Most people have probably seen the rate they pay for electricity increase over the years. With worldwide demand for the fossil fuels used to generate much of the world’s electrical power expected to continue to increase, prices will likely continue to go up. However, there are ways you can find cheaper rates on electrical power.
1. Install Solar Panels
One way to avoid paying high electricity prices is to reduce the amount of electricity you need to purchase from utility companies. You can accomplish this by installing solar panels. Solar panels harness the power of the sun to generate electricity for your home. The power generated by your solar panels is power you won’t need to buy from the electric company. If you live in a particularly sunny location, you may even generate more power than you need, which you may be able to sell to your local power company.
2. Choose a Different Rate Plan
Some utility companies offer different rate plans for customers to choose from. Fixed-rate plans lock in the same rate per kWh for the length of the contract. These plans protect customers against price increases. Variable-rate plans offer a rate that changes from month to month based on the market. These plans allow customers to take advantage of decreases in the market price but also run the risk of paying higher prices during periods of high demand or supply shortages. Market rate plans are similar to variable-rate plans, but the rates are directly tied to a publically available index.
3. Shop for a Different Energy Provider
If you live in a place that has deregulated energy, you may be able to choose between more than one electric provider. This allows you to select the power company that offers the lowest rates in your area. You may also be able to transfer your service to your new home when you move, as long as you stay in a deregulated area.
4. Move to an Area With Cheap Electricity
If you are considering moving, you can save on electricity by doing some research on the average rates in different places. The cost of electricity depends on the cost to finance, build, maintain and run power plants. Fuel prices play a major factor. Additionally, governmental regulations and taxes make the costs higher in some places than others. Regions that frequently experience extreme weather may have higher rates.
5. Take Advantage of Off-Peak Hours
Some utility companies offer customers cheaper rates during off-peak hours. When you sign up for one of these plans, you will pay less for your electricity during hours that your utility company has specified as being off-peak. These hours are usually at nighttime. To save money with these plans, wait to do activities that consume large amounts of electricity, such as running your clothes dryer or dishwasher or charging your electric vehicle, during the off-peak time. You can also install a backup battery that you can charge during off-peak hours and then use during the rest of the day.
6. Choose Utility Providers That Use Renewable Energy
The power source that a utility company uses to generate electricity plays a role in the price they charge. On average, the cheapest power sources are hydro, solar, wind, and gas. The most expensive are nuclear, biomass and coal.
7. Use Less Electricity
Once you have done everything you can do to get the cheapest available electricity price, your best option to save on your electric bill is to use less of it. Consider downsizing your home. Purchase energy-efficient appliances and keep them well maintained. Repair any leaks in the ductwork of your home. Keep your home 10 to 15 degrees warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter when you are sleeping or not at home. You can install a programmable thermostat that will automatically make this adjustment for you. Set your refrigerator to 38 degrees and keep your freezer between zero and five.
Even in places with deregulation, options for choosing a utility company may be limited. However, there are steps you can take to save money on your electric rates. Comparison shopping, reducing your usage, and generating your own power with solar panels are some of the best ways to save money.