Can I save money by choosing a electric supplier?
Depending on where you live, you may be able to save money by switching electric suppliers. In the areas where rate caps have already expired, the number of electric suppliers offering services to residential customers has increased. In some areas, the electric supplier’s rate is as much as 10 percent less expensive than the default service price offered by the utility. Also, an electric supplier may be willing to negotiate on price or other services to entice you into switching suppliers. Competitive offers may not be available in all areas.
Why should I shop for electricity?
Just like you shop for any household item, you can shop for your electricity to find the best deal and the best service for your needs. Remember, just one cent less per kWh could translate into thousands a year back into your operating budget to use how you like. Competitive offers may not be available in all areas.
What is an electric supplier?
Your electric supplier is the company that provides your electric generation service. You have the power to choose your electric supplier.
If I choose a new electric supplier, what part of my service will change?
There are three parts to your electric service: generation, transmission and distribution. Generation is the production of electricity. Transmission is the movement of that electricity from where it is produced to a local distribution system. Distribution is the delivery of electricity to your home or business.
When you shop for an electric supplier, you are choosing the company that generates your electricity. For most electric customers who select a new supplier, transmission costs will also be included in the charges from your new supplier. The electric utility that distributes your electricity will remain the same.
Can everyone shop for a supplier?
All businesses in deregulated territories have the power to choose their electric supplier. However, competitive offers may not be available in all areas.
As I shop for an electric supplier, what questions should I ask?
As you shop for electricity, be ready to ask competing suppliers the following questions:
- Is the supplier licensed by the Public Utility Commission (PUC)?
- What is the price per kilowatt hour (kWh)? Is the price fixed or does it depend on time of day or usage?
- Are all taxes included in the supplier’s price?
- What is the length of the agreement? Can your price change in that time? If so, when can it change and how will you be notified?
- Is there a cancellation fee or any penalty for switching suppliers?
- Does the supplier offer a choice of energy sources, such as green energy?
- Will you receive one bill or two?
- Does the supplier offer a budget billing plan?
- Is there a bonus for signing up?
How do I know that a different supplier will provide reliable service?
If you choose a new electric supplier, the quality, reliability, and maintenance of your electric service will not change. Your current electric utility will continue to provide the same transmission and distribution service. And electric suppliers must be licensed by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to do business.
Where can I find information on supplier prices?
contact us directly at 1-800-489-7143.
How long will it take to switch to a new supplier?
The effective date of your choice depends on your next meter read date and can take generally one to two billing cycles.
Will I still be able to take advantage of “budget billing”?
Yes — business customers may contact their electric utility and/or supplier and request budget billing at any time. Most suppliers offer budget billing, which allows you to pay a fixed amount each month. Budget billing averages bills out over 12 months, so each monthly bill will be the same amount until the total bill is paid. The company may adjust the bill four times a year, up or down, depending on the customer’s use.
What is the “price to compare”?
The price to compare (PTC) is the price per kilowatt hour (kWh) your electric distribution company will charge. As you shop for electricity, ask competitive suppliers to provide you with a PTC so that you can make an apples-to-apples comparison on price for the generation portion of your bill. Be sure to ask how long the price is effective and verify if taxes or other fees are included in the PTC.
My electric utility has always been a good company. Why should I switch now?
Electric utilities are encouraging customers to shop around because you may be able to save money by switching to a competitive supplier. Regardless of whether you choose a different supplier, your electric utility will continue to deliver your electricity, provide reliable service, and respond to outage problems. The quality, reliability, and maintenance of your electric service should not change as it is still monitored by the Commission.
If I choose a new supplier, can I still receive help in paying my electric bill?
Yes, call your electric utility for more details. If your income is limited, programs are available to help you pay part of your bill or lower the amount of electricity you use. Your electric utility may call the programs by different names but many programs are available to you whether you switch suppliers or not. Get help paying your bill.
If I choose a new supplier, can I still use LIHEAP?
Yes, you may still be able to receive LIHEAP if you shop. Contact your electric utility for details.
If I have an unpaid balance on my electric account, can I still switch?
Yes, but first you will need to call your electric utility and make an arrangement to pay your balance on time. Once you’ve done this, you can shop for a new supplier.
With shopping for a new supplier, are there changes in the rules for electricity shut-offs?
No, the shut-off rules remain the same. If you have received a shut-off notice, please contact your utility for information about programs to help you pay your bill.
Will I receive two electric bills if I choose a new supplier?
In most cases, you should be able to receive a single monthly bill from your electric utility. However, some suppliers might want to bill you separately. In this case, you would receive two bills, one from your electric utility and one from the supplier.
Are there any penalties for switching suppliers?
This depends on the agreement you have with your current supplier. Review your agreement with your current supplier to see if there are any penalties for cancellation. If you are not sure, call your current supplier. Be sure to ask your new supplier if they have any fees or penalties for cancelling or switching service.
Who should I call about outages and repairs?
You will still call your electric utility about power outages and repairs.
Who do I contact if I have billing questions?
If you have a question about the generation charges, contact your electric supplier. Otherwise, you should continue to contact your electric utility to report outages and request repairs.
What is gross receipts tax (GRT) on sales of electric energy?
The gross receipts tax varies from state to state and is based on consumption of gas and electric useage.