-cost solutions, but also increases reliability, spurs innovation and drives environmental progress. EPSA member companies’ cutting-edge, cleaner natural gas and battery projects are meeting the needs of an evolving grid.
EPSA Companies Spread Holiday Cheer
Along with providing reliable, more affordable and cleaner electricity this season, EPSA member companies are making the holidays brighter by giving back to their communities. Some are even powering light shows. Check out what America’s competitive suppliers are doing this holiday season:
- Calpine Corporation gave a generous donation to support California’s Alameda County Firefighters’ Annual Toy Program. The firefighters said, “Thank you Calpine Corporation for being a leader in our community and contributing to our efforts in such an unprecedented year.”
- Competitive Power Ventures is helping to tackle food insecurity due to COVID-19 with a $50k donation split among three reputable organizations: The Greater Boston Food Bank, the Capital Area Food Bank and the Northeast Animal Shelter. CPV has also donated more than $40k across all of its host communities this year to provide local food pantries with additional resources during this challenging time.
- LS Power gave much-needed laptops to the students of Joseph E. Fisher School in Illinois as remote learning continues amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
- NRG Energy’s Reliant Energy is bringing the benefits of competition to the Dallas Zoo, with a winter wonderland drive featuring over one million lights.
- NRG’s Reliant is also partnering with communities across Texas to sponsor fun festivities, including Galaxy Lights at the Space Center Houston, a Secret Santa Toy Drive, the annual Houston Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular, and more.
- Tenaska Lindsay Hill Generating Station donated much-needed power plant equipment and $500 to LeCroy Career Technical Center in Clanton, Alabama. “It’s like Christmas morning,” LCTC Director Dr. Shannon Walker said of the generous donation, which will be put to use by the electrical industrial maintenance class.
- Vistra Corp.’s TXU Energy is brightening the holidays with “TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights” at the Houston Zoo. There’s even a 125-foot-long, Infinity Tunnel of Light!
- Vistra Corp. and its family of brands are proud to support numerous holiday giving efforts, including donations to support food distributions and blankets through TXU Energy Aid bill-payment assistance agencies, contributions to food pantries and Feeding America, support for toy drives, and holiday light displays, among countless other efforts to support those in need across the communities they serve.
However you celebrate the season, competitive power suppliers are here to ensure cleaner and more affordable electricity you can count on – keeping the lights bright, the food warm, and even powering devices to help you virtually connect with loved ones.
EPSA wishes you safe and healthy holidays and a “hap-hap-happiest” New Year!