How to Switch Electric Companies
Are you paying more for electricity than you'd like? If you live in a state that allows you to choose your electric provider, switching companies could save you a ton of money. Check the current rates, and see if a switch makes sense for you:
- Difficulty: Easy. You can do most of this with online searches and phone calls.
- Time Required: Varies. It could be only 15 minutes well spent. Or, you may want to spend more time analyzing which company is right for you.
Here's How To Switch Electric Companies
- Confirm that you live in a deregulated state. Switching electric providers is only possible if you live in a state that allows electric companies to compete for your business. Some states began energy deregulation and later suspended it. You can get confused when searching the web to see if your state is deregulated, as there are many sites with outdated information. Search using the current year, such as "deregulated electricity (your state) (current year)." Check any page to ensure it has been updated for the current year.
- Compare rates. Use an online comparison site like UtilityChoice.com or AllConnect to look up all of the rates and plans that are available in your area. Check before entering any personal data to ensure the site is current and will be giving you information that is valid for the current year.
- Determine the best deal for you. Look over all of the pricing options, and select the plan that works best with your usage habits. Your savings will vary based on how much energy you typically use. Also be sure to check and see whether a provider allows for equal billing throughout the year if you prefer to pay that way, or has automatic payments, etc. Sometimes these conveniences are worth a little extra.
- Ask your current provider for a better deal. Before you switch to a new provider, call your electric company, and ask them to do a price match. The whole value in deregulation is to encourage companies to compete, and it's much easier to retain a current customer than to advertise for new ones. If they say yes, your work is done. If they say no, you're just one step away from a cheaper bill!
- Make the switch. Go back to the comparison site that you used in step two, and make the switch online, or contact the new electric company directly to establish service.
- Wait for the first bill to arrive. Then, pat yourself on the back for being so smart.
Tips for Switching Electric Companies
- No rewiring is necessary. Your electricity will still come into your home or business through the same power lines if you switch providers. The only thing that will change is who your bill comes from and how much you pay for your service.
- Do you also use natural gas or propane in your home or business? If so, check to see if a switch to a cheaper provider may be possible for those utilities as well. Deregulation can give you competitive prices for more than one kind of energy.