Switching energy suppliers is not available to everyone across the country, as those who still live under the monopoly of a regulated market are restricted to just the one company to provide them power. However, for those who live in a market that is deregulated, and thus allows consumer choice of energy supplier, a question will immediately come up is: why should they change?
It’s a valid and important question and one that should not be taken lightly. As with any other major purchasing decision, choosing whether you should switch to a new energy supplier is a personal decision and one that has many different factors involved. That said, when you do your homework and find out if you’re able to switch suppliers and who your options are, you may find a number of customer benefits of doing so that will make your decision even easier!
Potentially Cheaper Rates
For many energy suppliers, the decision to switch or not will come down to one thing: what are the rates? Will you be paying less? If you do research into the options of companies who can supply you with your power, you very well may find that the rates being charged by the alternatives are lower than the rates you are currently paying to your incumbent utility. The ability to pay less cannot be overstated as a benefit, and it’s definitely among the most popular reason that customers may opt to switch energy suppliers.
Rate Structures That Align With Your Goals
Rates that you pay to your utility company and/or to a new energy supplier aren’t always as simple as a single cost per kilowatthour (kWh) of electricity though. Different energy suppliers will offer different rate structures, and examining those structures may uncover a new type that actually works better for how you use energy or budget for your monthly bills.
For example, different suppliers can offer fixed rates vs. variable rates. Fixed rates lock you into a single cost per kWh no matter how much you use or anything else, so you’ll have a very clear and predictable idea of what your bill will be at the end of the month. Others, though, will offer variable rates that will go up or down based on how much energy costs on the open market. These types of rates mean that you could potentially pay less than if you had a fixed rate, though you also could end up paying more. So variable rates are only appropriate for people who are willing to stomach that risk and who aren’t on a very fixed and tight budget.
Further, some additional rate structures will offer one price for the first certain amount of energy, then change rates based on if you exceed that amount; others will offer rates that vary based on what time of day you’re consuming the energy supplier, and there are others. The point is, though, that each of these different rate structures may appeal to a different segment of the population, so if you look into your options you may find a new rate structure you like better than your existing one.
Decreased Carbon Footprint
Outside of changes in how much you pay each month, a common reason to change energy suppliers is because of a desire to reduce your personal carbon footprint. With the incumbent utility you’re locked into the type of energy mix they use, whether that’s coal or gas or any other carbon-intensive fuel, but when you choose an energy supplier you can choose one that has a greater concentration of renewable energy generation (some even offering 100% renewables). While the exact way this renewable energy gets assigned to you is a bit complicated, many customers opt for a new energy supplier out of a desire for their power bills to be supporting suppliers who invest in and utilize eco-conscious and green energy sources. So if sustainability of your energy is a top concern, you may want to see what renewable energy offerings other energy suppliers have out there.
Energy Supplier Who Listens to Your Concerns
Broadly speaking, the ability to choose your energy supplier allows you the option to cut ties with a power company that doesn’t listen to you and find one that does. This really can be the X-factor, and whether you’re seeking an energy supplier with better customer service, with customizable programs to suit you, with rewards for loyal customers (such as Atlantic Energy’s smart home bundle), or anything else. The beauty of an open and competitive market is that your vendor must now prioritize you as a customer or you can switch to an alternate who will. And that power of being a customer is invaluable.