Comparing Energy Costs

Holly Bush in Bloom

Wish I was gardening right now, but I’ve put off real life for a bit and now have to face it.

We already shop yearly for lower home and auto insurance prices, internet prices, and keep an eye on phone providers to see if there is a better deal (we haven’t had a contract in years due to not getting a new phone every other year).  These are things that do take long to do, espeically once you know where to look or whom to call.  Our insurance provider was found through Dave Ramsey’s ELP program and has been such a time saver in searching for lower insurance rates.

We currently have an energy plan that change by the hour – a program that has saved us over $120 a year for the past 6 years.  With this past winter being colder than normal and some of the habits in our lives changing we are finding ourselves paying more per month than we would if we were part of the “normal” energy plan.  So, it is time to start shopping.  The decision to change was prompted by a flier at City Hall which mentioned their municipal aggregate program for energy.  This was followed up by a call to our energy provider to help decipher our bill and find the price to compare.  (This quick and informative phone call was about 6 months over due.  I had convinced myself that it would take too long or be too difficult – boy was I wrong.)

I found out that we paid 4% more  in April than we could have.  While this  may not be a large amount, we also are not using a lot of energy right now.  With the nice weather our air conditioning is not running, neither is our furnace.  The cost difference will only be increasing.  Last month we paid  9% more to stay with our energy provider.  Yeah, it was time to take the next step ….

bathroom wall above vanity lights primed

I again convinced myself that the next step would be difficult and time consuming.  When will I learn?  A search online resulted in finding a website for our state that explained all of the energy options for various situations.  There was also a list of providers, though not all were in every area.  It has taken me less than an hour to request or find quotes for over 13 companies and I have less than 10 more to go.  I had no idea there were so many choices.

If this works out like I think it will, we will be paying less each month than we would have otherwise.  Now that I know how to do this process, I will add it to the calendar to do every 6 months – 1 year.  Every penny counts.

I’ve also found that we may be able to shop for rates on natural gas as well.  That will be another day though.  I really do want to do some gardening today.

strawberry plants may 6 2014Have you ever shopped for a different provider for your energy or gas or other utilities?  Or do you stay with the company you know and like?