Cities across the country are opting to switch their electric provider in favor of superior rates. These electric suppliers enter into agreements known as municipal aggregation programs. This allows cities to discuss the terms of its population’s electricity expenses. While citizens can opt to use a different provider, there are a number of factors to consider first.
- Rates versus fees. Homeowners may want to opt for a different electric company because they boast lower rates. However, there are often fees that can make the provider more expensive. If a provider advertises unbelievably low rates, homeowners should do their research to make sure the company is not making up the difference in various fees.
- Marketing tactics. Often times, less reputable companies will send out marketers to try to get homeowners to sign up for their service. They will ask to see the homeowner’s electric bill and make promises of lower rates. However, homeowners should always ask to see a contract before making a change. Contracts should discuss all rates and fees. If a marketer refuses to show a contract, the homeowner should show them the door.
- Personal data. Dishonest providers will request information from potential customers over the phone. It may seem innocent at first, but they may collect the data to sign up the customer without their express consent. In fact, the Illinois attorney general filed a suit against Sperian Energy for doing just that. While deceptive practices can land electric companies in hot water, many seedier businesses will take the risk.
- Reenrollment options. If a homeowner decides to switch to a different provider, they need to consider the consequences. Many providers will not allow prior customers to reenroll until a year after terminating their contract. This prevents customers from bouncing from provider to provider every couple of months in search of a better deal. While homeowners are making the change to improve their financial situation, they may realize their new provider is inferior after the fact. Being aware of when they can reenroll with a previous provider can help them develop contingency plans.
Homeowners should not make the decision to deviate from city electricity lightly. They should consider the above factors and weigh their options carefully before taking the plunge. To learn more about the merits of city electricity versus alternative competitors, contact the experts at Trion today.