If you are tired of the pocket wrenching energy bills that are sent to your mailbox every other month, you’re not alone. According to US Energy Information Administration, an average American home spends 914KWh of electricity per month.
This translates to an average of $114 on energy costs per month.
While not so much can be done to reduce the number of units you use – you’ll definitely need that heating over winter, much can be done to reduce how much you spend on those units.
How? By choosing the best energy company in your state. Luckily, there are many pages where you can compare electrical companies such as Power to Choose, but they aren’t always accurate. Thus, proper research is essential to find the perfect company.
Look up State Regulations
Before you even start getting brochures and newsletters from potential picks, you need to understand how the legislation in your state works.
A state may have a regulated or deregulated energy sector. What this means is that with a regulated sector, fewer players are allowed in the field. This may cause prices to skyrocket due to a rather relaxed competition.
On the other hand, a deregulated sector means more players are allowed, thus there’s stiffer competition. The upside to this is that prices tend to slump, allowing for cheaper options thus better energy savings.
Do a Personal Audit of Your Consumption
Once you are aware of how your state regulations work, you need to do a personal audit of your energy consumption. Yes, an average American home might spend 914KWh of energy a month, but the actual value may be steeply higher or lower than this.
The best approach will be to analyze your previous bills. Get an average of your costs and consider this your actual consumption per month, on average. Also importantly, consider the seasonal fluctuations in consumption.
These fluctuations can show you when and why you spend the most energy and how you can reduce this spending. In as much as you’re trying to find the best energy company, the potential savings might not be realized if your spending habits are also not regulated.
Look at Potential Tax Incentives
A common conundrum while selecting the best energy company is choosing between green energy and conventional sources. Green energy is usually more expensive than conventional sources. But does that mean it’s not the cheaper alternative?
Tax incentives can make a great deal of difference when it comes to green energy costs. Most states offer the residential tax credit for green energy installations that curb the net cost of the installation and use of renewable energy to a considerably lower price.
This means that, despite the seemingly higher costs you might incur installing and using renewable energy, the savings from tax credits might reduce these costs to a figure considerably similar, or in certain cases, lower than what a conventional energy source would provide.
This is because unlike tax deductions, tax credits work on a dollar-for-dollar basis, meaning you might even get enough credit to carry forward to the next billing.
Consider the Realistic Savings
Yes, the tax incentives seem great. Should I jump in the boat?
Not as quick.
While choosing the best energy company, despite the promise of tax savings and lower environmental impact for the green energy options, you need to calculate the realistic savings you’ll get from your end.
This is important for you to not only manage expectations but also choose the provider with the best savings possible. And to do this, you need to know the kind of package you’ll be using.
For a residential home, the savings might amount to a couple of hundreds of dollars to about $1000 per year. But for a huge business, this can translate to tens of thousands of dollars a month. As per this study, these incentives should, in total, save US households $13.1 Billion a year.
For a clearer picture, you might need to source the help of an energy rates online comparison service. This service can help you compare the rates between different energy companies and choose one with the best savings per year.
For instance, if you live in Houston, Texas, you can redirect to Energybot to get to know the best company you can go with.
Read Reviews and Recommendations
Finally, apart from getting to compare the different rates these companies provide, it will be in your best interest to read reviews and recommendations from their past and current customers.
You should do this with the purpose of getting to know their reliability, customer support, and current experience in the industry.
The easiest way to gather this information is by talking to your neighbors, friends, and searching online for reviews about your potential picks.