Chicagoland Residents could go green AND save 5% vs ComEd

A large number of people in the Chicagoland area are with their incumbent electricity provider, ComEd, and likely paying too much for electricity.

From, October 2015 through May 2016, ComEd is charging its customers $0.07006/kWh.  If you’re in a two-bedroom apartment and using 1,000 kWh/month, you’re paying $70.06 (plus a fixed delivery fee) per month.  If you’re in a four-paying too muchbedroom house using 2,000 kWh/month, you’re paying $140.12 (plus delivery fee) per month.

If you just wanted the cheapest plan, you could be saving about 15% and if you wanted to go green with 100% renewable energy, you could still be saving 5% compared to your default ComEd rate.

Energy Simply actively monitors the Illinois energy market including the nearly 80 plans available for Chicagoland residents as of early October and watches for the best deals for our customers.  We automatically switch you to the cheapest electricity provider for your home based on applying our proprietary models to your own energy usage.  Learn more at:https://www.energysimp.ly/how-it-works or sign-up at: https://www.energysimp.ly/users/sign_up.

It’s Rob’s Birthday and he wants you to switch to renewable

Ecofriendly Birthday Cake

Picture courtesy of http://www.ecofriend.com

This week I celebrate a milestone birthday and I have a small favor to ask: please consider switching to 100% renewable energy.  As shown in a previous blog post, renewable energy is sometimes the same price as or sometimes 10%-15% more expensive than non-renewable energy.

This was a big year for my spouse and I as we raise our first child in (see my personal Facebook page for pictures) and we are experiencing all of the joys and challenges of parenthood.  One of those joys and challenges is thinking about the world you want your child to live in.

I have heard people say that the current generation is the first generation to experience the effects of pollution and the last one that can make a major change.  I hope that for sake of the next generation, we have the collective will to make a change.

Thanks–

–Rob

P.S. Energy Simply is only available in some states, but there are options to go 100% renewable in nearly all states.  For example, in Washington state, Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy both offer programs to go renewable:

Rob Dolin is the Co-Founder and CTO of Energy Simply.  He has over a dozen years experience in the technology industry including work in the Office, MSN, and Windows divisions of Microsoft Corp. and technical partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Sina Weibo.  Rob holds a B.S. in Engineering with Honors from the University of Illinois and a Graduate Certificate in User-Centered Design from the University of Washington..

Energy Simply’s Algorithm: Technology and Consumer Focus Save You Money

Question: What do you get when you put a McKinsey and Co. Management Consultant together with a Microsoft Engineer with a statistics background? 

Answer: Energy Simply’s proprietary algorithm that helps select the BEST energy plan FOR YOU.

We look at ALL energy plans available to you, not just ones that pay us a “kick-back.” In fact we don’t take kick-backs or any incentives from energy companies. We’re only paid by you, so we’re always in your corner.

We understand MARKET TIMING and look at short-term and long-term plans and optimize for your lowest cost. That way you don’t get stuck in a long-term plan if rates are dropping and don’t get a short-term plan if rates are rising.

We FREQUENTLY ANALYZE the market looking for the best plans. If a plan is available that could save you money, we calculate and, with your permission, automatically switch you.

We MONITOR CONTRACT EXPIRATION dates so you don’t get stuck paying huge rates when your contract switches from fixed price to variable.

We customize the plan FOR YOU. A plan that might be great for you in July when you need air conditioning may not be the best plan for you in the spring when the temperature is moderate. We look at your past energy use to help choose a plan that’s right for you now and right for you in the future.

Case Study: Accountants Use Energy Simply, Shouldn’t You?

accountant

Herschel is an accountant who decided to research to find his best energy plan. After researching, he decided to become an Energy Simply customer.  Here are some of his reasons:

  • Time – It took multiple hours to research offers, read the fine print, and build a simple model.  Doing this every time his contract comes-up (3 to 6 mos) is not the best use of Herschel’s time; but Energy Simply does this for him.
  • Expertise – While Herschel may be able to amortize a fixed cost like a professional, he’s not an expert in the electricity industry.  Energy Simply understands the tricks companies play to make their prices seem better than they actually are and has a sophisticated proprietary model for finding the best plan for each household’s electricity usage.
  • Monitoring – Energy Simply monitors the electricity market frequently and looks for price changes.  Herschel doesn’t check as often and may be missing-out on opportunities to switch providers if a better deal becomes available.

FAQ: What is Municipal Aggregation and How Could I Save Money With (or Without) It

By: Rob Dolin, Co-Founder and CTO, Energy Simply LLC

BACKGROUND

About thirty years ago, everyone had just one electricity provider.  It was either a publicly owned utility like Seattle City Light or a Privately-owned but very regulated utility that was allowed to earn a guaranteed rate of return in exchange for providing power to all the customers in a given service area regardless of how much it cost to serve them.

With privatization , some electricity providers went from public ownership to private ownership and/or private electricity providers were formed.  Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is an example of a private electricity provider.

With deregulation, multiple electricity providers were allowed to service customers.  Often, these other companies provide electricity over the same wires owned by the “incumbent” electricity provider.  For example, in Chicago, IL, the incumbent, ComEd, makes its wires available to many companies (27 in Dec. 2014) and literally DOZENS of retail electricity offers are available to customers (70 in Dec. 2014.)  For example, the Ambit Energy company has three offers for northeastern Illinois residents.  You can see a list of all seventy offers for northeastern Illinois residents at: http://www.pluginillinois.org/offers.aspx?said=1.

