Electricity is one of the most important and expensive home necessities. While it may seem like an uncontrollable fixed monthly expense, those who live in a state with a deregulated energy market can take the power from electric companies (pun intended) and put it back in their own hands. In deregulated markets, energy consumers with a home or business have the option to choose from a variety of electricity suppliers, providing them a huge opportunity to save money on their utilities. If you’re lucky enough to live in a deregulated energy market, read the guide below to learn more about why and how to switch your electric supplier and save money on your monthly energy bill.
WHY CHANGE ELECTRIC SUPPLIERS?
Are you wondering what motivates electricity consumers with a home or business in a deregulated energy market who are switching electric companies? Even if you are currently satisfied with your electricity service, it is worthwhile to understand the many benefits of switching electric providers and plans, particularly when there is an opportunity to save money!
Switching Utilities When Moving
Moving from one area to another may be one factor that prompts someone to switch electricity suppliers, especially if they are relocating to a new state. In this case, it is best to shop around for your preferred electric supplier in your new home’s zip code before moving so that you can have heat and electricity as soon as you move in. Moving from one place to another also presents a homebuyer with the opportunity to find a new electric provider that may offer better rates, thus enabling electric bill savings each month.
The service provided by an energy company is an important factor that people consider when deciding if they’re going to remain with the company or switch to another electric supplier. A particularly important factor to consider when trying to determine whether or not to remain with the company. For information about other local utility providers in the area, there are many third party platforms that have reviews from past or current customers which rate the quality of the service and provide other details that are meant to help consumers make informed decisions. If you are having difficulty with the service of your current energy supplier, it may be helpful to look into the experiences of others to determine which energy company you would like to switch to.
When it comes to your electricity, service is the same regardless of the provider. Consumers don’t receive a “better quality” of service by paying more, as the energy provided by the local utility company is reliable and safe. In order to differentiate themselves, energy suppliers must offer enough incentives to get a customer to switch. Overall, the benefit of having a deregulated energy market is that competition drives rival energy providers to offer the best prices and customer service or risk losing customers.
HOW TO SWITCH ELECTRIC COMPANIES
Find Providers Near You
The switching process is relatively simple. If you sign up online using a third party electric company comparison site, the first step is to enter your zip code in order to find out what providers are available in your area. After you enter your zip code, you’ll usually see a variety of plans to choose from. There are even some sites meant to act as a resource for states and include all the details for certain providers. Each plan includes information that can help you make the best decision about your energy. For example, one plan may cost 11.7 cents per kWh, and it is a 12-month fixed plan, which means the rate is locked in for 12 months. Another plan may cost 12.1 cents per kWh, and it’s a month-by-month plan meaning the rate will change over time.
Understand Plan Details
When selecting a new electric plan, there will be many different promotions and hidden or transparent fees that you need to navigate. Some plans require a deposit, credit check, or charge an early termination fee, where others proudly boast that they do not. If you have a rocky credit history or need flexibility, it might be worth it to pay the potentially higher rate of a plan that doesn’t have these barriers to entry. One way to be more in control of how your electricity plan is to sign up for prepaid electricity, which requires payment in advance of service and helps individuals to better manage their budget and avoid unexpected surprises at the end of the month.
Review Your Current Energy Bill
Before you switch electric plans, you will need to check with your current electric provider to see if there are any early termination fees that you will have to pay. In the event of a move, make sure that they have your updated address so that they can pass along any final billing statements or other important documents that you may require.
After you decide on a provider and choose a plan, you can sign up on the provider’s website or call them directly. If you sign up on the website, you’ll review information about the plan you selected and sign the contract electronically. Before doing that, it is beneficial to call ahead to the provider as they will send you information about your desired plan. This can give you the opportunity to sit down and give it a hard look over to ensure you understand all that it encompasses. When you feel you’re ready, you can sign and return the document and receive power shortly thereafter.
The Power Switching Period
After signing up, there is typically a three-day window where you can change your mind and cancel your contract. After the passage of seven days without cancellation, your service is automatically switched to the new provider. During this time, you will not experience a loss of service and you won’t notice any difference on your end. In the next billing cycle, you will receive the first electric bill from your new energy provider.
SWITCHING ELECTRIC SUPPLIERS
For a home or business owner who is actively seeking a new electric company or even an individual who may just be casually considering other service options, switching electricity providers brings a number of benefits. In addition to saving money each month on energy, changing service companies may also grant individuals access to better service. At the very least, it’s definitely worth your time to call or go online to discover your options. You have nothing to lose, but what you save could be substantial.