Better Business Bureau, Baby

bbb-logo

Today we received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and we’re so proud we want to shout it from the mountain tops. However, since we are not on mountain tops and it is rather late at night, we’ll happily post it to the internet via our blog and social media pages.

According to its website, the “BBB helps people find and recommend businesses, brands and charities they can trust.”

Basically they help you, the consumer, know that you’re dealing with a reputable company that delivers on promises. Why does that matter to us? Honestly, because we save people so much money by monitoring and switching their energy supplier that it is a little unbelievable.

If you want to become a believer, sign up at http://www.EnergySimp.ly.

FAQ: Sorting all the electric company offers you receive in the mail

Why am I receiving so many electricity offers in the mail? Should I be switching to one of them if they say they’re the cheapest?

mail pile

If you live in Texas or Illinois you will receive lots of offers in the mail from electricity companies claiming to be the greenest or the cheapest. That is because Illinois and Texas have opened up the retail electricity market to competition. If you’re one of our customers there’s a good chance you’ll get lots of mail from these companies because they will recognize that you’re shopping the market (or, more accurately, that we are shopping the market for you).

Here’s the thing – a lot of those offers come with pitfalls. Perhaps they are offering a low introductory rate, or perhaps they have a variable rate and they’re counting on you being too busy to pay attention when it skyrockets. Either way, there is no electric company in existence who’s bottom line is your top priority!

We welcome your questions when you receive these offers. After all, our top priority is your bottom line! Our business model is based on saving you the most money on your electric. We are happy to provide free advice on the offers – or, if you just don’t want to worry about it you can sign up for our service and we will take care of it for you. From monitoring the market, to identifying and getting you into the best plan to switching you when we can save you even more – we take the hassle and uncertainty out of buying electricity for your home.

 

Don’t be a Turkey: Stop paying too much for Electric

The electric companies love you. Every month they can count on you to not review your bill, check for competitive pricing and they are taking that to the bank! You’ve helped pay for a lot of lavish Thanksgiving feasts for energy executives today.

It’s Thanksgiving, so don’t be a Turkey – compare prices on your turkeyelectricity. Perhaps you’ll even find that you can get 100% renewable electricity for cheaper than traditional, dirty electric. If you don’t have the time to shop the electric markets let us do it for you. For $5 a month we’re saving our customers $10, $25 – many as much as $50 every month!

And, because we are thankful for our customers we have incentives to help you sign your friends up such as a free Nest thermostat. Loosen that belt after dinner, grab your electricity bill and sign up to start saving.

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.

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!

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.

Illinois Residents: As municipal rate plans expire, rates may go up

If you buy electricity in Illinois there is a good chance you’ve saved a little money due to municipal aggregation. A few years ago when Illinois opened up its retail electricity market the law allowed for companies to negotiate deals with local municipal governments (villages, cities, counties, townships) which typically resulted in cheaper electricity for residents. Okay, hopefully I haven’t already lost you…this is important!tearing contract

Most of those rates were pretty good – unless you’re in Aurora, IL – your rates are very high and you should call us immediately! But, many of those agreements are set to expire in coming months. One very big example is the City of Chicago who’s municipal aggregation agreement expires in May of 2015. However, there are many other agreements that are set to expire soon.

What that means is there will be uncertainty in the market and potential rate increases. Here are a couple of tips to protect yourself from rate increases:

  • Check here to see if your municipal aggregation plan is set to expire soon.
  • If it is, check with your town about the new rates.
  • Keep a close eye on your electricity bill.

With preparation and research you can benefit from the market uncertainty by getting lower rates from competitors. If you don’t have the time to research and manage the switching – we can do it for you.

Many people (Chicago included) will automatically switch to being Comed customers. If you’d prefer cheaper or greener electricity than Comed offers, sign up with Energy Simply and we’ll keep you locked into the cheapest or cheapest green electricity available at all times.