Friday, May 8, 2015
Test Your Electricity Deregulation Knowledge With This Quiz
Many households will soon be taking a closer look at their electric bills as we head into summer; air conditioning actually accounts for a full 19% of residential electricity use in the U.S., the biggest slice in the whole residential sector pie. If you live in one of those households, one of the things you may be considering to get more control over your electricity service is switching to an alternative electric supplier.
But how much do you know really about electricity deregulation and what it could mean for your household use? Test yourself with this short true/false quiz.
#1: You Can Switch Your Supplier Without Losing Service
Switching suppliers is really extremely easy. Once you choose a retail supplier, you’ll probably have to wait a cycle or two before the switch occurs -- there will be no interruption in service, and once it occurs you will still receive your electric bill from your utility company; you will simply have your new electricity supplier listed on the bill under electricity supply detail.
#2: You Might Get Poor Service If You Switch
People are often concerned that by switching to an alternative supplier, they’ll get poor service from the utility company or be left (literally) in the dark should something go wrong. But utility companies are required to respond to outages and maintain service no matter what and with no discretion placed on whether you are with a supplier.
#3: Alternative Energy Suppliers Offer More Incentives
Because a deregulated market forces suppliers to compete for consumers -- the same way any other retail business does -- you’ll find you may be able to get some perks not offered by your utility company. For example, some suppliers offer a rewards program that can potentially save you money and time on other interests, vacations, and everyday purchases..
#4: You Can Save Money With Alternative Electricity Suppliers
This is really the issue at the heart of electricity generation and the one most consumers have questions about. Will you see lower bills from the electric company once you switch? While your actual prices will depend on the alternative home energy supplier you end up choosing, there is the potential for you to save money by switching because energy prices can vary widely based on a number of factors. Two decades ago, in 1995, electricity generation accounted for a full two-thirds of electricity prices. Today, that figure is less than half, according to the Edison Electric Institute. Data published in competecoalition.com compares rate changes across electricity markets from 1997 to 2014, and the data shows that states with restructured or deregulated electricity markets post lower rates of change. For complete details of the study go to: http://www.competecoalition.com/files/EIA%20restructured%20states%20data%20chart%20April%202015%20update.pdf
How’d you do? Share your score in the comments.