Power deregulation has created competitive electric marketplace. The number of retail electricity providers in the states that have deregulated has mushroomed, and consumers can now choose the offerings that fit them best.

To begin shopping for cheap electricity providers, enter your zip code in the box at the top of this page. Here, you can get information about electricity providers serving your location.

Next, use this checklist to gather information about providers and their plans. Gather this information for each offer that interests you (This checklist isn’t just useful to find cheap electricity providers. It can apply to green electricity providers and gas and electricity providers as well.)

Pricing

  • Price per kilowatt-hour (kWh), expressed in cents
  • Money saving features (discounts for diminished peak use, free digital thermostats to save power, etc.)
  • Incentives for switching providers (gift cards for signing up etc.)
  • Built-in price increases or decreases
  • Total price for 500 kWh of electricity usage
  • Are energy prices fixed, or will they change from month to month?
    • If fixed rate:
      • How long does the rate stay fixed?
      • If your utility’s rate is scheduled to change, will your plan’s rate still be below the utility’s new rate?
    • If price is variable, how does it vary?
      • amount of usage
      • by time of day or month or both
      • by other factors
  • Other charges that could change during the term of the service agreement

Terms

  • Length of agreement/contract
  • Early termination fees
  • Provisions for customer relocation outside service area while agreement is active
  • Terms upon completion of agreement time period
  • Who to contact with questions about terms before/after enrollment

Enrollment

  • Steps required to enroll in the offer
  • Is a credit check performed?
  • Is a deposit required? If yes, how much?
  • What is cancellation policy:
    • If the customer wants to change electricity providers?
    • If the customer wants to return to the utility company for electricity service?
  • Service start date
  • Timing of first bill
  • Fees associated with enrollment
  • Enrollment incentives

Billing

  • How does billing occur and who provides it?
  • Bill payment options
    • Paperless billing/payment
    • Payment via telephone
    • Credit cards accepted
  • Is there a minimum bill amount?

Other

  • What generation sources does the provider use?
    • E.g., coal, natural gas, renewable (wind, solar, hydro)