Get the Most Out of Your Energy Dollars

by on December 19, 2012

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!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Samantha December 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I used to live in Texas where they did deregulate energy and I would like to add an additional benefit. You can pit the energy companies against each other. Before making a switch, you can take the written offer of one company and take it to your current company and tell them this is what the new company is willing to offer you to switch. While it does not always work, sometimes your current company is willing to match or even beat the competition.
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Fatima December 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

Thanks for sharing the perspective on energy saving and I agree such small things can make a huge difference in the bills. I shall definitely spread it to my circle.
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Aayna December 30, 2012 at 9:22 am

Hi Chris,
The electricity bill is indeed burning my pocket. Every month the amount to be paid is more than the amount paid last month. An efficient energy supplier can be the real answer to the aggravating problem. I will surely get myself an energy saving plan, to save my valuable bucks. Thanks a lot for sharing this valuable piece of advice.

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Purnima January 22, 2013 at 12:08 am

Nice share . These days money is tight for everyone and ways to save on energy bills are always welcomed. Fixed rate plans are always better in the long run . Facilitative read .
 

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Lee March 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Hi
I change energy suppliers regularly I find you can usually get a good deal for about a year then they hike you up in cost and you have to start again. I do this for all my energy, insurances and other utilities now as they are all up to the same tricks.

Great advice thanks lee
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Mitch October 22, 2013 at 5:34 am

I would advise shopping around and doing a bit of research if you are changing your energy provider. Always be on top of the raise in prices or go for a fixed rate plan.

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Ysmay January 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm

I’d love to switch my energy provider. I’m stuck with a horribly pricy bunch who doesn’t like to explain the bill properly. We are very conservative with our electricity use, but it’s still way too expensive. I’m not sure if I live in a deregulated market or not. (I never thought to look before reading your post) Finding out is now on the top of my list. 🙂
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donald quixote from Enecsys microinverter February 11, 2014 at 6:47 pm

This is really interesting. I didn’t know that some places energy systems were being deregulated. Is there a huge push towards providing energy for yourself then? For example, solar panels.

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Dan June 18, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Electricity costs are getting crazier every year. Never be loyal to a energy provider! compare, chop and change as much as you can to save those pennies. If you can afford to go down the solar panel system route for you home? do it! I have friends who don’t pay a electricity bill, they generate all the power they need from their roof panel solar system.
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