If you want to shop energy providers, this is your lucky day. Energy shopping is a lot simpler than you would ever think. Once you’ve mastered a few fundamentals, you’ll be able to make an informed selection about which electricity plan to select; the rest is a simple sign-up process. The power to choose your energy supplier allows you to compare energy suppliers for affordable rates and enable you to have a fixed-rate plan, rewards, and excellent customer service. So let’s dive in!

What are energy providers, and are they the same as utility companies?

With energy deregulation, new actors joined the energy scene, and it’s really important to know their difference when you shop energy providers. To put it in easy words, an energy provider is a company that supplies the electricity. With energy deregulation, an energy provider might own power plants and then utilize the utility company’s power lines to provide electricity to its consumers. 

Energy companies can also buy electricity and gas at wholesale prices and then sell them at competitive prices. Energy suppliers sometimes have greater flexibility and can provide lower rates than utility companies.

Let’s see the three main actors and their characteristics:

  • Energy Generators

    They are the companies in charge of the generation of energy, the power plants.

  • Retail Energy Providers (REPs)

    The companies that buy energy on the wholesale market and resell it. They’re in contact with final customers and can offer better deals on electricity.

  • Transmission and Distribution Utility Companies

    It’s the company in charge of delivering the electricity to your building, as well as of managing, maintaining, and handling the poles, wires, and infrastructure to get energy delivered to you. They are also in charge of reading your meter and reacting in case of a power outage.

An energy supplier primarily serves as a pricing and contract regulator between utilities and end customers. When you shop energy providers, you will find several suppliers in a location that has a deregulated market, offering consumers choices about where they want their energy to come from. For example, with marketplaces like ours, you can check all the energy suppliers in your area at once to find the one that satisfies your energy needs.

How to shop energy providers?

PCN - Shop Energy Providers

Source: Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

Many clients are afraid to change power suppliers because they think it’s a tedious process, but that’s where we come in. At Power Choice Now, we built a marketplace where you can shop energy providers and compare them based on who serves your zip code, plan length, pricing, and other factors. Before you begin looking for an energy plan, there are a few things you should be aware of as an energy customer. Before deciding on which energy plan to pick, consider the following factors:

1. Understand your current energy usage

Energy bill

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We talked already about how around 60% of Americans don’t know how to read their utility bill. Once you understand your monthly usage, you’ll be able to compare and shop energy providers. When reviewing your energy bill, compare the times when your home consumes the most electricity and your consumption habits. Your energy use likely varies depending on the season or whether it’s a weekend or a workday.

On this line, you may be able to reduce your monthly power or natural gas payment by practicing energy saving. Changing your energy habits can help you save money on your bills! This might also help you understand how your utility’s rates change from month to month and the electricity rate type that works best for you. You may not know how much you’re paying for your energy units with a variable rate plan until you receive your statement. You know precisely how much you’ll pay for each unit of energy you consume with a fixed-rate plan.

2. Check the energy suppliers that are available in your area

Source: EPA

If you live in one of the energy deregulated states, you can shop energy providers. Whatever energy suppliers you choose, ensure they are licensed in your state to sell power through a public utility. The public utility company is responsible for updating all poles and wires to guarantee that families and businesses receive the electricity they require and are trouble-free.

If you locate a licensed energy provider that can help you save money, provide you with a fixed-rate contract, or any other benefits that make switching suppliers advantageous to you, then switching may be worthwhile. Once you get your desired supplier, you can shop energy providers and choose the one that works for you.

3. Choose the energy plan that works for your needs

Energy Choice

Energy providers provide a variety of solutions, some of which are better than others. Fixed-rate rate plans and variable rate plans are the most common energy plans for residential energy clients. You can shop energy providers and find electricity rates that are great for your needs and your budget. So, is there one better than the other? There are no one-size-fits-all power plans; each customer’s answer will be unique.

Your household’s energy use will determine whether you employ fixed or variable rates. The degree of certainty is the most fundamental differential between variable-rate and fixed-rate plans, and it should be one crucial differentiator when you shop energy providers. Fixed rates make it easier to budget monthly costs. If you want a more predictable budget, a fixed-rate plan is probably a better option for you.

4. Stick to the contract terms that make more sense to you

Plans range from six months to two years; once you shop energy providers, this is important to look at. Whether you want to lock in a plan for a year or go month-to-month on a variable plan, you can find flexible plan alternatives. Fixed-rate plans keep your monthly payment predictable. However, month-to-month plans might cause your bill amount to fluctuate from month to month.

Not only will you have peace of mind after switching, but your monthly payment will also be lower when you have a low power bill, and who doesn’t like additional money for other things? It would be best if you weren’t concerned about your monthly power bill skyrocketing, especially during the summer.

5. Visit our energy marketplace and start saving

Tips to Compare Electricity Rates

If you are nearing the end of your contract term, there will be no cost to move to your new power provider. However, your current provider may charge you a cancellation fee if you terminate your contract early, so verify your existing deal before switching. If you want to shop energy providers, and you’re nearly at the end of your agreement, you can easily switch at any moment. If you’re currently with another energy provider and haven’t reached the end of your contract, you may be charged an early termination fee. Check the expiration date of your existing agreement to see when you will be eligible to switch.

When you shop energy providers, the process is straightforward. You might begin by spending a few minutes on an energy comparison website like ours. We ask you how you now pay your account and how you wish to pay with a new supplier, as well as your zip code and current meter reading. According to the energy regulator’s rules, the transition should take no more than 15 working days, and your new provider will handle all of the paperwork.

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