Monthly Archives: August 2018

Houston Householders May Be in the Dark About The Increase of Electric Rates

Houston Householders May Be in the Dark About The Increase of Electric Rates

This summer, electric rates have skyrocketed in Houston, Texas! Consumers still continue to hope for a better deal, but they don’t have a good chance. They may be in the dark when they realize that electric retail prices have surged since a few months ago, following changes in weather, a surge in wholesale electricity prices and potential shortages of electricity.

Houston Householders May Be in the Dark About The Increase of Electric Rates

For instance, low electric rates in Houston, Texas have disappeared since a few months ago, making any attempt by buyers with an average use of 1,000 kilowatts per month to lock below 10 cents per kilowatt-hour not possible. 2017 is probably the last year when Houstonians were able to get electric rates of less than 7 cents per kilowatt hour. Many electricity analysts estimate that cheap electricity seasons have long since ended and every Houston resident must be prepared for less pleasant energy plans. Click here to see a full list of the electric plans available in the Greater Houston Area.

Retail electricity providers always avoid discussing price increases, something that is reasonable, but the Texas Electricity Companies Association is more open. They have clearly stated that one-year fixed rate plans have increased by approximately 20 percent. The increase has basically begun since last year. A general analysis estimates that every 2,000 square-foot house will experience an electric bill increase of up to $30 per month, not counting the electric rate increase this summer. An engineer in Houston said that his monthly bills had risen 2 times what he paid last year in the same month. He was surprised, but could not do anything when presented with details of the increase.

Not Only Electricity

The increase does not only occur in the price of electricity. Electricity affects almost everything and the first thing that came was an increase in retail prices. This increase was caused by soaring prices in the wholesale electricity market with many large companies as loyal customers. Estimates of rapidly increasing temperatures and the cessation of no less than three coal-fired power plants indirectly affect wholesale electric prices, and the increase confuses many householders.

Very rapid electric rate increases have damaged several large corporate plans. They couldn’t do much to maintain some of their plans related to wholesale price increases, which damaged everything. Direct Energy is one example. This company has decided to no longer offer “Power-to-Go” after seeing that it was no longer profitable. However, they have predicted a lot of things and they have also bought long-term contracts to prevent wholesale price increases from damaging their entire energy plan portfolio.

Are Houston Consumers in The Dark?

Maybe yes and maybe not. If Houston residents have equipped themselves with contracts that bind prices they may be able to breathe a sigh of relief, but if they are bound to variable electric plans, they are in trouble. Deregulation on one hand brings freedom for Houston, TX residents to choose their energy suppliers, but on the other hand, they are bound by the mechanism of market law on electricity prices. Hopefully this article can give you a clear view about what is happening in Houston (and Texas in general) in the context of electricity supply and the increase of electric rates.

Is Repairing Cracked Wheels a Good Idea?

Is Repairing Cracked Wheels a Good Idea?

This question is a classic question. Is repairing cracked wheels a good idea? The answer that can be given is DEPENDING… Depending on the crack (or cracks) that you are experiencing, you might be able to repair it, else you have to replace your cracked wheels. It should be noted that some cracks that are large enough, combined with bent areas in the wheel, are not safe enough to just be welded. They can bring new problems to you in the near future.

Is Repairing Cracked Wheels a Good Idea?

Before you do anything on the wheels, you should make sure you don’t drive on cracked edges; something that is almost impossible. You are also not advised to fix the edges by yourself, because every cracked rim requires professional welding. Many people find themselves in this situation and some of them try to handle it themselves, putting themselves into some serious risks.

The Most Common Way to Repair Cracked Wheels

There are several ways to repair cracked wheels, but the most common method used is the TIG welding process. TIG stands for Tungsten Inert Gas, an electric arc welding process, which is established between a tungsten electrode and the piece to be welded, under the protection of an inert gas that avoids the contact of the air with the fusion bath and with the electrode, which are at high temperature.

The tungsten electrode is attached to a torch that transmits the electric current and injects the shielding gas; it can be refrigerated and is powered by an energy source that can be direct or alternating current. The filler metal, when necessary, is added directly to the liquid pool. To check for leaks, the dye test is the method chosen.

Straighten Rim Cracks

Straighten Cracked Rims

Before reaching the crack closure method, most of the rim must be straightened. Costs on this type of wheel repair range from $75 to $350+ if you use TIG. If you don’t have someone who can weld in your city, you can send your rim to another city and they’ll ship it back to you in a few days.

Wheel Cracks Can Cause Deadly Accidents

Cracks on car rims are more than just a minor problem, because they can cause a lot of issues to drivers. The wheel and tire system of cars is different from the bicycle wheel and tire system. A little crack can open the seal that connects between the tire and the wheel. An open seal means that air is free to enter and exit, in other words it causes an air leak. Leaks while driving can cause a deadly tire explosion, causing your car to lose control in an instant. If an accident does not occur, cracks in the rim can accelerate tire wear which ultimately shortens your mileage.

Why Cracks Can Occur

Cracks are more common in alloy wheels, which are the rims that are typically installed to modern vehicles. The alloy rim is a combination of aluminum and magnesium. Having a longer resistance to rust, this wheel type is susceptible to cracking. The level of fragility is quite high and this is the reason why factory wheels in modern vehicles tend to crack easily.

Used Cracked Wheel Replacements

Used Rims to Replace Cracked Wheels?

If your cracked wheel can’t be repaired, another affordable alternative is to shop for used wheels. Instead of spending a lot of money on new rims, why don’t you buy a nice set of used rims? There’s quite a few websites selling factory replacement wheels online. Some of them are still in good condition, but carefulness is needed in choosing. It would be wise to ask an expert when the time comes to choose.

So…is Repairing Cracked Wheels Recommended?

All depends on your wheels’ conditions and the availability of cracked wheel repair services in your city. If cracks are really bad, repairing is not recommended. It would be safer if you replace it with a new one or buy a used rim locally or online.