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Easy Ways to Save Money – Part 1: Changing Your Electricity Provider

Electrical power lines
Changing electricity providers can result in significant
savings

I wanted to write a post that outlines a few ways that I have saved more than a few dollars lately.  Even if you’re not really on a budget, these ideas should make sense, after all a penny saved is a penny earned, but for most families with kids, every penny helps.

If this post helps you out, see my other posts in this series:   Ditching Your Home PhoneChanging Your Mobile Phone Provider, Why We Shop at Costco and Getting rid of cable TV and instead getting your television shows over the internet.

Change your electricity provider

Many people aren’t aware that you can change your electricity provider, and it takes very little effort.  Really, you aren’t really changing providers so much as joining a large group of people who purchase electricity together and therefore get it cheaper.  In most cases you will still receive your bill from your current electric company, its just that the rates you are charged will be cheaper.

You should be aware that electricity is bought by the kilowatt hour (KwH).  If you check your electric bill there will be a figure that tells you what you currently pay per KwH.  That figure is the one you need to try and beat. There is an example of what to look for in the image below.

Change your electricity provider in MarylandIn my case, I beat it by 2 cents per KwH, and that really adds up considering I use around a thousand KwH per month.  Not only that, but I am very happy to have the option to go with 100% wind power “offsets” so that I actually am getting green energy for cheaper than what I was paying for coal–8.99 cents per KwH.  There are many companies selling electricity and rates and deals do vary.

The site I used to find a new electricity provider is called Point.Click.Switch. You just need to choose your state and your electricity supplier. They will then show you a list of possible energy providers along with their rate, cancellation fee (most of them do not have a cancelation fee), the amount of time the specified rate will last and the amount you would save over your existing rate (you need to enter that rate from your electricity bill at the top of the page).

Definitely pay attention to the term, just as much as the rate. After the term is over, they may change your rate to higher amount. So whichever term you select, mark your calendar so you’ll know that it’s time to find a new provider/or evaluate the existing one.

I typically use about 1500 KwH per month.  If you want to compare, at my old rate, I was paying 11.99 cents per KwH, so the savings looks like this every month:

Old Rate: 11.99 cents x 1500 = $179.85
New Rate: 8.99 cents x 1500 = $135.85  (Savings of $45 per month)

If I would have opted for the non-green electricity at 7.99 cents per KwH, I would have saved an additional $15/month.

It took me about 10 minutes to sign up and then they emailed me to verify that I really wanted to do this. You will need your electric bill when you fill out the form. It might seem a little scary, but don’t worry, it isn’t like you run the risk of having your electricity cut off if you make a mistake–your main electric company is still regulated and so is your new one.  They have to go through a process for changing your provider and the reality is that is all “on paper”…in other words, you still actually get the same electricity as you got before through the same wires that you already have.  Again, it is really “all win” for most people.

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