You’ve probably heard about the great electricity rates your friends or neighbors got by switching their electricity providers or by getting an electricity plan for the first time, but diving in headfirst can be pretty intimidating.
After all, you’re not shopping for a shirt you can take back to the store if you change your mind—this is the electricity that’ll keep your home or business running! Here’s the good news: It’s easier than you think to switch electricity providers, whether you already have an electricity plan or you’re looking to leave your utility’s default provider and move to an electricity provider that better meets your needs.
The Electricity Plan Switching Process
When it comes to switching electricity plans for your home or business, you’ll first want to use an online tool such as ElectricityPlans.com to compare the many electricity plans available in your area so you can narrow the list down to the ones that make the most sense for you.
Compare that narrowed list to your current electricity costs so you know how much you’ll save, then choose the plan that’s the best match for your household needs. You can either contact the supplier directly or sign up online. Just make sure that you are not committed to a long-term contract with your current electricity provider. Switching plans before your contract term is up can result in a pretty steep cancellation fee.
Once you select a plan, ElectricityPlans.com will transfer you to the electricity provider’s website to continue the sign up process. You’ll either be presented with a contract or asked for contact information so a contract can be sent to you. In either case, read the contract in full before signing it to ensure it’s exactly what you expected, since the terms may have changed. If all is well, sign on the dotted line and sit back—you’re done!
You won’t notice anything in particular immediately, but in a few days, your new electricity provider will take over the job of the old one and you’ll be billed by the new company. Nothing else will change. Your utility company will remain the same and the power will continue to flow without interruption.
Switching: Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about switching electricity providers below:
- Does it cost anything to switch?
There won’t be a cost to switch to your new electricity provider if you’re at the end of your contract term. However, your current provider may charge cancellation fees for early contract termination, so check your existing contract before you switch.
- What if I have to move before the end of my contract?
If you’re moving within the service area of your electricity provider, you can often transfer your service plan to your new address. When you’re moving out of the service area, many electricity providers will work with you. You’ll simply need to explain the situation to a customer service representative. If you can prove that you are moving with a valid change of address, the plan’s early cancellation fees are waived.
- Can I change my mind after I switch?
Most states provide a window of a few days for the electricity customer to change their minds about their electricity plan selection. This way if the customer misunderstood their new electricity plan contract or simply changed their minds, they can terminate the new contract with no penalty.
- How long does the switching process take?
Once you’ve chosen your plan and signed up with a new electricity provider, it will take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get the new plan active. The process and timing vary by state.
- Do I have to notify my current provider that I’m switching?
Absolutely not. Your new electricity provider will take care of everything behind the scenes on your behalf. All you have to do is pay the new bill when it arrives.
- What if my provider goes out of business? Will I lose electricity?
You will not lose electricity if your new provider were to go out of business. The electric utility in your area is required by law to continue providing power to your home and your electricity provider will change to your utility’s provider of last resort (POLR). Every utility has a POLR and they act as your electricity provider at least temporarily. You can choose to stay with the POLR or you can switch to a different electricity provider all over again.
If you live in Texas and want to learn more about shopping for electricity, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve written The Definitive Guide to Shopping for Electricity in Texas. Once you read it, you’ll be an expert!