Energie AdvisorCould switching electric suppliers save you money?
Absolutely, if you’re willing to do research.
The trick to start saving money on your electric bill is to find the suppliers that your area has and compare pricing.
There are plenty of websites on the internet that say they’ll do all the work of comparison shopping for you, but not all of these websites show viewers the different electric suppliers available. Not to mention that some of the comparison shopping sites may only show off the electric companies that they represent for financial gain.
If you’re interested in finding an electrical supplier near you that’ll save you money, we’ve come up with a complete guide to show you how to go about shopping.
Keep reading to learn more!
Before You Shop
There are two important things that you need to know before you start shopping.
Switching Suppliers Doesn’t Mean Improvement in Service
If you’re interested in switching suppliers because you’re looking for an improvement in service with a reduction in cost, you need to understand that switching your electric supplier doesn’t mean you’ll see an improvement in service.
Struggling with an unreliable service is more to blame on your service provider.
Energy suppliers themselves don’t have a way to get the electricity they supply to your home, so they depend on an energy provider to supply wiring and poles. An energy provider will also be the company that provides you with infrastructure upgrades and customer service support.
Double-Check for a State License
For an electricity supplier to sell you their electricity, they have to have a license to sell energy.
To make sure that you’re dealing with a reliable company, make sure that they have a license or certification to show you.
What You Need to Know
To efficiently shop for an electrical supplier, you need to have a basic understanding of how billing for electricity works.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Price per kilowatt-hour
- The average amount that you paid per kilowatt-hour over a 12-month period. If you don’t have your previous 12-month electric statements, reach out to your electric provider
- Additional taxes
- Monthly service charge
There are three different rate structures that energy suppliers provide, as they’re the most standard in the electric industry.
Here’s what they are.
This is also referred to as a variable rate, which will cause the unit pricing to fall and rise based on the wholesale value of electricity.
This may sound like a great rate idea when wholesale rates are extremely low.
However, if the market ever becomes unstable, your electric bill prices will skyrocket.
This is when a percentage of energy is billed at a fixed rate and the remainder is charged at a floating rate.
By balancing your energy usage, you should be able to avoid ending up with a large energy bill if the floating rate happens to increase.
Through the terms aligned in a contract, the pricing of electricity is set for price per kWh.
No matter how energy prices are affected in the market, the unit price you’re paying won’t be affected.
However, if market prices drop, you’ll technically be overpaying for electricity.
Check for Complaints
Once you’ve spent time searching for energy suppliers in your area and you’ve been able to narrow down your choices, it’s time to check for complaints.
There are some stats that will provide customers with a scorecard of complaints. If not, you can always check with the Better Business Burea before making any final switches.
Make sure to keep in mind that the alternative electric supplier isn’t responsible for any power outages or reliability problems that people may be complaining about. This is because the electric provider is responsible for delivering the electricity to your home, not the electric supplier.
However, you should keep an eye out for complaints that are related to any contracts, fees, or their rates.
Enter Your Consumption Details
For an energy supplier to provide with you an estimate of how much you’re going to spend every night, you’ll need to enter your home’s consumption details.
You can find your consumption details on an electric bill that you’ve received. Or you simply enter details about lifestyle on the company’s website.
However, you need to be careful about making sure you’re not getting involved in a slamming scam.
Slamming is when an electric supplier switches your service without your permission. This is very illegal, but you can protect yourself from this happening by never revealing your electric account number before you’re ready to switch suppliers.
Choosing Your New Electric Suppliers
Before you finalize any decisions for your new electric supplier, here are a few questions that you should ask before signing up:
Does Your Company Have Termination Fees?
In most cases, electric suppliers are required to provide you between three days and two weeks to cancel your account without worrying about a financial penalty.
However, if you decide down the road that you want to cancel your account, there may be a termination fee that you have to pay.
Make sure that you find out if the company does have any termination fees and how much the fee is.
What Are Your Other Fees?
Before signing a contract, you should also be aware of any other fees that the electric supplier has.
Make sure that you get this answer in writing. That way, if your electric supplier tries to add on other fees to your account at a later date, you have physical proof of what fees are supposed to be on your account.
After You Switch
Once you’ve switched to your new energy plan, make sure the energy provider has your correct address and banking details.
After you’ve switched over, the energy supplier will reach out to you in about two weeks to see if you have any complaints.
Are you curious to learn about what happens after you switch?
We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about switching energy providers next.
Will Your Energy Supply Be Interrupted?
No, your energy supply won’t be interrupted when you switch energy providers.
The only thing that changes when you switch energy providers is how much you’re being charged for your energy.
Even when you switch your energy supplier, you’re still be provided energy. New cables and poles won’t be installed around your property. The only thing that’s changing the company that’s charging you.
Are You Automatically Connected to Your New Supplier?
No, you aren’t immediately connected to your new supplier as soon as you switch over to one of their plans.
The entire process of switching to a new energy provider takes around 17 days.
This is because the new energy supplier that you’ve chosen has to contact the old supplier that you’ve used. Both suppliers have to agree on a date to switch over your account, which you will be made aware of.
Will Your New Electric Supplier Contact You?
Yes, your new electric supplier will contact you, even though you aren’t receiving electricity from them yet.
Once you open up an account with your new supplier, you’ll receive some welcome information, along with a letter.
This information will provide you the contract that you’ve agreed upon with your new supplier. The details that you’ve agreed upon will be outlined in the information that’s sent out to you.
Can You Switch Suppliers Again?
Yes, you can switch electric suppliers every 28 days.
However, if you do decide that you want to switch electric suppliers again, make sure that you’re prepared for termination or cancellation fees.
What If You End up Changing Your Mind?
After you’ve switched to a new electric provider, there’s a typical cooling-off period of two weeks (fourteen days).
If within that time frame you decide that you don’t want to switch your provider, you just contact the new electric supplier and tell them about your decision.
The new supplier will be able to cancel the switch that you attempted to make without turning off your power. This is why it takes 17 days for the contract with your new supplier to become active, just in case you change your mind!
Saving Money on Electricity
Thankfully, it’s a relatively easy process to switch energy providers. In no time, you can be on your way to saving tons of money on your electric bill!
If you’re looking to start saving money on electricity, switching energy suppliers could help to cut back on your electric bill.
Are you interested in finding the cheapest energy supplier in your area? Click here to learn more!