Saving money under deregulation /w ESCOs (Energy Service Company)

bsmithSeptember 21, 2006

ESCOs have been providing gas and electricity supply here in New York for the past decade, since major deregulation. Obviously deregulation is happening at different rates in many parts of the US. There's a ton of options available, and a maze of information, making it difficult knowing who to trust.

The easy part is understanding how much money is saved in reducing energy delivery costs, which can be as much as 50-60% of the bill. Of course, not paying tax on your gas and electricity brings an immediate savings. Anyone have any precautions, considerations, positives/negatives, and general experiences on choosing the right ESCO, and the amount of savings realized over a period of time?

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So far, everyone I know who signed with outside suppliers for gas or electric instead of staying with the base supplier pays MORE for their services. Seems this is the new math where the whole is EXCEEDED by the sum of its parts. In addition the taxes are STILL charged so there's no savings there either....

The overall affect is to confuse the consumer and divide the blame for cost increases among several suppliers -- no consumer benefit so far.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 2:12PM
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In our state, you still have to pay the main utility for delivering your product (since they maintain the lines/pipes, etc) as well as paying the secondary company for the gas or electric you're purchasing. In reality, it doesn't matter who you pay--you're getting exactly the same product through the same wires or pipes. There's no way to divide it up, of course.

Anyway, in our state, the secondary companies offered what looked like healthy savings in the beginning--but a lot of them quickly went out of business, so customers had to jump to another company or back to the original utility company. And you have to watch the regs in your state--in ours, there were heavy controls for the first 3 years of dereg--after that ALL the rates sky-rocketed.

We did try third-party suppliers for a while (and DH actually works for the original utility company), but we're back with his company--simpler and just as cheap we found.

Most important thing, I think, is to know the laws in your state, and really know the companies you're dealing with. A lot of the 3rd parties have been lying bigtime to get cutomers. Some have actually been charged with violations. Do your own research--don't believe everything you're told.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 3:43PM
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