Perhaps your monthly energy costs are too high, or you want more reliable service. No matter the situation, you may want to explore your options and consider switching energy providers. Many homeowners believe they can’t pick their own energy company. That’s not the case in various states, so you likely have some freedom in which service you use.
Switching can be a straightforward process — and in the end, you may be more satisfied with your electric supplier. Here’s everything you should know about how to switch electric providers.
For many people, switching is possible. However, you should make sure you live in an area that qualifies before you attempt to make any changes. If you don’t live in a state that deregulates the energy supply, you may not be able to choose your electricity provider.
Energy deregulated states include:
Those who live in the above states normally have access to multiple electric suppliers, but not every resident can make the switch. Unless you reside in specific service areas, you may not be able to have your pick. It’s wise to do a little research beforehand to see whether you have that option. If you can switch, you’ll be able to cancel your electricity contract and pick your new provider.
Essentially, deregulated markets open the door for several companies to offer customers their services. It allows Americans the flexibility to choose a supplier that works best for them. This concept works the same way for internet and phone companies, as you can pick whichever one you like the most.
The benefits of energy deregulation haven’t always been available. It wasn’t until the Energy Policy Act passed in 1992 that power suppliers were legally allowed to compete to sell electricity. Before then, Americans were only allowed to choose from a few companies that controlled the market through a monopoly.
Because you may be able to choose your electric provider, you can elect to receive electricity from either an energy supplier or the local utility. Plus, you can enjoy more favorable costs, as companies set their own prices — and to stay competitive, they often reduce their rates. It can also be beneficial for sustainability purposes since you can find suppliers that support energy conservation.
There are situations when the reasons to switch electric providers are obvious. Other times, you may not know whether now would be the best time to choose a new company. Consider the following situations where you might want to make the jump to another supplier:
Perhaps your electricity provider has not lived up the standards you expected. For example, you may not be satisfied with how they conduct their customer service. If you feel like you’d be better off with a different option, you can transition from the company you currently use to any other option on the market.
Maybe your bills have become too expensive, or your costs fluctuate from month to month even though you use a similar amount of electricity. This scenario can be a pain since you want your payments to be inexpensive and consistent. Because deregulated markets exist, you can leave your current electric provider for another that offers lower costs.
If your current electricity plan comes with special discounts, you want to ensure you take advantage of them. But what happens when your electricity needs do not mesh with your plan’s offerings? It might be time to pick another plan that best suits your lifestyle. After all, your contract should work for your situation.
Though you may be able to stick with your current provider when you move, you might want to take the opportunity to explore other electricity services. If you’re in a new city or state, you probably have to switch to a new provider anyway. It’s worth a look to see whether a different provider fits the bill.
Today, sustainability has become a top priority for many consumers. If you’d like to look into renewable energy for your electricity needs, you may want to branch out from your current provider. Some online research can point you toward suppliers with green options.
Once you’ve decided your current electricity provider no longer fits your needs, you’ll want to cancel your contract so you can open an account with another company. This process is simple, but you will need to take the proper steps.
Everyone locks into a contract with their electric provider. This agreement contains details about your account and plan, so you know exactly what to expect throughout your contract’s duration. To take your business elsewhere, you must cancel that agreement. First, you should ensure you won’t face a penalty.
Take a look at your contract to see whether there are any stipulations about early cancellations. It may cost you money to exit the agreement. If you only have a few months left, you may want to wait so you don’t owe the company any extra fees. However, your reasons to switch electric suppliers might be worth the additional costs.
Here’s how to cancel your electricity agreement:
If you want to know which questions to ask electric providers before you choose one, you’ll find several options below to help make your decision easier:
Remember to discuss the contract before you sign it. It’s necessary to know what your agreement involves, especially with an essential service like electricity. These documents include everything customers need to know about which plans they choose, including rates, terms, services, and more.
Typically, you’ll find four types of electricity agreements:
Be sure to inquire about the agreement type before you commit so you know what to expect and can get a contract type that fits your needs.
It pays to see whether discounts or promotions are available so you can save money with special opportunities. For example, at Shipley Energy, we offer a customer rewards program where you can get 3% back on your electricity usage.
Today, you can almost always pay your electricity bill online. However, you may prefer to pay with a check, so you should ask whether that’s an option. Your new company’s payment methods should align with your needs and preferences.
If you have a plan where your rates may change, you’ll want your supplier to notify you so you know when the payment difference will happen. Confirm when and how a company will contact you about any rate changes.
Unfortunately, broken contracts can come with penalty fees. If you’re ever unsatisfied with the company you choose, you may have to leave your agreement early — and you want to know what that process involves. Be sure to double-check everything so you’re aware of what to expect if you need to switch.
Take notes about when the contract will expire so you’ll be prepared to either renew or end your contract at the correct date. This step can help you avoid unnecessary headaches later.
After you’ve decided that the benefits of switching electric providers will work in your favor, you’ll want to follow a few steps to ensure you know how to switch electric suppliers:
First, you’ll want to ensure your state has a deregulated electricity market. Places like Hawaii and Minnesota don’t allow residents to choose their own providers, while in Pennsylvania, you have the freedom to choose who supplies your electricity. Do a quick online search to know whether you have that option.
Next, you should see what rates are available in your area. There are online tools where you can input your ZIP code to compare plans and prices. As a result, you can narrow down which options will work best.
Keep in mind that your budget will depend on how much electricity you use. If you work remotely, your electricity use will be more than someone who doesn’t spend their day at home, so you’d likely want more inexpensive rates. Also check for other services that may be important, including automatic payments or seasonal adjustments.
Once you’ve done your research and found a supplier, you can contact them to make the switch. Usually, you can simply email or call them to start the process. Then, they’ll reach out to your current provider to start the transition.
There’s no need to adjust your meter. After you contact your old and new suppliers, you just have to wait about one bill cycle before your electricity switches over to the new provider. Afterward, you can enjoy your new service.
At Shipley Energy, we make the transition to a new electric supplier quick and easy. Because we work with your local utility service provider, you won’t experience any changes other than reliable service and the potential for a lower rate. There’s no service fee or interruption when you switch, either.
As our customer, you’ll enjoy these benefits of switching electricity suppliers:
To keep prices down for all customers, we work with various generation companies to buy in bulk. This way, we can offer you favorable rates. Additionally, you have the freedom to pick between many plans depending on your wants and needs.
If you’re interested in renewable energy, we provide options for customers who want to source their electricity from wind, solar, or hydropower — and you don’t need to install any new equipment to benefit. These plans surpass Pennsylvania’s requirements for renewable energy, so you can do your part to offset your carbon footprint.
How do you shop for electricity? It’s never been more straightforward with Shipley Energy. After you sign up for a plan, we’ll deal with the rest, so you don’t have to give the process too much time and energy. There’s no need to transfer your information or pay any fees. Within your next billing cycle, you’ll be able to enjoy your new electricity plan.
Why switch electric providers? It’s not always an easy choice, but you can experience numerous benefits when you take your business to another electric provider. Shipley Energy makes the transition as simple as possible. There’s a plan for every customer, so you have the ability to choose one that aligns with your budget, usage, and more.
If you’re in the market for a new electricity supplier, check out Shipley Energy’s residential electric plans! Give us a call at 1-800-839-1849 or contact us online to chat about your options today.