When the electric bill comes at the end of the month, you might not pay much attention to it apart from lamenting that it’s getting more expensive keeping your lights on. Though that might be true, your options to reduce the bills are growing too – you can switch electric suppliers or get smarter about your energy usage.
Or perhaps you can do both – all in one step. The below guide will cover how can you save money by switching and end up with free smart home products, all at the same time. Your reduced carbon footprint is just a bonus.
What exactly is the Energy Choice?
Imagine that you would only be able to buy groceries from one supermarket – the one closest to your house – and as a result, this supermarket would be able to charge you a lot higher prices. This was the state of the energy industry in the US, before deregulation and energy choice.
However, in the 1990s the US federal government deregulated the energy industry, which gave energy customers in 18 US states the opportunity to choose the electricity and natural gas provider. With more choice came competition and with it, inevitably lower average electricity prices.
Data source: publicpower.org
You might be wondering, okay, but I really don’t remember seeing a big dip on my electric bill lately. The challenge is that it is up to you – the customer, to find a suitable electric supplier, compare the available electric rates and choose the one that best fits your lifestyle and the situation and ultimately make the switch.
What are the benefits of switching electric suppliers?
Apart from the obvious benefit of getting your power supplied to your house for cheaper, there are a couple of additional perks of energy deregulation.
One of them is the option to switch your power supplies to a renewable source, by opting for something called a green energy plan. These plans commit the supplier to ‘match’ some or all the electricity you consume by purchases of renewable energy (sourced from wind or solar).
Almost all the retail electric suppliers offer either partially or fully green energy products, in accordance with the Renewable Portfolio Standards of individual states.
The other good thing about deregulation is that electricity providers are always coming up with new ways to add value to their plans. Apart from the competitively priced electric rates, additional perks with which electric suppliers try to woo in the customers include attractive rewards programs, referral programs, and smart energy products giveaways.
Below is a selection of a few of them, worth considering.
Free Google Nest Hub with Reliant Energy
Last year, Reliant Energy launched a new offer to help customers save money on electric bills and make their homes smarter. Customers who sign up for the Reliant Truly Free Weekends plan can not only enjoy free electricity every weekend (8 PM Friday to 12 AM Monday) but will also get a free Google Nest Hub smart display device.
Free Thermostat and Weekly Scorecard with TriEagle Energy
Heating and cooling are responsible for approximately half of your monthly electric bill. The energy provider TriEagle Energy has partnered with Connected Savings to offer a Smart Energy Plan, which includes a free Smart Wifi Thermostat, that is automatically optimized based on real-time weather data. To top it off, you’ll also get a free weekly Energy Scorecard with actionable tips to preserve energy.
Free iThermostat with TXU Energy
With this energy plan offered by TXU Energy, Texas customers get to preserve both the environment and money. When you sign up for the TXU Energy Conservation Program, you get a free smart thermostat and access to an online portal and a mobile app that allows you to manage the temperature in your home remotely.
As part of the Conservation Program, TXU Energy will cycle your heating and the air conditioning system on and off during periods of peak energy demand – this reduces the pressure on the electrical grid and allows for safer management of the energy system. You, of course, have ultimate control and can easily override the cycle period that TXU has set up!
Free A/C Protection With Constellation Energy
One of the largest US electric suppliers, Constellation Energy offers an opportunity to bundle your fixed-rate electricity plan with coverage of unexpected repair costs to your cooling system. Apart from cheaper electricity, the plan includes 24/7 emergency service, unlimited service calls, $0 out of pocket for A/C parts & labor and 15% discount on your annual efficiency tune-up.
Get More Efficient With Liberty Power Rebates
Residential customers who switch to Liberty Power can take advantage of incentives and rebates for purchasing certain high-efficiency appliances, lighting, air sealing and insulation, and controls.
For example, if you belong to the income-eligible customer group, you can get a free analysis carried out at your home to indicate, how much will you be able to save by upgrading the efficiency of your appliances.
You may also qualify for other items, including:
- ENERGY STAR® refrigerators
- ENERGY STAR lighting
- Water-saving measures
- Insulation and air sealing measures
Smart Home Management With Freebies From Stream Energy
Stream Energy believes that more is more. That’s why they bundled competitively priced electricity and natural gas rates with a range of other attractive, energy-related products, such as:
- Smart 30 SkyBell: This price-secured plan comes with a free silver or bronze SkyBell smart video doorbell, with the standalone cost of $199.
- Smart 30 Thermostat: This plan includes a free Lyric smart thermostat to help homeowners control the climate of their home from anywhere
- Protect & Save: This price-secured plan includes free identity protection.
There are many suppliers competing in the deregulated energy marketplace and the ultimate price is your attention. If you are currently paying for electricity to your regulated utility, you should have a look around to see if there aren’t better deals out there. You might even get a free smart thermostat, which will make managing your smart home feel like a piece of cake.