Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Shopping From Your Electric Bill?

The holiday shopping season is upon us and many consumers could find extra money for their holiday shopping budget in their electric bill.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year. This time of the year is associated with deep discounts, early bird deals, and big sales. The economy has certainly put a damper on things this year and many of us are watching every penny we spend. Well, I’ve got some good news. If you have turned on the news or filled up your car recently you've noticed much lower prices are at the pump. In fact, yesterday I filled for only $1.57 a gallon when it was $4.09 a gallon less than six months ago. That’s a savings of forty dollars on one single tank of gas. Energy prices around the globe have dropped dramatically from their summer highs. Electricity prices have come down as well and if you are in a deregulated electric market like Texas, it’s a great time to lock in a lower rate. This will help you find those extra dollars for those fantastic holiday sales.

The problem is people don’t look at what rate they have with their current electric company. Similar to cell phone plans, you need to shop around and check rates to make sure you are always on the best rate/ plan available. What should you do? If you haven't check on your electric rate recently - you might be in for some holiday cheer. Go to: http://www.chooseenergy.com/ - Many electricity providers are offering rates up to thirty percent lower than their best prices just five months ago. Pair a much lower rate with some reduced consumption and you’ve got a recipe for hundreds of dollars in savings…just enough for that holiday budget.


The fall season is a perfect time to lock in a lower electric rate.

As a full-time energy analyst and business owner (http://www.chooseenergy.com/), people always ask me – when is it a good time to lock in an electric rate? Well, you can “fall” into lower electric rates if you lock in during the fall months. There are peeks and valleys (head and shoulder) months in regards to energy prices. Electric rates track closely with natural gas prices and historically the months during the fall are valleys or shoulder months which makes for a good curve when trying to determine when to lock in your electric rate.

So what should you do? There still seems to be a premium on pricing out in 2012 and 2013 so I would recommend signing either a 12 or 24 month contract at the present time. This is where the rates are most attractive and the best time to end your contract during these same shoulder months so you can renegotiate during the low season.

Just as the Internet has made it easier for people to compare mortgages, travel rates and other services, ChooseEnergy.com has developed a compare and buy site that offers a trusted and objective comparison of available Texas electricity providers for residential and small commercial customers. Not only do we select the providers that participate on our site, but we also show their most attractive rate plans for your home or business. Plus, as I mentioned the fall season is a great time to lock in a lower Texas electricity rate. Electricity prices usually track with natural gas costs, and natural gas is traditionally lower in shoulder months during the fall and spring season, before consumer demand increases during the cold winter months when consumers are using more natural gas.

As I mentioned in a previous post - just like cell phone providers – like AT&T or Sprint - Retail electric providers bid on customers’ electricity business. These providers can also personalize their bids to each customer or modify their offers and terms as often as they wish. For instance, electricity retailers may offer exceptionally competitive rates tied to longer term contracts (but we recommend not signing longer than 36 months at the present time) to attract customers in a targeted geographic area or offer a renewable energy product, like energy produced from wind, for the same price as you are currently paying.

It certainly pays to not only get the right offering that fits your home or business electricity needs, but also getting that offering at the right time. So do some shopping for your home or business during this holiday season and take advantage of fall electric rates.