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In a competitive electricity market like Connecticut, both commercial and residential customers are provided with energy choice – meaning all customers get to choose their specific energy supplier, plan and rate, and then switch – based on any existing contract terms, renewal dates and fees.
As a Connecticut electricity customer, it’s important to track your contract renewal date. When your energy plan is due to renew, it’s a good time to compare electricity rates and then switch to the best rate for your home or business. When switching energy plans, keep these 5 easy steps in mind:
This is the easy part and it starts online. Today, businesses have a variety of online websites and tools to research and compare energy providers, plans, and rates. The best way to compare providers is to use a simple website like EnergyBot. In less than 5 minutes, you can enter basic information about your business, like your zip code and monthly electricity bill, and then compare dozens of top energy suppliers in Connecticut to find the lowest energy rate.
When you are comparing electricity plans, it will pay – literally – to take time to review the plan details, contract terms, and legal copy. Energy companies may entice you with a low rate, yet the fine print may reveal that it is a variable rate – which is only applicable if you stay in a specific range of energy (kWh) usage each month. It’s also important to review the contract term, cancellation fees, and out clauses before signing up for a new plan.
It’s important to do your research and if you’re short on time, EnergyBot makes it simple. Check out this article to learn more about the different types of energy plans and rates.
In many cases, the energy supplier, broker or website that you are using to find a new electricity plan will ask you to upload your most recent electricity bill. Although this may feel a bit intrusive, it provides pertinent account information and it’s important to securing the best energy rate available for your business. Your energy bill has your business information as well as the data that outlines your monthly energy usage.
To add, your new energy supplier will require proof of your energy usage before you can switch and your electricity bill is the easiest way to meet the requirement.
If you own or manage a larger business with high energy usage (and higher monthly bill), then it may be beneficial to request a custom pricing quote. As a larger business may have much higher monthly energy usage or inconsistent energy usage, energy suppliers require a comprehensive review of your business’ energy usage to provide a custom quote on a new plan and rate. At EnergyBot, you can get a custom quote for free.
After authorizing a switch to a new energy provider, you will receive a confirmation email with the plan details and start date. It’s very important to review the plan you authorized and confirm the new start date. The transition to a new supplier will be seamless…you won’t even notice until you get the electricity bill the next month.
Energy suppliers offer two different types of plans for residential and business customers: a fixed-rate plan or a variable-rate plan.
Each type of plan has its respective pros and cons. As a Connecticut customer, it’s important to understand the two types of plans before signing up for an electricity plan for your home or business.
The simple definition of a fixed-rate plan is that you are signing a contract with an energy supplier that offers a fixed-rate – meaning that the rate will remain constant for the term of the contract. Regardless of weather, natural events like tornados, or market volatility, your rate will not change. In most cases, fixed-rate plans have a term length of 6, 12, 24, or 36 months.
The simple definition of a variable-rate plan is that you are signing a contract with an energy supplier that offers a variable-rate – meaning that the rate may change on a monthly basis based on market factors. Variable-rate plans offer more flexibility but also present more volatility in pricing which may impact your monthly electricity bill.
It is important to audit your energy usage and then select the right plan – a fixed-rate plan or a variable-rate plan – before signing a contract with an energy supplier.
Utilities are the entities in charge of the operation and maintenance of the energy infrastructure, like wires and towers. The local utilities in Connecticut are Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and United Illuminating (UI). Each utility is responsible for transporting electricity from the generators to residential homes and businesses in their specific region of Ohio.
Energy providers in Connecticut, including like Direct Energy and Public Power, are the competitive energy retailers. Each energy provider buys energy from the wholesale market (the generators) and then re-sells it to energy customers (homeowners, renters, and businesses).
In most cases, the customer (homeowner, renter, or business) signs a contract with an energy provider for a specific energy plan. The basic energy plan details the rate class, the energy rate per kWh, the contract term length (6, 12, 24, 36 months), and other contract terms like the cancellation fee policy.
In 1998, Connecticut adopted legislation (PA 98-28) that allowed consumers to choose their electric suppliers. At the time, the act required the state's two electric companies and the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) to take steps to establish a deregulated, or competitive, energy market.
The first step was to force Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and United Illuminating (UI) to separate the generation of energy from the supply of energy. This unbundling of services forced the Connecticut based energy companies to be more efficient and to compete for customers – offering an opportunity for businesses of all sizes to compare energy plans from a larger list of energy suppliers and shop for the best available rates.
From inception to the early 2000’s, the Connecticut competitive energy market was slow to develop. Today, the energy customers in Connecticut have a better understanding of how the energy market works and nearly half of Connecticut customers switch energy suppliers each year.
For businesses, large and small, the Connecticut deregulated market enables business owners and managers to compare energy plans from top energy suppliers and shop for the best rate.
In most cases, Connecticut businesses that take advantage of the competitive market can more effectively manage their monthly electricity costs by switching energy plans at each year or upon the contract renewal period.
The Connecticut EEB is a group of advisors who utilize their energy experience and expertise with energy issues to support the state’s utility companies and guides the distribution of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF). The goal of the EEB is to offer comprehensive, cost-effective energy plans to Connecticut consumers, contribute to the reduction of energy usage in homes and businesses as well as help the state meet its future energy needs. The Board was created in 1998 by the Connecticut State Legislature, and operates under mandates in Public Acts 11-80 Section 33 and 13-298 Section 16.
With multiple nicknames, including the Nutmeg State and the Constitution State, Connecticut is actually named from the Native American word, Quinnehtukqut,” which means “land on a long tidal river.” With over 250 miles of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, the name feels appropriate. With 3.6 million people living in the historic colonial state, Connecticut is the fourth most densely populated state.
Although small in geographical size, Connecticut boasts over 333,000 small businesses with 721,000 employees in a wide variety of industries and categories, according to the SBA. Small businesses in Connecticut make up approximately 97% of the total businesses in the state with the remaining 3% being enterprise level companies. The 721,000 employees of small businesses across the state account for 49% of the total employees. The state’s unemployment rate, near 5%, is slightly higher than the national average with professional and technical service companies leading the payrolls.
More specifically, technology companies, specifically in digital media are dominating the corporate landscape and having a positive impact on Connecticut's economy, including sports media leader ESPN. Other top industries include advanced manufacturing, bioscience, green technology, insurance and financial services.
Connecticut also hosts the headquarters of a number of Fortune 500 companies including health care industry leaders, Aetna and Cigna, plus United Technologies.