Are you looking for ways to save money on your electric or gas bill? Energy deregulation in many areas of the United States now allows consu
Are you looking for ways to save money on your electric or gas bill? Energy deregulation in many areas of the United States now allows consumers to choose their provider. The competition between companies tends to keep costs lower.
If you want to get the best prices, you’ll need to work to research your options. However, it’s worth the effort. We’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you navigate the selection process.
Understand Laws in Your Area
Since the 1990s, various states have moved toward the deregulation of energy companies, allowing providers to compete with one another for customers. Over half of U.S. states currently afford some measure of consumer choice, though no state is fully deregulated.
Before choosing an energy company, you’ll first need to research what’s available in your area. Your state may offer deregulation of only electric services or just natural gas. As you consider energy companies, you’ll also need to make sure that they’re licensed in your state.
Calculate Your Energy Consumption
The next step is to check your usage. Look at past electric and gas bills to understand how much your family or business consumes.
Consider your average yearly usage as well as seasonal fluctuations. If you’re moving to a new house, think about how the location or size may affect energy consumption.
Compare Provider Rates
If your area has many different suppliers, comparing them can be time-consuming. You can check EnergyBot or similar services that show rates for all energy companies in your region. If you can’t find such a tool for your area, you may choose to record information in a spreadsheet to facilitate comparison.
Check Customer Experiences
Rates aren’t the only important factor when choosing an energy company. You also want one with excellent customer service.
Ask friends and family to share experiences they’ve had with the providers you’re considering. You can also search online for customer reviews, recommendations, or complaints. Feedback from previous clients can help you narrow down your list of choices.
Ask Detailed Questions
Once you have a shortlist of companies that may work for you, you’ll want to search for specific information about each one. If you can’t find the details on their website, don’t hesitate to call or message them to get the answers you need.
Before finalizing your decision about an energy company, you’ll want to get details about the following topics:
- Length of the contract and whether it automatically renews
- Cancellation fees
- Rebates available (often for reaching certain consumption levels)
- How it works if you move and want to keep the same provider
- Billing frequency and how you’ll receive the bill
- Available payment options
- Whether there’s a security deposit
- Any delays before activation
- Seasonal or peak-hour rate changes
These details can help you understand whether there are hidden costs with an energy company. They’ll also enable you to identify which provider will deliver the most significant benefits.
Make Your Decision
You’ll need your calculator again as you re-evaluate the costs with each supplier. Using your current energy consumption, compute what you can expect your bill to be with each company, including the specific factors researched above. These calculations should give you a good idea of which provider will be the best for you.
Energy deregulation gives consumers an excellent opportunity to save on electricity and natural gas. To research the possibilities, start by understanding the law for your area. Calculate your energy use and compare provider rates.
You’ll also want to check customer experiences and ask detailed questions to understand any hidden costs. Finally, make a decision based on detailed information from each company. Following these steps will help you get the best energy rates possible.