Electric Rates in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Electric rates in Michigan are well above the national average, with residential customers consistently paying more than other states in the Midwest. Fortunately, the electric market in Michigan is partially deregulated, meaning that many residents and businesses can save on their electric bills by shopping around for a retail electricity provider that offers lower supply rates than the utility, Consumers Energy.
Unlike the majority of states that have implemented electric choice, Michigan’s electric market is not as open, since only about 10% of Consumers Energy customers can make the switch to a retail electricity provider. Even if the cap has already been met, however, you can still sign up to switch at any time. Your home or business will be placed on a queue and you’ll be able to switch once a spot opens up.
When customers switch, Consumers Energy continues to deliver the electricity with the same reliability as always. You’ll just see a different electric rate on your monthly bill.
Electricity Providers in Grand Rapids
There are many retail electricity providers in the Grand Rapids area. While many offer lower electric supply rates than Consumers Energy, not all providers are created the same. Providers generally offer a few different plans to select from, each having different rates, plan durations, and other features. Therefore, it’s important to not only compare rates but the features of a plan as well.
Compare Providers for a Medium or Large Business
If you are shopping around for a medium or large business, the process is different than shopping around for a home or small business. You can fill out our quick Online Business Form and we’ll reach out to our network of providers to find the best rate and plan for your business’s needs. Home owners and small businesses can use our free comparison tool, described below.
Compare Providers for a Home or Small Business
If you are shopping for a home or small business, the first thing you’ll need to do before comparing providers and plans is to find the rate that you are currently paying to Consumers Energy. This rate, expressed in cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), can be found on your most recent electric bill, under Electric Power Supply Charges:
Notice in the example above that there are two different rates for this customer. Generally, electric customers won’t use over 600 kWh, but this user has and is subject to two different rates: a lower rate for the 600 kWh use, and a higher rate for all kWh over 600. Review your bills to see your usage, but you’ll generally just need to compare the lower rate, which is 7.0923 cents/kWh in this example.
Now you’re ready to use the free Compare & Switch tool. You’ll see an orange box at the top of this page. Type in your ZIP Code, click ‘Compare!’, and select your utility. You’ll be presented with a list of reputable electricity providers and their rate plans in the Grand Rapids area.
There are several things to keep in mind when comparing electricity providers and plans:
1. Look for Lower Rates
Look for plans with rates that are lower than what you’re currently paying. But don’t stop there. Some plans have rates that fluctuate, so read on before you assume that the rate you see will be the rate you pay a few months down the road:
2. Rate Structure: Variable v. Fixed
Electric supply plans are generally offered with either variable or fixed rates. Fixed-rate plans have one set rate that can’t change for the length of your contract (what you see is what you get). Variable-rate plans, on the other hand, have rates that generally fluctuate along with wholesale market prices. Most customers opt for the fixed-rate plan, but choose whatever you feel most comfortable with.
3. Contract Length
Though most shopping residents and business owners opt for 6- to 24-month plans, durations of plans can last for as little as 3 months to as long as 36 months. As a rule of thumb, choose a longer plan if you believe or know that Consumers Energy’s prices will go up in the near future and a short plan if you know or speculate that rates will go down.
4. Other Features of a Plan
A few retail electricity providers may require a small set-up fee to switch, while still many offer incentives and perks to do business with them. Check for things that can add value to your new plans, like sign-on bonuses, rewards programs, and discounts on energy-related products and services and more
5. Looking for Renewable Electricity?
Because the cost of renewable electricity has gone down significantly in the past several years, many providers are able to offer affordable green electricity plans that will provide your home or business with partial to 100% renewable electricity such as solar power, wind power, and more. You’ll even find that many of these green plans are still below the rate that you’re currently paying.
Call or Use Our Free Tool to Switch
Switching is easy once you’ve found the provider that best fits your needs. You can switch online in minutes through our free Compare & Switch tool. Simply click on your selected plan and fill out the online form. Otherwise, give the provider a call. When switching, you’ll need information from a recent electric bill, so be sure to have that on hand.
Since the new provider will do the switching for you, there’s no need to contact Consumers Energy. Do remember that Consumers Energy will still send your monthly electric bill and will continue to respond to power emergencies such as downed lines and outages. The reliability of your service will not change no matter from who you purchase your electricity.