Electricity has made our lives better in many ways, but it has also created a host of new complications. Our existing energy infrastructure has two serious problems. The most obvious problem is that our energy costs are rising sharply. According to EnergySage, costs have increased by an average of 4% since 2008.
One of the reasons that energy costs are rising is due to a growing non-renewable resources shortage used to create electricity. This brings us to our second issue – the environmental consequences of electricity. Some electric companies have a worse track record than others.
The Energy Information Association states that all electric companies have a negative impact on the environment. However, you need to be aware that some are a lot worse. Surprisingly, you can help the environment more by choosing the most affordable energy companies.
Finding the Most Eco-friendly Energy Solutions by Focusing on the Best Costs
Contrary to what most people believe, your state supplier is not giving you the best deal and switching services does not mean your energy needs will become more reliable. They also may not be doing the best for the environment. While deregulation entails better customer service, your energy needs are still tied to the same polls and service lines of public utilities companies.
So, is it still worth it to switch or research new suppliers? Will you help the environment by switching? If you’re looking to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year than yes. Energy deregulation has given consumers unprecedented control over their energy choices and utility bills. The companies that save money are often able to avoid hurting the environment too. Looking for the best energy provider in the area? Follow these four tips to help negotiate through a sea of contracts and find the best rate for you and your household.
Know what you’re paying currently
Before you waste hours poring through hundreds of rates and contracts offered by utility suppliers, use your current contract as a baseline for savings. Know your kwh rate, peak demand usage, taxes, and fees for service. It’s ideal to have your last 12 electricity bills on hand to get a better understanding of what your yearly energy costs would be under a fixed rate.
Call your provider and ask when your contract expires. It’s important to note that switching services between energy suppliers will not result in dropped coverage, so there’s no need to stress. Ideally, you’ll want to switch your plan at least a week ahead of your contract expiration date so you don’t end up paying more for dual services. Also, research whether your supplier has a termination fee and whether it’s cheaper to wait to switch.
It’s important to have your last 12 months of electricity usage on hand to compare between variable and fixed rates. Fixed rates save you money during peak demand seasons, while variable rates may rise astronomically to match consumer demand. You’ll need to compare these against any contracts offered to avoid paying more than expected during peak demand seasons.
One last bit of advice: start planning early before you switch.
Know what to look for
Just because a company offers a low rate doesn’t mean that the plan is any cheaper. Search for these key factors before choosing a supplier:
- Kwh rate
- Introductory fees
- Monthly service charges and termination fees
- Environmental impact
Some suppliers offer low introductory offers and special promotions to get customers and jack up their rates after the promotion expires. They often have a decadent approach, which means that they hurt the environment too. Be diligent in your research and look at their profile on the Better Business Bureau for any consumer complaints. Also check for any auto-renewal features or hidden fees found in a contract. I recommend going directly on each company’s website and talking with a sales representative.
One-way consumers save money is by pooling together with other households to buy their energy in aggregates. This saves money for everyone in the pool and gives consumers even greater power to negotiate projects.
An energy consultant will work with any individual or business to identify cheaper contracts and negotiate contracts on your behalf. They will also identify ways to save money in your home through more efficient energy usage.
Conclusion: Help the Environment and Your Wallet by Rate Shopping
Choosing the best energy provider is very important. You can save money and help the environment at the same time. Are you ready to make a better choice?