Switching Explained

There are a few good reasons to think about switching energy plans: (1) you’re moving, (2) you’re nearing the end of your benefit period, (3) there are price changes in your state and (4) you’re simply unhappy with your current retailer. Whatever the reason, switching energy plans can be a good thing. And it can also be easy if you know what to look for when you do your research.


Comparing Plans


Knowing the details of an energy plan offer will better guarantee that you’ll find the best deal for your usage. Here are the most important ones:


  • Rates


Rates refer to the energy usage price per kWh or MJ and the supply charge.


Depending on the retailer, energy prices could be broken down into peak, shoulder, and off-peak. Peak rates are the highest. Off-peak rates are the cheapest. And shoulder rates are in between the two. Peak rates are generally priced on the hours of the day with the most energy demand, while off-peak rates are priced for the hours of the day with the least.


Supply charges are billed daily regardless of energy consumption. When checking this rate, it is important to compute it with the energy price and average energy usage.


For green energy power, it is important to factor in the supply and rate surcharges that could apply for offsetting your usage through renewable sources.  


  • Discounts, Incentives and Promotions


Providers may offer different discounts, incentives, and seasonal promotions. Some examples include guaranteed discounts, pay on time discounts, e-billing discounts, rebates, credit offers, reward points or other protional offers.


  • Fees


Retailers have the prerogative to apply varying fees on their services. Some of the most common to watch out for include:


    • Exit fees

    • Late payment fees

    • Connection fees

    • Meter reading fees

    • Credit card payment surcharges

    • Paper billing fees


  • Contract type


Contract types can be standard or market. Standard contracts have fixed rates for the duration of the benefit period. Market contracts, on the other hand, have variable rates that change depending on the current wholesale energy prices.


  • Benefit period


The benefit period is the duration of the contract. Options include: no contract, 1 year, and long-term (2 years and up).


  • Other Services


Retailers may also provide other complimentary services that could be helpful for consumers. These include bill smoothing options, online account management and energy monitoring tools.


Making the Switch


Once you’ve found a plan that works for you, making the switch is as easy as calling CompareEnergy to complete the application process. Your new retailer will then take care of letting your current retailer know that you’re switching. You will not need to call your current provider and there will be no energy interruptions during the switch.


Within 10 days you will receive a Welcome pack via email or mail from your new provider which will contain all the plan, rate details and terms and conditions. The actual retailer change will often happen on the next meter reading, depending on the meter type at your property this could be anywhere from 10 days to 3 months.