Moving to or Live in a Deregulated Area?
Have you been living in an energy-regulated location and are unsure how to manage your electricity supply if you move to a deregulated area? Numerous states, including Washington D.C., have deregulated their energy markets, thereby making the supply of natural gas and electricity cheaper. So, what is energy deregulation all about, and how can it help consumers like you? Let us find out.
What is Energy Deregulation?
In the ultimate analysis, deregulation boils down to a choice that a consumer enjoys in choosing his or her energy supplier. The local utility providing last-mile connectivity to your home or business remains the same. If you have been living in a regulated area, you do not have any choice about your energy supplier and have to pay the bills according to the rate fixed by the supplier or the regulator. This can often turn out to be arbitrary and high due to the existence of a monopoly situation where a handful of suppliers or a single energy supplier fixes the rate and leaves the customers of the area with a fait-accompli. However, deregulation has changed such arbitrariness for consumers.
In the deregulated states, customers can choose and change energy suppliers based on the rates and quality of service. Here, many energy suppliers offer attractive incentives for consumers in the form of lower costs, flexible length of contract, mix of renewable energy, and customer rewards program. Interestingly, notwithstanding the electricity and natural gas supplier you have chosen in your area, the local utility will supply power to your home or business, maintain the supply infrastructure, read meters, and send a monthly bill to the customers. Most importantly, the local utility remains responsible for the delivery of power to your door.
Factors to keep in mind when shopping for an Electricity Plan
Choosing an electricity plan is easy and does not require you to have any advanced knowledge of tariffs and regulations. Just keep an eye on the below-mentioned factors before you change your energy supplier in your area.
Plan type: There are two types of plans; fixed-rate and variable rate. In a fixed-rate plan, the monthly charges for your electricity supply based on usage remain the same during the contract period. It is only the parts comprising distribution fees and taxes that come from your local utility that may change. On the other hand, in a variable-rate plan, the electricity charges can change each month based on the market. And given the volatility of energy prices, it is usually smart to avoid variable rate plans.
Length of contract: Energy plans generally last from 6 months to 36 months, and given the volatility in prices, it is better to stick to a long-term plan to keep the bills low. Given that energy prices are currently near historic lows, it would be sensible to lock-in a low rate contract now to secure budget certainty for the future.
Price: Energy plans may have price brackets depending on your usage. So, choose a fixed price bracket depending on your average monthly use of electricity.
Mix of renewable energy: Many energy suppliers are switching to renewable forms of energy like solar and wind or mixing them with traditional sources. Given the rates of renewable energy becoming competitive, consumers like you may look at such a plan and contribute your bit towards a greener and healthier planet. In many markets, consumers can choose from plans the source their energy supply from green providers such as wind and solar farms.
In case you are moving to an energy-deregulated area, it is smart to check your options by visiting a portal like UtilityDiscount.com. Make use of your power to choose and change energy suppliers to get the best rate. Why pay more than you need to?
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