If you’re making a move across state lines, you’ve probably made a list of all the things you need to get done. Scheduling the last day for your utilities, getting a final meter reading, and starting utilities at the new house are probably a few of the things near the top of that list, right? Well, another task you might add is shopping around for an electricity supplier, if you’re moving to a state with deregulated energy markets, that is. If you live or are moving to California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, or Georgia, then chances are that you have some options when it comes to your price of electricity and maybe even your natural gas, too. Perhaps you’re already familiar with energy deregulation or maybe you’ve never heard of the phrase before. You may be wondering “What is energy deregulation,” “How do I use it….” or “I sort of know what it is, but need more information…” well, wonder no more, here’s the scoop on everything you need to know.
What is Energy Deregulation?
To best explain what energy deregulation is, let’s start with a simple example. Let’s begin with the hypothetical town of Alexander. Now, Alexander’s electric market works the way electric markets have worked for decades. The town of Alexander utility department generates electricity, or has an exclusive contract with a company that generates electricity, and then they distribute it to Alexander residents via the town’s power lines. Because Alexander owns the means of production (or exclusively contracts with a company that does), as well as the means of distribution, in the form of powerlines, then Alexander maintains ownership of both the supply and delivery of electricity to Alexander residents. To get electricity, anyone moving into town must contact the Alexander electric utility department, accept the rate offered, and pay Alexander monthly. If they think the rate is too high, if they don’t like the way the town does business, or if they want to shop around – they’re simply out of luck.
Now, let’s say a second hypothetical town, Bethel, does things a little differently. Instead of Bethel’s utility department generating electricity (or exclusively contracting with a company that does) Bethel leaves their electric market open to be occupied by other electricity-generating companies. Bethel still owns the powerlines that these companies use to deliver electricity to Bethel residents, and residents will still pay Bethel an electric delivery fee each month, but residents are free to choose who generates/supplies their electric power. Since Bethel has given up its right to an exclusive contract with one supplier, multiple suppliers are free to enter the market and service the residents of Bethel. In fact, as long as a supplier can meet certain regulations, any certified electric generating company can join the market and offer its own price.
The town of Bethel most likely once operated in a regulated market, like Alexander, but has since chosen to make itself a deregulated market given a few benefits. Reasons that Bethel probably considered when deciding to move to deregulate its electric market were things like competition driving down electric prices for their residents, better quality customer service, and innovation. The town of Bethel, like many deregulated American states, wanted to put some power back into the consumer’s hands when it came to their electricity pricing.
So, what does this mean for you as a resident (or future resident) of a deregulated state? It means you can shop around for a lower electric rate, of course! Just as if you were shopping around online for a cheaper lamp than the one you found at the local mall last week, you can shop around online for a cheaper price per kWh.
How do I set up, or even find, a different rate?!
By signing up on MoveEasy, you’ve been granted a dedicated personal assistant with expert knowledge in the department of energy deregulation. Your dedicated concierge can guide you through every step of the process to switching your electric supplier. All you’ll need to do to get started is schedule a call or send them a quick text and ask about switching your electric supplier.
Added Benefits of Deregulation
- One great thing about switching your supplier is that you don’t have to know very much about the energy market at all to get a good rate. Electric rates rise and fall constantly throughout the year due to environmental, economic, political factors and more. However, when choosing a supplier, you have the option to lock in an electric rate, freezing it for as long as 6 months to 1 year. This way, you’ll have an idea of how much to budget per month for electric instead of depending on an unpredictable variable rate. This is ideal as you can avoid any extreme spikes in price per kWh and natural fluctuations in the market.
- Another benefit is that you can go green with renewable green energy. Yes, that’s right – some suppliers will allow you to pick a lower rate and take advantage of energy produced by solar, wind or hydropower.
- If you ever receive bad service, you’re free to leave and choose another supplier. Where there only used to be one utility company controlling everything, you could get bad customer service and have nowhere else to go. You had to get your service from them or you simply wouldn’t have power. But, now that you have options, you’re free to leave if you have a bad experience. A deregulated market is a competitive market and competitive markets are sensitive to consumer feedback. So, don’t feel trapped into staying with any one company if they’re not giving you excellent service. Switch out your electric supplier to your heart’s content.
- Switching your supplier is actually fairly simple and relatively quick. You’ll be able to see online a list of offerings and choose a new rate. From there, you can sign up and the supplier will let your utility company know it’s been switched so you won’t have to do anything further. You can just sit back, relax, and turn your lights on.
All in all, while your electric delivery expense cannot be avoided, supply costs can be lowered if you switch energy suppliers. There is no difference in the electricity being supplied from one company to another. With fixed-term rates provided by alternative energy suppliers there are no fluctuations in monthly price per kWh, no extra fees or surcharges, and no interruption of service. The only difference is the price, which we recommend to always go with the lowest one being offered. Basically, the only thing you have to lose when switching your supplier are your high, unpredictable electric bills.