MUNICIPAL AGGREGATION

When you’re negotiating, if you buy more, you often get a lower price.  This holds for electricity.  Cities, counties, and groups of cities and counties, get together to negotiate on behalf of their residents.  When a municipality negotiates an electricity deal on behalf of its citizens, this is called municipal aggregation.

PROS AND CONS OF MUNICIPAL AGGREGATION

Municipal Aggregation is usually a better deal than the incumbent electricity provider and than many of the dozens of other offers; but there may be some exceptions:

  • LOCKED-IN PRICE: A municipal aggregation deal with a fixed price may be a good deal at the beginning, but if the cost of electricity goes down, it may not be as good.
  • FIXED MINIMUM COST: some municipal aggregation deals have a fixed minimum cost so apartments or homes that are frugal with their electricity use may not be getting a better deal.
  • NOT RENEWABLE / GREEN: A municipal aggregation agreement may get a relatively low price, but it might not be choosing energy sources that align with your values.  In some municipalities if you want renewable energy, you need to opt-out of the municipal aggregation agreement.

ENERGY SIMPLY AND MUNICIPAL AGGREGATION

Energy Simply isn’t just another website for browsing the myriad of electricity providers (though we do enable our customers to compare power plans for Illinois and Texas.)  Energy Simply analyzes YOUR electricity usage and preferences (cheapest or cheapest renewable) to build a personalized electricity profile and then monitors the ever-changing market to help you find the best plan for you (and switch to it if you choose our Gold plan.)

Our system takes into account your location and any municipal aggregation offers available to you; and helps you find the best electricity provider.  You can sign-up today for a FREE 30-day trial at: http://www.EnergySimp.ly/

Thanks–
–Rob

P.S. If you have more questions about Municipal Aggregation, the Plug-in Illinois website from the Illinois Commerce Commission has more info at: http://www.pluginillinois.org/MunicipalAggregation.aspx

Rob Dolin is the Co-Founder and CTO of Energy Simply. He has over a dozen years experience in the technology industry including work in the Office, MSN, and Windows divisions of Microsoft Corp. and technical partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Sina Weibo. Rob holds a B.S. in Engineering with Honors from the University of Illinois and a Graduate Certificate in User-Centered Design from the University of Washington..

How Much More $$ Does 100% Renewable Energy Cost

By: Rob Dolin, Co-Founder and CTO, Energy Simply LLC

I don’t know anyone who would not choose 100% renewable energy IF it was the same cost as non-renewable energy.

In fact, in the City of Seattle, over 10,000 residents pay between $3/month and $12/month EXTRA to increase the portion of renewable energy in the electricity they purchase from the local utility.  But maybe you’re not in the temperate climate of Seattle and you experience the sweltering summers of Houston, TX or the harsh winters of Chicago, IL; and you don’t want to be faced with a sky high power bill because there was extreme weather and you wanted to do something good for the earth.

Based on our monitoring of the Illinois and Texas power markets, I’m pleased to report that with the help of Energy Simply to keep you in the cheapest (or cheapest 100% renewable) plan, at today’s rates, lighter electricity users can get 100% renewable energy for ZERO premium and heavier energy users pay only 10% – 15% more.

  • Residents of the Chicago, IL area would not spend more for 100% renewable power
  • Residents of the Dallas, TX area would spend only about 12% – 13% more for renewable power
  • Residents of the Houston, TX area would spend 10% – 15% more for 100% renewable power

CHICAGO – In Chicago, the cheapest price on power is currently a 100% renewable plan.

Usage Cheapest Cheapest 100% Renewable Renewable Premium
500 kWh $11 or  $0.02 (w/$75 rebate) $11 or  $0.02 (w/$75 rebate) 0%
1,000 kWh $46.9 or $0.0469 (w/ $75 rebate) $46.9 or $0.0469 (w/ $75 rebate) 0%
2,000 kWh $118.8 or $0.0594 (w/ $75 rebate) $118.8 or $0.0594 (w/ $75 rebate) 0%

DALLAS – Using the Texas Energy Commission’s Power to Choose website for a quick comparison, we find:

Usage Cheapest Cheapest 100% Renewable Renewable Premium
500 kWh $35 or $0.07 / kWh $35 or $0.07 / kWh $0 / 0%
1,000 kWh $56 or $0.056 / kWh $63 or $0.063 / kWh $7 / 12.5%
2,000 kWh $108 or $0.054 / kWh $122 or $0.061 / kWh $14 / 13.0%

HOUSTON – Using the Texas Energy Commission’s Power to Choose website for a quick comparison, we find:

Usage Cheapest Cheapest 100% Renewable Renewable Premium
500 kWh $40.50 or $0.081 / kWh $40.50 or $0.081 / kWh $0 / 0%
1,000 kWh $66 or $0.066 / kWh $73 or $0.073 / kWh $7 / 10.6%
2,000 kWh $122 or $0.061 / kWh $140 or $0.07 / kWh $18 / 14.8%

If you want to be in the cheapest 100% renewable (or just cheapest) energy plan, we can help.  Visit www.EnergySimp.ly

Thanks–
–Rob

Rob Dolin is the Co-Founder and CTO of Energy Simply. He has over a dozen years experience in the technology industry including work in the Office, MSN, and Windows divisions of Microsoft Corp. and technical partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Sina Weibo. Rob holds a B.S. in Engineering with Honors from the University of Illinois and a Graduate Certificate in User-Centered Design from the University of Washington.