How to Shop CT Electricity

How to Shop for an Electric Supplier in Connecticut

If you’re wondering how to shop for a CT electric supplier, and looking for CT electricity info, you’ve come to the right place!  You can find the best CT electric rates, you just have to know how to shop. We’ll teach you how to compare electricity rates so you can get the benefits of CT electricity deregulation.

When you switch your electric supplier in CT, you’ll benefit from savings versus the standard service rate. You’ll also have the stability of a fixed rate plan over the life of your contract. You can even choose from plans that have green energy, free stuff, or that support a charity.

Vocabulary of Electricity Choice in Connecticut

First, the vocabulary in the market, so you know the basics on shopping for an electricity supplier:

  • PURA — The CT Public Utilities Regulatory Authority is the agency that oversees the rates and services of electricity suppliers and utilities. You may have also heard DPUC, which stands for Department of Public Utility Control, the former name of PURA.
  • Supplier — PURA approves and licenses electricity suppliers in CT, who can offer you a competitive rate for your generation supply.  If you don’t choose an electricity supplier in CT, your generation is provided by your local utility under the SSO.
  • SSO — Standard Service Offer, or your price to compare.  The local utility company delivers electricity to your home and is your default supplier if you don’t switch to a competitive electricity supplier. Your SSO changes 2X annually, in January and July, based on the cost of electricity your utility buys.
  • EDC – Your utility (either The United Illuminating Company/ UI, or Eversource) is known as an Electricity Distribution Company. The EDC delivers power to your home, sends your bill and responds in the case of an emergency.  The EDC is also your default provider of generation supply if you don’t switch your electricity to a licensed supplier.
  • Fixed Rate — Electricity Suppliers in CT can offer fixed rate plans. This means your rate will not change for the term of your agreement, unlike the SSO.
  • Fixed Tiered Rate – Fixed Tiered rates have one fixed price for a minimum of 4 months, and then a different (typically, higher) fixed price for  the remainder of the contract.

What are the Benefits of CT Electric Choice?

The benefits of choosing an electric energy supplier in CT include:

  • Savings When you shop for an electricity supplier in CT, you can lock in a fixed rate that’s lower than the utility price to compare or SSO.
  • Security  Your rate won’t changed every 6 months, like it does with the utility. This gives you control over the rate you will pay.
  • Options  All plans in CT offer at least the minimum of 25% renewable energy as part of the Renewable Portfolio Standard, but you can also choose to go with 100% green energy. You can select from long or short term fixed rate plans. You can even choose a plan that offers incentives or a charitable donation.

The best part? No change in the reliability of your electricity delivery service.  Your local utility will continue to deliver electricity to your home, send your bill and help you if your power goes out. And no, if your lights go out, the utility does not get their (supply) customers’ lights on first. That’s an urban legend.  The utility serves all customers equally.

Read more:  The Role of CT PURA in setting electric rates and the Standard Service Offer (SSO) >>

Can I Choose a CT Electricity Supplier?

If your home or business is in the Eversource or The United Illuminating Company (UI) utility area, you are in a deregulated area of CT.

You may know Eversource by its old name, Connecticut Light and Power / CL&P.  Eversource is the largest utility in CT, servicing most of CT, except the Greater Bridgeport-New Haven area and a few scattered towns. They are the default electricity provider and utility in Hartford, Waterbury, Stamford, New London, Torrington and more.  A full list of Eversource service areas can be found on their site.

The United Illuminating Company/UI serves the Greater Bridgeport-New Haven corridor.

If you live in Groton, Norwich, Jewett City, South Norwalk and East Norwalk, your service is provided through Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative, or CMEEC. These areas are not deregulated, so you don’t have electricity choice.

Connecticut electricity service areas

 

How to Choose An Electric Supplier in CT

Now for the real deal — how to choose an electricity supplier in CT.

PURA operates a very informative web site, EnergizeCT, that provides extensive CT electricity info.  You’ll find energy efficiency tips, information on rebates offered by your utility, and information on renewable energy portfolio (RPS) standards.  Energize CT also lists competitive generation supply offers from  licensed suppliers.  But there are so many options to choose from, it can get overwhelming!

A quick search of EnergizeCT for Eversource residential in May 2018 shows 94 different plans to choose from. That’s a lot of plans!

ElectricityPlans.com works with a select number of suppliers, chosen based on their reputation, customer service and their product terms.  We do the work so you don’t have to.

On ElectricityPlans.com, you can select from fixed or fixed-tier plans. The prices are clearly shown, and we’ll display any enrollment fee or early termination fee for the plan.  You can also sort and filter plans to show the term length, percentage of renewable green energy, or other options.  We feature plans for veteran and active military electricity plans, green energy, and plans that offer electricity + extra stuff (like home automation tools). There are even plans that donate to a charity when you enroll.

When you are shopping, you will want to know your Standard Service Rate (so you can compare that to the supplier offers) and your account information.  So the first step is to grab your bill. Once you have that, it’s easy to compare electric plans and shop.

Steps to Shopping for Electric Supplier in CT

  1. Visit ElectricityPlans.com/Connecticut/
  2. Enter your zip code
  3. View Plans and select the one that meets your needs, whether that’s savings, security, or options.
  4. You’ll be connected over to the supplier’s site to complete the enrollment.
  5. Done

Yup. See? It really is easy!

You’ll have 3 days (called the “right of rescission”) to cancel your enrollment if you change your mind.  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.

TIP:  Check your bill to find your meter read schedule. To get the biggest benefit out of your shopping, switch your electric supplier 12-15 days before your meter read.  Otherwise your switch will take another billing cycle!

What to Watch for in Shopping for an Electricity Supplier

These are the items you will want to review and consider when you shop for an electric supplier in CT. All of this information is displayed on ElectricityPlans.com when you shop.

  • Enrollment Fee — Suppliers are able to charge either an enrollment fee or a cancellation fee, but not both.  Most charge a cancellation fee, and let you sign up for free.
  • Cancellation Fee — Your contract may have a cancellation fee, if you change your mind after the right of rescission.  However, by law, that fee can’t be more than $50
  • Energy Source — Plan documents will show an Electric Generation Disclosure Label showing the energy source, which could be traditional coal generation, natural gas generation, or renewable energy.
  • Terms of Service — This is the legal document with the terms of your contract agreement

Can I Beat the CT Standard Service Rate?

The Standard Service Rate (also called the Standard Service Offer or SSO) from your utility is based on how much they spend on electricity generation and supply.  Their rate must be approved by PURA. The Standard Service Rate is displayed on every CT bill and is the starting point for you to shop your best rate.

The price you pay with the SSO or price to compare is also impacted by your iCAP tag. This measures how much your home or business contributes to the overall demand of electricity across the state.

Whether you save money or not by switching is up to you! Most consumers are looking to save money on electric bills. But remember, you also have option to choose renewable energy, or a product with added extras.  And there is always the benefit of security. When you shop for electric energy rates, you avoid the 2X annual price change from the utility.

Psst! Here’s another tip if you are looking to save money on electric bills:  If you are an Eversource customer, you have access to their online Energy Savings Plan tool. They’ll help you understand how your home uses electricity. You’ll get recommendations on changes to make to conserve electricity.

What if I Move During my Electricity Contract?

No worries! You’re covered. The supplier will waive your cancellation fee (they aren’t just being nice… it’s the law).  You may have to provide proof of your move, like a forwarding address.  Or, the supplier may just get a “move-out” notice from the utility, and they will waive the cancellation fee.

We hope that this information has helped you better understand how to shop for electric energy in CT, and also the benefits of doing so.  Now, let’s get shopping!