Buying Electricity For Your Home

Electricity generation rates are now relatively low (for Connecticut), due primarily to the low cost of natural gas. So this is a good time to buy your home electricity from a 3rd party supplier.
Energize CT logoThe Jonah Center is not in the business of recommending suppliers, but if you go to www.EnergizeCT.com and click on “Choose Your Electrical Supplier” on the top right, then follow the directions, you will come to a list of all available 3rd party suppliers. Eversource, listed at the top, provides the “standard offer” or default rate – the rate you pay if you do not choose a 3rd party supplier.
Choosing a 3rd party supplier requires some extra care on the part of the customer, however. While “variable” rates have been banned, you still have to pay attention. To make matters simpler, it’s usually best to avoid enrollment fees and early cancellation fees. (This isn’t an absolute “no-no,” but these enrollment and early cancellation fees make the cost/benefit analysis a bit more complicated.) Look for a rate that will last for as many months as possible that will still give you a lower rate.
For example, the standard offer from Eversource (listed on Aug. 12, 2015) is 8.22 cents per kilowatt hour. If you look down the page at the 3rd party suppliers, you will find (as of Aug. 12, 2015) an offer from Perigee Power for 6.7 cents per kilowatt hour, with no enrollment or early cancellation fee, for 5 months. That’s a difference of 1.52 cents per kilowatt hour. If you use 400 kilowatt hours per month (look at your bill to see how much you use, on average, per month), that comes to $6.08 per month, or $30.40 over the 5 month period. If you use 800 kilowatt hours per month, the savings is $12.16 per month, or $60.80 over the 5 month period. (Don’t trust the “potential savings” listed next to the supplier’s offer. It is based on a consumption rate that is different from your actual consumption rate.)
Most important, when you buy electricity from a 3rd party, you need to put a reminder on your calendar about 4 weeks before your contract expires so that you are sure to select a new rate. Go back to the EnergizeCT website and select a different rate or supplier for the next period of months. If you fail to take this important step before your 3rd party provider rate expires, you will be given a new rate by your supplier than could be significantly higher.
If you are a person who is not inclined or interested in paying attention to such matters, you are better off sticking with the “standard offer” from Eversource. Eversource’s (standard offer) rate is regulated and it will not suddenly spike up to an unreasonably high level.

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