Maybe you’ve gotten a letter like this: a competitive energy supplier offers to switch your utility usage to 100% clean energy sources. By simply signing your name, your home will start using only renewable energy, without needing to install any new equipment. Your utility company will even stay the same!
Well, as we all know, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. You might be able to make this arrangement work for you, but there are a few crucial things to consider first.
What to look out for before signing up with a competitive energy supplier:
- Do the math. In the fine print, the company will provide a kWh cost. Compare this to your current rate by looking at your most recent utility bill. Often, competitive electricity suppliers charge far more than the rate you’re already paying.
- Watch out for “variable rates”. Again, the fine print will clarify whether you're dealing with a fixed or variable rate. If it’s variable, all bets are off: the third-party energy provider can hike your rate at any time for any reason, and you’ll be on the hook for the higher bills.
- Google the company. Check out their reputation and whether they have any pending lawsuits or Better Business Bureau complaints. Several competitive energy suppliers have gotten in serious trouble for deceptive sales tactics and overcharging residents.
- Call us! We can walk you through the numbers to determine whether a 3rd-party clean energy company would be beneficial for you. Find out whether you’d be better off buying or leasing solar instead, and get a complete understanding of all of your options and their true costs.
We hope this helps explain some of the potential risks of participating in these programs. We are here to help you, so please contact us if you want to know more or would like us to assess the specifics of your unique situation. ‘Til then, here’s to reading the fine print!