How to Switch Energy Suppliers

Did you know that you can save hundreds each year by switching to a new energy supplier? You can save money not only on your monthly utility bill, but also through cash-back offers and other special incentives. In addition, some energy companies may offer convenient benefits that would make it worth the switch. For example, online account management simplifies bill-paying and budgeting. Switching to a supplier that offers this service could help you to avoid late payment charges while taking measures to conserve energy during peak hours.

If you want to save money on your utility bills by switching energy providers, you’ll do better if you live in an area that has a lot of competition. Competing suppliers offer incentives to encourage you to ditch your current company. These incentives can be in the form of cash back, account credits, or reduced rates. Some may even offer a partial refund on a deposit (if you were required to make one) if you pay your bill before its due date for months at a time.

Many energy companies post rates for residential customers online so that you can make an easy comparison. Otherwise, you can call the company to get more information on rates and fees.

Take your time in deciding to make the switch. You want to be as informed as possible to avoid getting stuck in contracts that may prove to be more costly in the end. You should know the following information before switching your energy supplier:

* Does the company charge a fixed rate, or does it change over time? Do the rates fluctuate if you use more or less power?
* How long are you locked into the contract? Will you be required to pay a penalty for terminating your account early or switching to another energy supplier? How much notice are you supposed to give before you switch providers or have the service terminated? What if you move?
* Do they renew your contract automatically? If you don’t want to renew, how far in advance do you have to notify them?
* How does this company generate energy? Do they use coal, gas, nuclear, or hydro, or what percentages of each? Is the company concerned about renewable resources? What are they doing to achieve lower emissions?
* Will you be charged a deposit? How much will it cost?
* What is the late fee? Are there any other fees?
* How will you be billed, and from what company will you receive a bill?
* Does the supplier include the rate charges on the bill? For example, does the electric company specify the amount charged per kilowatt hour? This is an important way for you to monitor charges and control your power costs.

You should always research a company for any complaints they may have received over the years. What are the most common complaints made by customers? Do they seem trivial or are they serious problems? If you’re still considering a switch to the company, ask them what they’re doing about these issues or customer service problems.

If you’re in a low-income situation or if you’re a senior citizen, find out which gas and electricity providers offer discounted rates. These discounts could make a big difference during peak times of the year.

If you owe money to your present energy supplier, you probably won’t be able to switch providers until your debt is paid off. Sometimes a company will consider the amount of debt owed along with your personal situation. Remember, you will be responsible for charges up until the date you make the switch.

Changing over to a new energy supplier can pay off dividends over the course of a year. Added perks, like online bill pay or cash back incentives can save you even more. Do your research and enjoy the benefits of switching to a new energy supplier.

Sam Jones the author of this article watches the energy market closely. For up to date pricing information from the electricity suppliers he recommends the uSwitch price comparison website


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