If you’re like most homeowners, then your power bill drains a significant portion of your budget. This is one reason why so many areas have chosen to deregulate energy markets – to encourage competition, lower prices and improve service.
Alberta was one of the first provinces to do this, and its success has inspired other areas—and countries—to follow suit. Thanks to energy deregulation, there are plenty of ways for consumers to reduce their monthly bills.
The Internet is an excellent resource for comparing providers and contracts in your area. For example, businesses and homeowners in Canada can find an energy plan that fits their needs and budget on this website.
Read on to learn five tips for finding a local energy provider:
1. Consider the Amount of Energy You Use
If you want to maximize your savings, then you need to consider the number of people who live in your home and how much energy they use. Several factors can affect your consumption, such as temperature control, lighting and the use of entertainment systems.
If nobody is home at certain hours of the day, then consider keeping your appliances off during those times. You can also adjust your climate control system to minimize the cost throughout the day.
2. Check the Available Energy Plans
You may have a busy schedule, but doing a few hours of research on local energy companies could save you a veritable fortune. The Internet is an excellent source for comparing the options.
After you narrow the choices to two or three providers, call them and inquire about discounts. You may also want to ask how they generate energy; for example, some companies derive much of their power from renewable resources while others rely on fossil fuels. Finally, be sure to scrutinize the contract before signing.
3. Ask for Recommendations
Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for recommendations. In addition to providing positive reviews, they can warn you of companies that provide poor service or charge hidden fees.
4. Look for Discounts
After finding a company, search the Internet for discounts, and ask if they have any current deals. However, you shouldn’t necessarily settle on the lowest price.
Energy companies offer several different types of discounts; for example, some provide lower rates for long-term contracts while others have rotating specials to attract new customers. Before you commit to a provider, make sure you can fulfill the requirements of the contract. If you intend to relocate in the near future, then avoid long-term agreements with high-cancellation fees.
5. Read the Fine Print
Before signing the contract, it is important that you read it carefully. Make sure you know if the rate is fixed or variable. While a variable rate may be lower to start, a fixed rate will not change due to market shifts and therefore may be the smarter option.
There are countless ways for businesses and homeowners to save money, but keeping your energy bills low is a strategy that can benefit almost everyone. Consider these five tips the next time you compare services.