Choosing a new energy supplier isn’t like choosing a new pair of shoes—no matter how picky you are about what you put on your feet. If you live in a state that allows energy choice and the freedom to choose from whom you purchase your electricity supply, then you must do your research.
After all, with the number of suppliers competing for your attention, you can never be too careful when comparing the varying prices, reliability and commitment to sustainability that suppliers offer.
Here are three precautions to take when choosing an energy supplier:
- Ensure the company is trustworthy: Did a salesman knock on your door and hand you a pamphlet disclosing the company’s rates and special offers? Be wary of giving your personal information to any door-to-door salesperson. And it is very important that you do not share your utility account number with anyone from a company you do not know. With your utility account information, unscrupulous representatives have the ability to switch you to their company for energy supply without your permission. Whether you’re dealing with a salesperson or researching a new company online, its best to gather all of your facts before making a final choice and providing any personal or account information.
- Compare pricing plans: The beauty of energy choice is that you can choose a supplier offering an attractive payment plan. For instance, some suppliers offer variable or fixed plans (or both!). A variable price plan means that you pay the monthly market price for the energy you use. A fixed price plan means your supplier locks in one price for the entire term of your contract. Both types of plans offer a price per kilowatt, and you can choose the plan which makes the most sense for you.
- Read the fine print: It never hurts to be thorough when reviewing an agreement you’re about to sign. Read the fine print that goes along with your energy supply contract. This means looking for areas that might detail sign-up fees, cancellation fees, or early termination fees which can lock you into a contract you don’t want to be in. It could save you from paying unexpected fees throughout the length of your contract or getting trapped in an agreement that’s not what you had originally expected.
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