3-6″ of Snow in the Forecast

We blogged last week about the seasons changing – and the impact that will have on your electric bills. And it is about to get real in Northern, IL!

We are fans of Danny Neal and the Stormchaser’s blog. This morning  we woke up to news from Danny that Illinois can expect multiple inches of snow this Friday night and Saturday morning. winter storm watch

Hop on over to Danny’s blog and follow him on Facebook for great weather tracking…and, after you’ve done that – sign up with Energy Simply so you’ll know that you’re not paying way too much for electricity in these cold, dark winter months.

 

Winter is coming: let us help you save

It’s November and winter is coming.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 65% of energy costs are tied to heating or lighting; and these are costs that will increase in the winter months: Winter is coming jpg

  • Colder outside temperatures mean more energy is needed to heat your home and water
  • Shorter winter daylight hours mean more energy is needed to light your home

There’s a good chance you’re probably paying more than you need for the electricity you’re going to need more of.  Energy Simply is a consumer-focused service that monitors the complex and frequently changing energy market and helps you get the best deal, personalized FOR YOUR electricity usage.  Learn more about how Energy Simply works and sign-up to start saving today:https://www.energysimp.ly/users/sign_up.

(Data and graphic from: U.S. Department of Energy)

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.

Chicago Case Study: Go Green and Save Green

Case Study: Go Green and Save Green

Abbie works for an environmental non-profit in the Chicago-area.  She cares deeply about the environment and wants to use renewable energy for her small apartment.  BUT, Abbie also works for a non-profit so she was worried that green energy would be too expensive.   girl_environmental_activist_H

Abbie saw our cost comparison for green energy and decided that for about 0% – 15% premium, she could afford to choose 100% renewable energy.  Abbie had been on the default plan for her area and by signing-up for Energy Simply she actually was able to get a lower price on 100% renewable energy than she had been paying.

Sign up for Energy Simply’s service and you can rest easy knowing you’re getting the cheapest or cheapest green energy at all times.

If you live in one of these Illinois cities, you’d better watch your energy bills

Many Illinoisans live in cities that have negotiated competitive electricity rates for their citizens. This is referred to as money to burnmunicipal aggregation. In most cases, the negotiated rates are lower than the default Comed Utility rate. However, Comed’s rates have come down to 7.006 cents/kwh which means many city rates are now too high. Depending on electricity use, consumers who live in these higher rate cities could be paying an extra $10, $20, $30 or more for electricity every month.

The cities and their rates are listed here:

Aurora – 8.086/kwh

Dwight – 7.88/kwh

Justice – 7.89/kwh

Lanark – 7.852/kwh

Morton Grove – 7.84/kwh

Mount Prospect – 7.935/kwh

Owen Township – 7.845/kwh

Riverside – 7.81/kwh

Warrenville – 7.89/kwh

Consumers living in those cities should consider opting out of their municipal plan. There are no penalties to do so under Illinois law. While they can now switch back to Comed whenever they want, consumers in those cities could also shop for much cheaper rates or let a service such as Energy Simply manage that shopping and switching for them. Rates in Illinois are as low as 6 cents/kwh meaning that significant savings can be realized. And – when consumers let Energy Simply do the shopping and switching, they can rest easy knowing that they’re in the cheapest electricity plan at all times.

Texans Energy creates a new low in market manipulation

Texans Energy, a new power company, has come onto the scene with a seemingly appealing offering that shows up on the first page of Power To Choose offerings.  With Texans Energy, if you use over 999 kWh you get a $65 bill credit.  Seems great right?  There is one big catch though, you don’t get the credit if you use more than 1200 kWh.  You might be scratching your head right now thinking, “what are the chances I’ll be within a 200 kWh range of usage?”  Seems unhelpful right…

Why would they do this?  One reason, to manipulate their ranking on Power To Choose.  As I’ve written about before, Power To Choose ranks plans based on their average kWh cost for 1000 kWh of usage.  That means that even though it’s unlikely that a customer will hit Texans Energy’s narrow range, it’s 100% likely that they will succeed in artificially inflating their ranking on Power To Choose.

What’s next, a $100 credit if you hit exactly 1000 kWh?  That way a company can be assured to be at the top of the rankings while still screwing over it’s customers. Hey Power to Choose! It’s time to change the “rules” so they work for customers and not market manipulators.MiLkAzLgT

FAQ: Can I switch my electric power company?

You don’t have to keep overpaying for electricity,  or keep polluting the world with dirty electricity.  If you live in Texas or Illinois, you can switch and start getting cheaper and/or greener power now.

changesameIn Texas, if you are currently not under contract (on a month-to-month or pay as you go plan)  you can switch right now.  You can also switch right now, with no termination fee, if your plan expires in the next 14 days (you are within the state mandated grace period).  If you are not in either of those 2 groups, you can still switch right now, but you are likely under contract and subject to a termination fee ranging from $100-$200 if you switch.

If you fall into one of the first 2 groups you  should always switch right now.  You are definitely paying more than you need to if you have a month-to-month plan or a pay as you go plan, and if your plan expires in the next 14 days you want to switch now so the company can’t hit you with month-to-month variable rates upon contract expiration.  If you have a cancellation charge, it may still be worthwhile to switch.  Our average customers save ~$50/month and some of our customers have saved $100s/month.  If you haven’t changed providers in more than a year, you have more than a few months left on your contract, and you live in a 2000+ square-foot house, chances are you can save money by switching.  You can go to www.powertochoose.org and pick a plan.

Things to remember when picking a Texas plan:

1) Always choose a fixed price plan

2) You can often save money with 3-6 month plans

3) Make sure you note your contract end date, so you can sign yourself up for your next plan before the one you choose expires

4) Your use varies so take a look at www.smartmetertexas.com to help you figure out what your expected usage will actually be

5) Always look at the fact label and make sure the company isn’t playing games with pricing using large credits or other tricks to make their plan look cheaper

In Illinois, the vast majority of people will have no cost to switch (basically if you’ve never switched before there will be no cost to switch).  So you can go to www.pluginillinois.org,  choose a cheaper (current price to compare from ComEd is ~7¢/kWh ) or greener plan and in 3 to 7 weeks you will be receiving power from your new provider.

Two things to remember when choosing an Illinois plan:

1) Always choose a fixed price plan!

2) Make sure you know when your plan will end and remember to switch again to a new plan ~5 weeks before the end of your plan to avoid getting hit with variable rates at the end of your contract (to figure this out you also need to know when it starts).

And lastly,  remember there is an alternative to spending your precious tine staying on top of this stuff.  You can let Energy Simply manage it all for you.  We are electricity market experts and we are always thinking of ways to keep you in the best cheapest (and potentially greenest) plans.  We sign you up for the best available plan, track prices in case it ever makes sense to switch mid-contract, and switch you before your contract expires so you never get stuck paying variable rates.  And it will only cost you $5/month.  Sign up today!