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Associated Renewable
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Electric Choice Programs Place Power in the Customers' Hands


By: Natasha Risinger - for Associated Renewable

How Electric Choice Programs Work

Consumers now have the freedom to select their energy provider and a plan that is most suitable for their needs. This is known as "Electric Choice" and directly relates to the ability of consumers to choose the company they would like to generate and supply the energy they consume.

This sort of freedom is meant to give consumers more than just the power of choice, because that choice is directly linked to potential savings. Consumers can compare the rates of various electric companies and select the one that offers a rate that is lower than their current local supplier. We will take a look at some of the key elements you should be aware of when comparing utility companies.

Who has the Power to Choose? - The Effects of Deregulation

Since the deregulation of the energy system the market has been divided among many players and the power of choice has been placed in hands of consumers. Many utility companies now have to compete with each other to provide the best rates and services for their customers. However, there are still some areas that are restricted where consumers have no choice but to stick with their current energy supplier. In the state of Texas, 75% of the residents can select the utility company they want to supply them with energy. Check if you are in a restricted area or if you are free to choose your energy supplier. You can also visit Texaselectricityproviders.com to compare rates or talk to an electricity expert.

Plan Options

There are three types of plans for a consumer to choose from, and these are the:

  • Fixed Rate Electricity Plan - Customers on this plan are billed on set rates that will not change throughout contract period. This means they will not see any unexpected/unscheduled changes in their rates.
  • Variable Rate Electricity Plan - Customers on this plan will see a rise or fall in their electricity rates on a monthly basis based on movements in the electricity market.
  • Renewable/Green Energy Plans - Customers on this plan opt to receive energy that is generated through an environmentally friendly and non-polluting process. This form of energy can be generated from sources which include the wind, sun, water, the core of the earth and landfills.

Contract Terms

All the utility companies operate differently and offer various rate plans. They may offer the no minimum contract period plan, which would compare to a month-to-month plan, or plans with a set contract period or both. Take some time to understand the type of plan you are being offered before signing up, and inquire about what will happen at the end of your contract with that supplier.

Some Suppliers Provided Added Benefits

There are a number of Retail Electric Providers who offer additional services such as rewards programs, air conditioning maintenance and other benefits. These services are meant to attract potential customers as well as to provide added value to existing customers.

Should You Switch

If you are pleased with the rates and services offered by your current REP then switching may not be for you. If you are serious about taking advantage of the power of choice when it comes to your energy supplier, you can do a comparison to see if there are any better deals on the market that can save you money.

 

 

Author bio:

Natasha Risinger works as an energy advisor. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and informing the public about energy programs via blogging.


Image Courtesy: Noveda Technologies (http://www.noveda.com/solutions/energy-management/energyflow-monitor)

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