There’s an endless to-do list when moving into a new home. For many homeowners going through this process, switching energy suppliers often gets put on the backburner. However, this is a prime opportunity to re-evaluate your usage and choose a new energy supplier that better meets your needs.
Don’t know where to start? Here’s everything you need to know about switching energy suppliers when moving into a new home.
1. Understand Your Consumption
Before you make a change, it’s essential to understand your current consumption. This information will help you make informed assumptions about finding the best plan for your new home. Of course, if you’re moving to a vastly different home (for example, upgrading to something larger to accommodate your growing family), your consumption habits might change.
Take some time to determine how much you’re currently using, then adjust based on data from your new home. If you’re buying, you should be able to access current electrical costs from your realtor.
2. Understand the Application Process
Next, take some time to understand what you’ll need to apply to a new energy provider. You’ll need all the pertinent information about your new home, which may include the existing energy source and provider, as well as the square footage and dimensions. You’ll also be asked to provide proof of identity and may be subject to a credit check.
If you have a loan or a history of missed payments, it’s essential to check your credit report immediately. These issues could limit your options when sourcing a new energy plan. If you have a poor credit score, you may be required to pay a deposit or a higher rate.
3. Understand Variable vs. Fixed-Rate Plans
Next, you’ll need to decide whether a variable or fixed-rate energy plan is right for you. The benefit of a fixed-rate plan is that you’ll be billed the same rate every month, similar to a fixed mortgage rate. If the market skyrockets, your kWh charge will remain unchanged. However, if costs come down, you won’t be able to adjust your billing.
Variable-rate plans are the opposite. You’ll be charged based on the current market rate, which could result in a dramatically different bill each month.
4. Consider the Sources
Depending on where you are, you might have a few options for energy sources— this tends to be the case in deregulated states. You could have the freedom to choose between hydro, nuclear, solar, or natural gas in some areas and only two options in others.
Start by looking at the options surrounding your new home. Then, evaluate the price of each to help narrow down your decision. It’s always worth considering sustainable options. These options sometimes cost more upfront but are eligible for more grants and kickbacks on the other side. Furthermore, it’s a simple way to make a difference in the environment.
5. Look at the Rates, Terms, and Rebates
When you’ve narrowed down your options, start comparing suppliers’ terms, rates, and rebates. Generally, you’ll be eligible for a better rate if you sign on for a longer term. However, breaking your term agreement early can be a costly mistake.
Rebates are often granted for choosing a sustainable energy source or staying within your consumption threshold. These kickbacks offer an excellent incentive for cutting back on your consumption.
6. Ask for Feedback
As you navigate the decision-making process, don’t hesitate to ask your new neighbors or community members which provider they use. Think beyond rates and rebates, and ask for full reviews about their response time, customer service, etc.
Take some time to read online reviews about the provider as well. Remember to take extremely positive and negative reviews with a grain of salt; the truth often lies somewhere in the middle.
7. Allow Time for the Switch
Finally, get through the energy provider selection process well before your moving date. It can take a couple of weeks to get through the application process, and providers often require advanced notice to make the switch. Ideally, you’ll know who your preferred energy supplier is at least six weeks before you move. That way, if anything goes wrong with the application process, you’ll still have time to get things done.
With these practical tips, you’ll find the right energy supplier for your new home.