The ability to compare electricity rates is certainly becoming more commonplace as energy deregulation policies continue to spread across the United States. Unfortunately, not everyone takes advantage of this opportunity, particularly if they do not know the correct way to compare electricity plans.
The Electricity Marketplace
As states deregulate their electricity markets, different alternative electricity providers compete against one another to win the interest of potential customers which can be homeowners or business owners. Typically the electricity providers attract the interest of potential customers by offering a lower electricity supply rate than their current utility.
Customers must always remember that the rate is not the only item to focus on when choosing an alternative electricity provider. When comparing the different contracts, make sure to pay attention to the following:
Elements of an Electricity Plan
- Length of plan. A contract might last for six months, a year, two years, or more. Some electricity providers also offer a month-to-month option that customers can cancel without a fee. When deciding how long you want to sign up for, make sure to think about the contract as a whole
- Change in electricity rate. When comparing electricity prices, contracts can be fixed, variable, or somewhere in between. A fixed contract charges you the same rate for electricity across its whole duration. If the rate is variable, that means it changes from month to month along with the market.
- Signup bonuses. Some electricity providers offer extra incentives when signing a new agreement. Consider how this bonus figures in relative to the rest of the contract.
- Energy source. Some plans, without too much additional expense, allow you to get your energy partly or exclusively from a renewable source.
- Fees. Make sure to be aware of any fees within a contract. Some electricity providers may be completely free of fees while others may charge a signup fee or a cancellation fee.
All these features go into your agreement with the electricity provider. Consider how they work together when you choose a new provider and plan.
How to Compare Electricity Rates
Now with the knowledge of what to look for, it is time to compare electricity rates. We have created a free compare and switch tool which can be found on the right side of this page. To start, simply type in your zip code and click the search button. You will then see all of the different providers and plans to choose from.