Is your electric plan expiring soon? Should you renew with your current utility or provider? Maybe find a new electric plan? You have options.
Choosing the best, most competitive electricity rate, is something every electricity consumer should take into consideration when signing up for a plan. Many areas within the United States are energy deregulated, which means that there are an incredible number of options to choose from. There is no longer a one size fits all solution.
Provided you live in an energy deregulated area, you can pick your energy supplier based on the plan that best suits your needs.
However, once you?ve picked the perfect plan, it’s easy to forget that it will eventually expire. When your plan expires, you aren’t necessarily “upgraded” to the next best option. In fact, if you’re not paying attention to what you’ve signed up for, your rates could potentially rise without your knowledge.
The good news is there are many things you can do to keep on top of your options when your electric plan is about to expire.
Understand Your Current Electric Plan
When you sign up for an electricity plan, it is your responsibility as a consumer to ask questions and thoroughly read your contract before you sign on the dotted line. It is up to you to know and understand your current options as they pertain to your electricity provider.
Some questions to ask about your current electricity plan include:
- What?s my kwh rate?
- Is my current rate fixed or variable?
- Are taxes included in the price?
- Is there an introductory rate and how long does it last?
- If my rate changes, how does it change?
- Are there any incentives included?
Signing up for an electricity plan always comes with an expiration date. Knowing that expiration date is important. Therefore, when you sign up for a plan make sure to ask us (or the company/provider you sign up with) about your plan expiration date, and how many days before the expiry date you have to switch to a different plan. This information is also available in your contract, which you should always keep and refer back to when needed.
If you don?t take the initiative, you might land yourself in a position where you are stuck paying for a plan that frankly, isn’t very good. For example, when your plan expires, some companies will automatically switch you over to a different plan, one that might not be the most competitive in terms of price. A common scenario is to switch a customer from fixed to variable. If you are someone who enjoys a bit of risk, you might find this solution satisfying. However, if you are someone who wants or needs a little more control and security over your rates, then this option will likely leave you feeling very unhappy.
You might also have the option to renew your plan. If this applies to you, many companies recommend that you contact them between 45 to 90 days before the contract expiration date to avoid accruing additional fees.
Find New Electricity Plans
Aside from knowing exactly when your contract expires and other details of your current plan, a key factor in making sure you continue to receive the best electricity rates is to do your research. If the plan your company is going to switch you over to doesn?t give you the lowest rates on the market, you can, and absolutely should, investigate your options.
While our site, ElectricChoice.com, is probably the best place to shop for electricity rates and plans (in our humble opinion!), most states have government run programs specifically designed to help you determine your best options. A couple of these programs include PA Power Switch (Pennsylvania) and Apples to Apples (Ohio).
Switching Electric Plans
In energy deregulated areas, you have the option to switch your electric supplier. While many areas rely on the delivery of electricity from a single utility, opening up the market to competition for the supply can have a significant impact on cost.
Switching to a different energy plan depends on many different factors. This is why it is essential to do your research before making a switch. Your current electricity supplier could very well switch you over to an excellent plan! That being said, the market is constantly changing, which means that it is probably in your best interest to switch companies before your current plan expires.
There are many benefits to choosing or switching energy suppliers. They include cheaper rates, extra discounts, online accounts and accurate billing. Suppliers offer many different types of plans, from fixed to varied, and those plan can last anywhere from 6 to 24 months.
After you decide to make a switch, don?t forget to get everything set up within the time period allotted in your current contract. This will help to make the transition easier ? and cheaper.