Switching your gas and electricity tariff can be an alien concept for people all over the world, especially if you have been used to having just one energy company in your area until recently. This is especially true in the United States, where up until recently all states across the nation had been regulated by just one local energy company. Well, that has now changed in 32 states.
In these states, in varying degrees, you can choose from a number of different tariffs, companies and supplies, all ranging greatly in price, giving you much more control of your bills. In this article you can find out exactly how to switch your deal.
Which states can switch?
Below is list of all the states in which you can switch your energy to some degree. If you don’t see your state yet on the switching list, don’t worry, it’s likely that deregulation is on its way soon.
|Can’t switch||Power only||Natural gas only||Power and natural gas|
District of Columbia (DC)
How to switch tariff
Switching your tariff is extremely easy and has been built on various case studies across the world, primarily within Europe, the United Kingdom especially. Companies like Selectra have been operating for years, providing customers with unbiased, full market comparisons so that you can choose the cheapest tariff to switch to. As such, there has been websites pop up across the US such as ‘Choose Energy’ and ‘Power 2 Switch’.
Your part ends fairly early: all you need to do is provide a few personal details, such as your name, address and bank details. Once you have indicated which tariff you would like to switch to, the switching company will take care of the rest. In addition, don’t worry about cancelling the contract that you’re currently on, because the switching company will take care of that too! Everything within this process really is simple for the customer.
What type of tariff should I get?
There are a few types of tariffs that you should be aware of. This will determine the way that you pay for your energy, what you receive and how long you need to be tied down to that deal.
Here’s your options:
Standard variable – the most flexible of tariffs, a standard variable means that you don’t have any contract length: you can switch and swap as you wish. The downside is that your unit rate, the amount that you pay per unit of energy, can rise and fall with the wholesale prices worldwide. The idea of it decreasing might sound nice, but this won’t happen to very many, believe us!
Fixed – The most popular tariff type, a fixed tariff will generally result in being cheaper than a variable, but will tie you down to a contract for a predetermined amount of time, usually in years. This could be seen as a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, it protects you from any price increases in the coming years. On the other hand, if you wish to cancel your contract, you will have to pay an exit fee, which can be pretty hefty.
Green – Applicable to the two tariff types above, the renewable deal is comprised of 100% renewable energy. More and more companies are offering this type of tariff in a bid to reduce the amount of fossil fuels that we used in the generation process and switch our attention to clean, sustainable energies. These can sometimes be a little more expensive, but it is more than worth it for the environmental benefits.
Will my supply change?
No, your physical supply will not change. The reality behind it is that all you are really changing is the price, your customer service number and the name on the top of your bill. Each of these companies will buy energy and pump it into the grid same as the one that you are on now. The wire and pipeline network will remain intact just as it is now, meaning there will be no changeover or downtime in your connection while the switch is being made.