If you’re wondering how to shop for an OH electricity supplier, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll help you learn how to make an apples to apples comparison of OH electricity rates and plans, the switching process, and the benefits of switching.
When you switch your electric supplier, you’ll benefit from savings versus the price to compare and the security of a fixed rate plan with a secure rate. You can even choose from plans that have green energy, free stuff, or that support a charity!
Who’s Who and What’s What of Energy Choice in Ohio
First, the players and vocabulary in the market, so you know the basics on shopping for an electricity supplier:
- PUCO — The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. This government agency oversees rate setting for your utility, the Price to Compare (or SSO) and delivery rates. They also protect consumer interests.
- CRES — Certified Retail Electric Supplier. The PUCO reviews and approves every electric supplier in OH. Only a CRES can sell you competitive electricity supply.
- SSO — Standard Service Offer, or Price to Compare. The local utility company delivers electricity to your home and is your default supplier if you don’t switch to a CRES.
- EDU — Electric Distribution Utility. This is another name for your local utility company.
- Fixed Rate — a fixed rate contract is just that, a fixed electricity supply rate for the term of your contract. And in Ohio, fixed means fixed. No matter what, your CRES can’t change your rate once you’ve signed the contract.
- Variable Rate — a rate that changes monthly based on market conditions, typically after an introductory period of 4 months.
What are the benefits of OH Energy Choice?
The benefits of choosing an energy supplier in Ohio include:
- Savings — Shopping for an electricity supplier in Ohio can lower your monthly electricity bill.
- Security — Your rate is fixed for the term of your agreement, rather than changing based on supply costs for your local utility.
- Options — Select from green energy plans, short or long term fixed rates plans, and plans that offer incentives.
You get these benefits of OH electricity choice with no change to the reliability of your electricity service.
Your local EDU — Duke Energy Ohio, AEP Ohio, Dayton Power & Light, or one of the First Energy Companies, Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison, The Illuminating Company — will continue to deliver electricity to your home, send your bill and help you if your power goes out.
For additional background on PUCO, PUCO apples to apples, how the Standard Service Offer price to compare is set for your local OH utility, or PUCO utility education for Ohio citizens, read Understanding Ohio Electric Rates: PUCO & Energy Choice in Ohio.
Can I choose a Competitive Electricity Supplier?
Any Ohio citizen that lives in a deregulated OH electricity utility can switch to a CRES.
And… you may have already been switched to a CRES! Check your utility bill, and look for a section marked “Electricity Generation Supplier.”
Aggregation has been a popular method of driving competitive shopping and electricity choice in Ohio. Local communities are allowed, by law, to join their citizens and small business owners together, to buy electricity as a group. This is called “community aggregation.”
It’s typically an opt-out aggregation. If you don’t keep up on local news and politics, and sort your mail standing over the trash can, you may have missed the notification. That means you may have been switched to a CRES without even knowing it!
Community aggregations typically secure an energy contract for 2-3 years. And if you didn’t raise your hand to say “not me!” you were automatically switched to the winning bidder along with all your friends and neighbors.
Don’t worry… you can still switch away without penalty, and exercise your power to choose your own electricity provider. And, BONUS! If prices are lower now than when the aggregation auction took place, you can save by switching your electricity supplier.
How to Choose An Electricity Supplier in Ohio
Now on to the main event. How to choose an electricity supplier in Ohio.
The PUCO apples to apples rate comparison charts offer information to help you compare the details of each supplier’s offer. The only problem? There are so many to choose from!
A quick search of the PUCO apples to apples rates for Duke Energy in May 2018 shows 63 Certified Retail Electric Suppliers to choose from, and over 160 rates and plans to sort through.
ElectricityPlans.com works with a select number of high quality suppliers. We sort through the fine print, and only show rates and plans that we would recommend to our mom. (We love our moms!)
On ElectricityPlans.com, we work to help you make an apples to apples comparison of rates. As you review plans, you can find basic electricity plans, veteran and active military electricity plans, green energy, and plans that offer electricity + extra stuff (like thermostats or rebates). Some plans even donate to a charity when you sign up.
So… give yourself points for using ElectricityPlans.com to shop for OH electricity.
The first thing to do is grab a copy of your electricity bill. You’ll need that for 2 things:
- Your Price to Compare (so you can tell if you are going to save money by switching your electricity supply)
- Your account information
Once you have that, it’s easy to compare electric plans and shop.
- Visit the ElectricityPlans.com/Ohio site
- Enter your zip code
- View Plans and select the one that meets your needs, whether that’s savings, security or options.
- Enter your service address and utility account information
Yes, it really is that simple.
Next, you’ll receive a confirmation letter in the mail from your local utility. And you’ll have 7 days from the receipt of that letter to change your mind, if you want to cancel your enrollment.
After that, relax! There’s no need to contact the utility or your current supplier. Your new supplier will become effective in one to two billing cycles, depending on your meter read schedule.
Read the Fine Print
Don’t sweat it — PUCO has got you covered. As an Ohio citizen, you are protected by the Customer Bill of Rights.
However, you should still review these two documents for the plan you are considering when you compare OH electric plans.
- Contract Summary — this outlines your contact term, rate, early termination penalty, and the source of power (traditional vs. renewable)
- Terms of Service — this is the legal document with the terms of your contract agreement
Will I Save Money vs. The Price to Compare?
The price to compare is different for each consumer and is shown on you bill. Your price to compare in OH depends on your usage and the utility’s cost of electricity supply. You can learn more about how it’s set by reading this article, “Understanding Ohio Price to Compare.”
Whether you save money or not by switching is up to you!
Most consumers are looking for an electricity plan that will beat the price to compare standard service offer rate, as shown on their bill. Or maybe you just want to have the price certainty that comes with having a fixed rate plan. Or maybe you prefer green energy.
ElectricityPlans.com works to give you all the information you need to make your informed decision. After all, as a citizen of Ohio, it’s in your power to choose the electricity plan that’s right for you.
What if I Move During my Electricity Contract?
If you’re renting, you don’t have to worry about matching your electricity contract to your lease. And if you sell your house during your electricity contract, you’re also covered.
- If you’re moving within the same utility delivery area, most electricity providers allow you to transfer your electricity contract to the new address without penalty.
- If you’re moving outside of your electric supplier’s service area or to an area where your supplier charges a different price, you can terminate your electric supply contract without penalty according to the Ohio Administrative Code.
Contact your electricity supplier to let them know you’re moving.
Shop for OH Natural Gas Supply
Now that you’ve switched your electricity supply … what about your natural gas supply?
Do you have a gas water heater? Gas dryer and cooktop? Natural Gas heat? Those things add up! You can shop your OH competitive natural gas supply in some areas of Ohio too. Just visit NaturalGasPlan.com/Ohio to learn more.
Thanks for learning along with us. Happy shopping!