Whether you’re looking to do a better job of budgeting or simply interested in reducing your overall cash expenditures, one of the first places to look at are your energy costs. Whoever you are, your energy bills make up a large part of your monthly budget whether you’re splitting that between several types of fuel sources or using electricity exclusively. Before you go so far as to cut out other bills to reach your bottom line goals, spend some time looking into your energy expenses to see if there are any areas where you can improve.
Pick an Energy Supplier and Save
One of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bill is to choose a new supplier. Not everyone can do so, but if you’re lucky enough to live in a deregulated market you have the privilege of being able to choose an energy supplier based on the perks of their individual products. Having this freedom could help you save a lot of money just by making a simple switch. Some states have deregulated the natural gas market, some have deregulated the electricity market and some have deregulated both. But how do you know if you can take advantage of this opportunity?
If you’re not sure whether you live in a deregulated market or not, check your state’s public utility commission’s website. There you will definitely find a quick answer to the question. Many states in the U.S. have embraced deregulation of some kind in the energy sphere over the past decade or so, and a surprising number of consumers still aren’t aware of the change.
How to choose an energy plan
There are several things you need to consider before signing up for a new energy plan. First of all, shopping for an energy plan is just like shopping for any other commodity – you have to do your homework. If for example you’re looking for the lowest rates ever, compare energy providers in Texas. You need to learn a few key terms before being able to weigh your options against one another.
There are several different types of rate structures that energy retailers create plans around. The two most popular structures are fixed and variable rates. As you would expect, fixed rates do not change, variable rates are subject to go up or down depending on market conditions.
Another aspect of energy plans that you need to consider is the contract term. Generally fixed rate plans have longer terms than variable rate products, making them particularly well suited for rate security. If you don’t want to have to think about your energy rates for a long period of time, choosing a fixed rate product is an ideal solution. Likewise, if you want to keep tabs on your energy rates from month to month, a variable rate product might be a better solution for you.
The bottom line to choosing an energy plan is to choose one that fits your needs, whatever they happen to be!