Let’s face it: utility bills are not fun. You have to pay them regularly, especially if you want to keep the lights on! And yet, you probably spend very little time actually trying to understand where all the charges come from that comprise your entire bill.
If you’re like most, you can’t help but feel like you’re losing money with rising electricity costs. But you’re also not sure how to really know whether or not that is the case. In deregulated markets in the United States, this becomes even more complex, since you have the opportunity to switch to other electricity suppliers. This seems like a great idea, as long as you know what you have to do.
And that’s just where the issue lies.
But making the energy switch doesn’t have to be that complex. Understanding the basics can get you on your way to making the switch on your own, or seeking external help.
Understanding Deregulated Markets
You might not know it, but long-standing regulations allow energy users (both business and residential) in various states to choose their own electricity supplier. These states are considered deregulated markets, due to the fact that private suppliers are free to offer potential customers lower rates than public utility services.
The default remains the public utility company, regulated by the state, but any customer has the right to switch to an alternative, as long as they know what to do and how to do it.
As of 2017, 16 states currently offer deregulated markets in relation to electricity:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
A number of other states are considering making the same switch. If you live in any of the above, chances are you can save a significant chunk of your energy costs by choosing a supplier that offers lower electricity rates. You just have to know how to go about doing just that.
The Process of Making the Switch on Your Own
In theory, it’s simple: if you live in a deregulated energy market, you can seek out a supplier and start working on the switch. Often, you need nothing more than a single utility bill to get started.
Finding an energy supplier is not difficult, and let’s be honest; you’ve probably been contacted by more than one of them yourself. In deregulated markets, suppliers actively reach out to public utility customers to encourage them to switch.
In theory, it seems simple. But practice too often looks very different. Not all energy providers, for example, are actually as credible as they seem to be. Utility scams have become so common that organizations like the AARP have detailed guides on how to avoid fraudulent companies. You risk raising rates shortly after signing up, or even sign ups without your consent.
Signing up might be easy, but managing your utilities is not as simple. Public utility customers benefit from relatively steady electricity rates that change little over time. That is not the case for private suppliers, who often change up prices more dynamically (and unpredictably) depending on supply and demand at a given point in time.
In other words, you have to actively manage your utility bill on a monthly basis. As soon as you spot increases, you have to act quickly in order to secure continued low rates or switch back to public utility. Be wary of locking yourself into long-term contracts that put you at the mercy of electricity suppliers as prices change.
Simplifying the Switching Process
Now, contrast the above process with getting help from the outside. The beauty of deregulated markets is not just that you’re free to go away from public utility. In fact, your freedom continues even after that initial switch.
Of course, many consumers are not well-versed enough to manage their utility bill like an active stock market strategy. That’s where a program like AutoPilot enters the arena.
The idea is simple. Rather than having to manage your own electricity suppliers on an ongoing basis, AutoPilot takes the work off your hands. Sign up once, and it continually monitors markets, researches potential plans for you, and enrolls you in the right plan at the end of renewal terms.
In other words, you no longer have to worry about the risk that is traditionally associated with making the energy switch. Instead, you get to enjoy the savings – more than $100 per year, even for our lowest-cost small home plan.
As an added bonus, we can guarantee that at least 50% our customers’ usage is offset by renewable energy. That helps in your sustainability efforts, while minimizing the impact your electricity usage makes on the environment.
Start Making the Energy Switch Today
Choosing AutoPilot takes the complexity out of making the energy switch. Simply send us a recent electricity bill as a screenshot, PDF, or printed copy. Once you’ve enrolled in one of our plans, we manage your electricity like a financial manager, continually finding the best possible plans to save you money and stay green.
We currently offer AutoPilot in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and New Hampshire. Soon, AutoPilot will expand to Maryland, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Our lowest plan starts at $4.99 per month, much less than the guaranteed savings you get out of a partnership with us.
Of course, we also offer direct customer support through multiple analog and electronic channels. This is your electricity, after all, and AutoPilot is built to optimize that process for you. Visit our website to see how much you can save, and how easy the process is compared to manually switching suppliers. Then, contact us to sign up for a plan that makes sense for you.