Have you ever gotten sticker shock when opening an electric bill?
That happened to me last month. My husband suggested doing a little research to see if we could save on our electric bill (this man knows how I think!).
Our state has an energy choice program.
This means that we can shop around for our electric supplier. The power still comes from the electric company and the billing process doesn’t change. Of course you want that to be a lower rate, not one higher than what the electric company is charging.
We were on a plan with one of these suppliers but after a quick search, I learned that it wasn’t the best rate. Not only was it not the best rate, but it was over 25% more than the rate currently offered by the electric company itself!
A couple calls later and I had switched us over to the lower rate. We’ll now pay 6.99 cents per kwh vs. 9.39 cents – that’s 26%! We should save at least $75 on our next electric bill with this new rate.
This is the kind of savings that we’ll enjoy every month so it really pays to spend a few minutes looking for opportunities like this. And since rates do change, it’s something that needs to be repeated a couple times a year.
It’s also a good idea to look for electricity hogs in your home. You can use an inexpensive electricity usage monitor to find out which of your appliances is jacking up your bill without your knowledge. Sometimes even the most innocent of devices can be a huge power drain.
How to find out about energy choice
If you want to look into this for your own bills, the best place to start is on the bill itself. The electric or gas company may include a statement about a “price to compare” and where to go to find competing suppliers.
When shopping for an energy supplier, ask questions like:
- How long is this price good for? (mark it in your calendar)
- Is there an early cancellation fee?
- Do you offer any bonuses for signing up? (some companies will send you a gift card – make sure you follow all the instructions and follow up if it doesn’t arrive)
- Is this my complete rate or are there other charges? (our discounted rate is only a portion of our bill)
- When does this rate take effect?
Before you make any changes, be sure you understand all the fine print. If a supplier tries to pressure you into making a switch you’re not comfortable with, trust your instinct. You can always call back later. Here’s a list showing the available energy choice programs by state to get you started.
Want even more tips on saving energy?
Wouldn’t it be great to save on your electric bill by 10-20%?
I’m (almost) looking forward to next month’s bill so I can do the math and see how much we saved. Saving $75 here and there really adds up.