Frequently Asked Questions

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General

  • Who is Choose Energy?

    We are a marketplace committed to educating visitors about energy deregulation and helping them find an energy plan that fits their needs. Our easy-to-use online marketplace makes it simple to find available suppliers, compare plans, and make the switch – all in a matter of minutes.

    Currently, we serve customers in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. To find out what options are available in your area, enter your ZIP code in the search box above.

  • Why should I choose Choose Energy?

    We take the mystery and hassle out of shopping around for new energy services. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code to start comparing plans.

    By choosing a plan from our selection of vetted and trusted suppliers, you can rest easy knowing you’ll receive reliable and uninterrupted energy service.

    Even after you’ve switched, Choose Energy keeps working for you. We keep track of when your contract expires and will let you know when it’s time to start shopping for a new plan again.

  • Where can I learn more about electricity rates across the country?

    Choose Energy’s Electricity Rates by State page will show you what’s happening around the U.S.

Electricity Shopping

  • What should I look for in an energy plan?

    Electricity and natural gas generally work the same. When shopping for plans, you’ll want to consider the following factors:

    1. The reputation of the supplier

    2. The length of the contract, which can range from three to 24 months or longer

    3. The price of the energy

    4. The percentage of energy that comes from renewable resources such as wind or solar

  • What is the “Price To Compare”?

    If you purchase gas or electricity from your local utility, you can find the “Price to Compare” as a line item on your bill.

    The “Price to Compare” is the benchmark you can use to compare the costs of different energy plans. For electricity, the “Price to Compare” will be measured in cents per kilowatt hour. Depending on the state, the “Price to Compare” for natural gas will be measured in cents per therm, or per hundred, thousand, or million cubic feet.

    If you can find electricity or natural gas rate lower than the “Price to Compare,” it may be advantageous to switch your energy supplier.

  • When comparing plans, how is the cost per month calculated?

    The cost per month is calculated by multiplying the rate by the average amount of energy consumed in your area. If your usage differs from the average, then you can change the numbers at the top of the page to give you a more accurate account of what your monthly bill would be.

  • Will I have to pay a deposit or get a credit check?

    Some plans offered through Choose Energy do require credit checks. Depending on your credit score, a deposit may also be required to begin service. For more information, please check our No Deposit Electricity page.

  • Are there any ‘hidden fees’ when signing up with a new supplier?

    Rates shown in the Choose Energy marketplace are all-inclusive, meaning they take into account any fees you will have to pay. If you need to pay a deposit, we'll tell you that upfront too.

    To find out if your current service has fees for switching providers, you should look in the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) and Terms and Conditions (T&C) documents that came with your plan.

  • Why do your rates look different from the ones on my bill?

    The rates on our site are written in a simple decimal system to make them easier to understand. So, for example, a plan with a rate of $0.099 per kilowatt hour would show up as 9.90 cents per kilowatt hour on our site.

  • I signed up for a plan several weeks ago and haven’t heard anything. What’s going on?

    If you sign up online with Choose Energy, you should receive an email confirming the switch. If you didn’t receive that email, be sure to check your spam folder, as the confirmation email may have been sent there. If you can’t find the email in your spam folder, contact us on Facebook or Twitter to have it resent.

  • How can I find out my current electricity or gas rate?

    Beyond taxes and fees, your energy bills are generally made up of two main sections: Supply Charges and Delivery Charges.

    Supply Charges refer to the portion of your bill that goes to pay for the actual energy you consume. The electricity rate is measured in cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and the natural gas rate is measured in cents per therm or cubic feet. Once you’ve found these numbers on your bill, you can compare them with the prices offered by energy suppliers online.

    The Delivery Charges refer to the portion of the bill that goes to your local utility to pay for maintaining the lines and infrastructure that brings energy into your home or business. This portion of your bill will remain the same no matter which supplier you choose.

Switching Plans

  • How does switching service work?

    With Choose Energy, switching electricity providers is easy:

    1. Enter your ZIP code and compare the plans available in your area. Once you find the one you want, click the “sign up” button and follow the prompts to enroll.

    2. Your confirmation email will be waiting in your inbox. Don’t see it? Check your spam folder in case the email is sent there by accident.

    3. Your local utility will handle the switch. Our sign-up process will let your previous supplier or utility know that you’re switching to a new energy provider. There is no need to cancel your current service and you should not lose power during the transition.

