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Electric Choice - Compare electric providers, switch, and save

Posted In:  energy saving tips

How to switch electric companies and save hundreds

Does your state allow electric choice and competition ?

  • First, you'll need to find out if your state allows electric companies to compete for your business.
  • At the time this article was written, the following states had programs that allowed consumer choice: New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Oregon, Texas, Arizona, Washington D.C., Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Michigan, Virginia, and New Hampshire.

Then...

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Find an objective source of comparison information

  • Many of the electric companies run their own websites touting why they have the best deal. Unfortunately, they tend to leave out the fine print. It's best to find an independant source of information. In Texas, for example, the best comparison website is the one run by the state of Texas, http://texaselectricchoice.com/.

Know about your own usage

  • It's critical to have some idea how much electricity you use. Make sure you have a copy of a recent bill. It's even better to have two bills, one from the summer months, and one from the winter months.
  • If you can't find a bill, try our electric use calculator. There are also more extensive calculators you can try like The Home Energy Saver and Energyguide.com

 

You may not have to switch!

Try calling your electric company and letting them know that you are planning to switch to another provider. Many times, they will put you on a different plan to keep your business.

 

It's painless

Switching electric companies doesn't involve any actual change in the wires going into your home.  The electric grid stays exactly the same, it's just a change in billing.  Same wires, you just start paying a different company, at a lower rate.

 

Watch it over time

When you switch, you'll often be switching to a promotional plan that has a limited timeframe...usually a year. Be sure to pay attention when that promotional pricing expires, so that you can switch again, or negotiate with your current provider.

 

Informational websites for the various states:

District of Columbia

  1. Public Service Commission
  2. Pepco Energy Services Company Programs (for DC, MD, PA, and VA)
  3. Washington Gas Services Company

Maine

  1. Interfaith Power and Light (Daily price changes)
  2. Constellation New Energy Commercial

Maryland

  1. Attorney General Electricity Supplier Rate and Service Information
  2. Pepco Energy Services Company Programs (for DC, MD, PA, and VA)

Massachusetts

  1. Sterling Planet Programs
  2. Cape Light Compact Green Information and Rate information
  3. New England Wind
  4. Greenstart.net

New Hampshire

  1. New Hampshire Electric Co-op's page on electric choice

New York

  1. Sterling Planet
  2. ConEd Solutions
  3. Energy Cooperative of New York
  4. New Wind Energy
  5. LIPA/Envirogen
  6. Niagara Mohawk/Sterling Planet
  7. Niagara Mohawk/Green Mountain
  8. Niagara Mohawk/Envirogen

Oregon

  1. Oregon People's utility district association links
  2. Cheappower.org - Oregon Public Power Coalition

Pennsylvania

  1. Pennsylvania Utility Choice
  2. Office of Consumer Advocate Residential Price Comparison Charts
  3. PECO Price to Compare

Rhode Island

  1. Narragansett/Sterling Planet
  2. New Wind energy
  3. Narragansett/People's Power and Light
  4. New England Wind

Texas

  1. Texas Public Utility Commission

Virginia

  1. Pepco Energy Services Company Programs (for DC, MD, PA, and VA)
  2. Virginia's State Corporation Commission

 

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Comments

Re: Electric Choice - Compare electric providers, switch, ...

Another simple way for some people to save money would be to pay your bill on time. Charges can certainly add up after a few months.
 
If you cannot pay your bill on time, then see if you can get them to help you out. Community services in many places - and electric companies themselves - do collect money for this purpose.