Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Supply Side of Your Electric Bill

It seems we spend more and more time trying to find the best price for anything and everything. And with the internet, this is not difficult to accomplish.

Same goes for the price we pay for our electricity, at least from the supply side of the equation.

Many states allow consumers to choose which company will supply the electricity although the delivery of electricity is the responsibility of your local electric company such as Con Ed, NYSEG, PSEG to name a few.

These supply companies may offer fixed or variable rates for the year.  There are some companies offering fixed prices for 24 months. Some companies have a cancellation fee if you leave the contract before the time period stated in the contract.

So many variables to say the least.

I started my search once I received a letter from my exisiting supply company letting me know that my contract is up and what my new fixed price was going to be for the coming year.  

I then set out to see what other companies were offering.  This is easy enough. Just log on to the sites listing ESCO companies in your state.  There are lists upon lists of each company showing fixed or variable pricing, length of contracts, cancellation fees, if any, and the website or phone number you can call to get more information.

For example, in NYS try this website:


Usually the contract takes about 2 months to get in place and most likely your new company will take over after a meter read date.  Most companies can't let you start anytime you choose so beware of any cancellation fees you may have on your current contract.  Paperwork is filed with your local electric company to let them know you changed supply companies.  Then you will get a letter stating that you have changed your supply company, or that you are continuing with your current one, and the letter will give you the start date of your new service.

You will also receive a letter from your new supply company. 

All very organized.

My first action was to take care of my house and I signed up with NYSEG Heating Solutions through DirectEnergy.com.  Apparently Direct Energy either owns or took over NYSEG Heating Solutions. It also represents Gateway Energy. When I mentioned that I needed to also change the supplier for the barn, I was connected to the person in Commerical accounts.

I had an extremely buttoned up representative from DirectEnergy.com handling Commercial accounts.  (Since the barn is unoccupied, my electric company considers it Commercial and the rates are different from Residential. Maybe I need some horses!)

There was an issue as far as when my current contract ended and when I could begin with a new company to avoid any cancellation fees and the representative, her name is Sandy, made sure that my contract started past the time my old one ended. She even checked my Residential account to assure me that I would be OK with the start date. We went over everything carefully to make sure I was clear on contract and procedure.

Sandy's professionalism surpassed almost every representative I deal with on a daily basis.  She gave me her number so that I could reach her if I had some any questions. And guess what? She was there when I called!

The next time you get your electric bill, check to see who supplies your electricity and what you are paying per KW hour and then see if you can find a better price.

And don't forget to see what your cancellation policy is before you commit to a new company. You don't want to lose money before you can start saving.