  • Will I have to pay fees to leave my current energy supplier?

    Any electricity plans without a contract, including month-to-month and variable rate plans, can be cancelled at any time free of charge.

    If you have a contract and switch service before it expires, you may have to pay an Early Termination Fee (ETF)—just as if you were breaking a cell phone contract. Usually, if you schedule the switch within two weeks of the contract’s expiration, you won’t be charged an ETF.

    If you don’t have a copy of your plan, you will need to contact your current supplier to see when your contract expires and if it includes ETFs.

  • Will I have to get a new meter or buy any new equipment?

    No. The energy will run through the same lines that already go to your home or business—the only thing that changes is where the energy comes from.

  • Who will I pay my bills to if I switch?

    It depends on where you live. Even if you change suppliers, your local utility is still responsible for delivering the energy. So, you likely will receive a single bill from your utility that includes the cost of both delivery and supply. In some areas, you may receive one bill from the utility for delivery and another from the supplier for the actual energy used.

  • How long does it take to switch my service?

    In most cases, your new plan will go into effect within one to two billing cycles. The length of billing cycles can vary by location, but most are typically 30-90 days in length.

  • Can I really switch my energy suppliers?

    It depends. More than 20 states and Washington, D.C., allow residents some choice in selecting their energy suppliers. The states include Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, and New York.

    As other states move to give residents choice in their energy service, we will roll out service into new areas. So stay tuned to see what your options are.

Plans Types and Rates

  • What’s the difference between fixed rate & variable rate plans?

    Fixed Rate Plans: When you sign up for a fixed rate plan, you’ll pay the same rate for your electricity or gas for the duration of the plan. Fixed rate plans protect you from spikes in the price of gas or electricity. However, your electricity usage will still affect your bill.

    Variable Rate Plans: When you sign up for a variable rate plan, the price you pay for your electricity or natural gas varies month to month based on the market price. While this means you may get a great deal when electricity or gas market rates are low, it also puts you on the hook if rates suddenly shoot up.

  • How do I figure out if I have a fixed rate or variable rate plan?

    Compare the price per unit of energy over your past two bills and see if the rate changed during that period of time. The price per unit of energy for electricity is cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and for natural gas is cents per therm or million cubic feet (mcf).

  • Where can I find the rates, length, and other details of the plan I signed up for?

    You can find all the information about your plan, including the rates, term length, and other details in the confirmation email you received after switching suppliers. If you can’t locate your confirmation email, check your spam folder, as it may have landed there.

  • What happens when the plan I sign up for ends?

    You should receive a notice from your supplier at least 30 days before your contract expires, alerting you that it’s time to renew your contract or shop for a new one.

    If you do nothing, you will likely be moved to a plan your provider picks for you, which may not the best available deal.

Suppliers

Service

  • Who do I call if my power goes out?

    Your local utility is still responsible for maintaining your electric service. You will still call it in the event of an emergency or outage at the number provided on your bill.

  • Who will supply my energy when my contract expires?

    About 30-45 days before the end of your contract, we will send you a notice alerting you that your contract will shortly expire and that it’s time to shop around for a new energy plan. If you do not sign up for another plan, you will continue with your current supplier onto a month-to-month plan.

  • Will my energy service continue to be reliable with the new supplier?

    While the suppliers provide the energy, your local utility owns and remains in charge of maintaining the infrastructure that brings energy into your home or business. No matter which company you choose, you should continue to receive reliable energy service from your utility.

Deregulation

  • What’s a supplier?

    A supplier is an independent company that generates or purchases energy to sell directly to consumers. That energy is delivered to you through your local utility. In the case of an emergency or power outage, call the utility, not the supplier.

    Choose Energy works with trusted, reputable suppliers to ensure the quality and reliability of service.

  • What’s a utility?

    A utility is the company that maintains the pipelines, power lines, poles, and wires and is responsible for delivering the electricity or natural gas to your home or business. The utility remains your point of contact in the case of a downed power line or power outage. You cannot change your utility.

  • What is energy deregulation and how does it affect me?

    In short, deregulation allows you to choose where you purchase your electricity and natural gas. That means you can now shop for your energy plan the same way you do for phone and internet service.

    Energy deregulation separates the production of energy from its delivery. Utilities have typically been responsible for both supplying and delivering energy. Deregulation breaks up this monopoly, allowing you to purchase energy from independent suppliers.