The Importance of Shopping Around for Home Energy

Electric, natural gas, solar power… there are a lot of options out there for energy consumers, and choosing the right one can be vital to the sustainability of your home and your bank account. Because of the wide variety of sources and providers, making this choice requires research and planning. However, you will be reaping the benefits for years. Put in the time and thought to shopping around for home energy now, and your wallet and the Earth will thank you.

Choosing the Right Provider

For control over who you get power from, you’ll need to live in one of only 13 states that allow consumers to choose. These are called deregulated states. Canada also has a number of communities that are deregulated. For more information on choosing energy providers in Canada’s deregulated markets, check out

Independent companies are allowed to offer reduced and introductory rates to consumers. You can take advantage of these rates by comparing the different energy companies. You can also make your provider determination based on a desire to go green, which means your energy will predominately be provided from solar or wind technologies.

Here’s a breakdown of the considerations you’ll want to make before choosing a supplier:

  • Explore all of your options, and compare pricing
  • Research the rate structure: secured-rate means you’re charged a set-rate per unit. Secured-rates offer more protection for consumers because if inflation occurs, you’ll remain locked into your rate for the length of the contract. Variable-rate plans offer more flexibility based on market trends. Because new technology is consistently emerging, variable-rate could actually result in savings over long-term secured-rate plans.
  • Be prepared to revisit your energy selection often, and change plans whenever your contract allows.

Beyond saving money, choosing your own electricity provider is smart for people who want to feel independent and in control of what comes into and out of their homes.

Compare Natural Gas And Electricity

When shopping around for home energy, don’t make the mistake of committing too early to one kind of power. For many homes, it may be smart to consider both electricity and natural gas.

Natural gas is already popular and abundant in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It may be an especially smart option for people living in cold areas who need long-term house heating; although, natural gas can work for air conditioning as well. As with electricity shopping, you will need to do a dedicated price hunt, to find which electricity or natural gas providers in your area offer the best deal.

Harness the Sun as an Energy Provider

It’s becoming easier and easier to harness solar power for individual homes. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the prices for solar panels have fallen dramatically due to technological advancements and the expansion of the solar industry. Or, you can choose a solar energy provider if you’re living in a deregulated market.

Solar power is an excellent option for people who don’t just want to save money, but also save the planet. By hooking up solar panels to your house, you can cut down on your energy bills and your carbon footprint; you may also receive a tax credit for this renewable energy source.

Be smart when shopping around for home energy. Consider a wide range of options, but make sure to get your price comparisons from independent, non-biased parties. Whether you want to save money, lower your carbon footprint, or simply feel more in control of your energy use and your home, researching the right home energy source is an important step forward.

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