Whether you’re moving to the other side of town or your contract is up, we all eventually have to switch electricity providers. Some households like to switch providers every 6 months, while others prefer to lock in a low rate for 1-2 years. We understand that every home is different and energy needs vary. That’s why we put together this quick guide on some of the best moves to make when switching electricity providers.
Analyze Your Current Situation
This includes your EFL (Electricity Facts Label) and your past energy bills. Here are a few points to keep in mind as you’re doing your research and comparing rates.
- What’s your current usage? Write these figures down (from the last 12 months) and keep it handy.
- Do you have a targeted budget in mind?
- Are you making the most from your current plan? Such as receiving the credit if you reach a certain amount of usage.
- Is your current plan a good fit for your home’s usage?
If you’re unhappy with your current bills and feel like you can get a better rate that’s personalized for your home’s energy needs, then maybe it’s time to switch.
Doing Your Research
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of fixed-rate plans. Not only do you get to lock-in a rate, regardless of what’s going on in the wholesale world, but there shouldn’t be any bill shock if you picked the right plan for your energy needs. However, if you’re feeling risky, you can take the gamble and choose a variable-rate plan. The point is: you have options.
Pricing Structure, Fees and Minimum Usage
Now we’re getting to the nitty gritty. To make it easier, check these bullets off as you go while comparison shopping.
- You may not know this, but there’s also different types of pricing structures. Some plans combine the TDSP charges into the rate you see upfront. While some people like the simplicity of that, others may like seeing all the charges laid out. There’s also fixed (simple) and tiered plans. Simple plans are what they’re named, straight to the point rates. Tiered plans are those where the more usage you use, the higher your rate is (or vice versa)
- More than likely your eyes will wander to the lowest ones. We get it, low rates are attractive, but sometimes they can come with a hefty price tag disguised as fees. Certain fees are unavoidable, such as the ones that come from your TDSP, but keep a close eye out for fees that are set by the electricity provider you signed up for. It’s also worth mentioning that some plans, such as our Straight Power 12, are already bundled with the TDSP fee built in.
- Take note of the minimum usage: Is there a certain amount of energy you need to use to reach the rate that attracted you in the first place? Even if you’re below or above 1 kWh, you could be subject to a higher rate than what you thought you were getting.
Think of these as “bonuses” for choosing specific plans- that don't affect the rates offered. Some plans may offer free weekends, while others give you credit back if you use a certain amount of energy. More often than not, you can see the features from the get-go without having to look at the EFL. Word to the wise: don’t be fooled by “freebies”. Sure a free Nest, Amazon Echo or Texan’s jersey seem nice, but that rate that you’re signing up for will probably already cover the cost of that product and more.
These can also be considered as additional ways for electricity providers to personalize their plans for your lifestyle and budget needs.
Once you’ve outweighed all of your options, it’s time for you to sign up and lock in that rate before it goes away! Be prepared to have your service address and SSN handy as you’ll need to provide them when you sign up.
Signing up for electricity is relatively easy. Most providers allow you to sign up online (the most convenient) and others also let you sign up via phone. With Frontier, it’s pretty simple. Choose the rate that fits your home’s energy needs, fill out the sign up form and let the savings roll in. See what special rates we have for you and sign up today: http://bit.ly/SecureYourRateToday