The Best Ways to Save Money When Buying Electricity

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Many states have deregulated electricity markets, allowing you to shop for your power supplier. This can be a great way to save money or receive additional incentives, such as green energy.

The best way to choose an electricity supplier is to learn everything about them. That includes pricing information, contract terms and fees.

Know What You Can’t Do

Taking the time to shop for your energy supply can save you money in the long run. For starters, you’ll have a clearer idea of your budget – and where it will be spent. Additionally, you’ll have a better idea of your utility company’s offerings – so you can make an informed choice when switching companies. And lastly, you’ll better understand which providers are best for your needs and which aren’t.

Be on the lookout for unscrupulous sales agents. They often use a high-tech version of the good old-fashioned door-to-door salesmanship to sell you the latest and greatest. And, of course, you must read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line. After all, if you end up with the wrong plan, it could spell doom for you and your wallet. Fortunately, you can avoid the pitfalls by keeping your wits about you and taking advantage of the numerous tools like that abound.

Know What You’re Paying

Electricity costs vary widely from state to state and supplier to supplier, but there are some everyday things that you can look for on your bill. These include supply charges (from the electricity supplier) and utility charges (for delivering energy to your home).

Your rate will depend on your location and supplier, but generally, it is measured in kilowatt-hours or kWh. You can work to lower your rates by reducing the amount of energy you use or select an electricity supplier that offers a price lock option for a fixed-rate plan to avoid fluctuating rates.

Some utilities also charge consumers based on time-of-use rates. These can be tricky to understand, but they generally involve setting more for electricity during certain times of the day because of demand (e.g., when more people use their devices).

It’s not difficult to save on your electricity bill if you know what you’re doing. Start by analyzing your usage week-to-week and month-to-month to see when you’re using the most power.

For example, if your electricity costs rise significantly in the summer months, it’s likely due to the air conditioning you’re running in your home. If you can reduce the number of hours your air conditioner runs, you might be able to make a big difference in your monthly bill.

Know What You Want

In a deregulated market, you can shop around for an electric provider. This can result in lower costs, more competitive rates, green energy, and different services.

Choosing an energy supplier can be intimidating, especially when faced with confusing teaser rates and fine print. Here are suggestions to help you choose the best option for your house or company.

The first tip is to know what you want from your power supplier. You can do this by determining your energy needs and shopping for the best price and service.

You could call several suppliers, find out what they offer, and compare them. An excellent place to start is the PUCO’s list of third-party electric supply companies licensed to sell within the service areas of our state’s four distribution utilities.

A second tip is to be wary of sales tactics. Many competitive suppliers use high-pressure techniques to lure customers away from their incumbent electric providers, such as sending a representative door-to-door or making you sign up for an account on the spot.

The most important rule of thumb is to be clear about what you want and not to let sales reps pressure you into buying something you don’t need or aren’t interested in. Following these tips, you can make your next power purchase the most innovative and cost-effective.

Know What You Can Do

Participating actively in reducing energy costs is among the best things you can do. The most effective strategies involve the following:

  • Adjusting your thermostat.
  • Adding insulation to your home.
  • Ensuring you have the right appliances.

For example, replacing all your light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs can save you significant money on your monthly electricity bill. Installing a programmable thermostat can help you reduce your power consumption.

Another way to save on your power bill is by using your appliances only during off-peak hours. Most electric companies charge more during peak times, so using your dishwasher and clothes washing machines is a good idea when demand is low.

Many utility companies offer budget billing, which averages your bill throughout the year to give you a flat-rate account with no surprises. Some even offer rewards for installing energy-efficient devices or making other home improvements.

In some states, you can switch energy providers and find lower rates by shopping around. However, some utilities charge high exit fees, making it hard to change.

You can also review your energy use history on your electric bill to see where your energy costs have increased and decreased. This will help you decide the root cause of your high account.