Posted in Blog  
  on Jul 24, 2015

5 Top Tips to Keep in Mind When Choosing Your Electrical Provider

As a landlord, you may actually be paying for your tenants' utility costs, including electricity, which can be a significant cost burden on you. In order to ensure you’re getting the best deal on your energy price, make you have the energy provider that delivers the best performance and value. Here are 5 tips to make sure you have an electrical provider that works for you.


1. Choosing your electrical pricing and securing a guarantee
You may be able to choose between a variable rate contract and a fixed contract. With a variable rate contract, the price of your electrical energy will swing from month to month based on market conditions. As a result, you may end up paying less or you may also end up paying more, which ultimately means there is more risk involved.
With a fixed rate contract, you often agree to a fixed price per kilowatt-hour, which may be guaranteed for anywhere between 3 and 12 months. This type of agreement will let you set your costs and know what you’re getting.


2. Switch on a regular basis
If you live in a deregulated energy market, such as in Texas, New York, or Illinois, that means you have choice between energy suppliers. If you don’t like your service, you shouldn’t be afraid to switch. When your contract is up, you should always be shopping around, comparing prices, and seeing which service will get you the best bang for your buck.
If you can find a better deal, it can add up to thousands of dollars in savings per year. If you decide to switch, give yourself a month or so before your contract expires to perform the proper research. If you live in a regulated market for electricity, such as Wisconsin, Florida, or Washington, then you likely have very few options in terms of landing a better price.


3. Ask them about response times and availability
Ask about what happens if you have an electrical problem or a damaged electrical component the energy provider is responsible for. How fast they can respond? What days or times are their maintenance services available? Ask how they schedule maintenance visits. For example, do they simply provide you with a time frame, such as 12pm to 3pm where a technician may show up? If you have to spend hours waiting around without a specific appointment time, it may be a big headache that you, as a landlord, want to avoid.


4. Use the Web to “power” your search
There are plenty of web resources out there that can help you find the best electricity provider depending on your state. For example, the Texas website www.powertochoose.org or the New York website www.newyorkpowertochoose.com allows you to easily find rates and other important information regarding a wide selection of electricity providers. The website www.saveonenergy.com also allows you to explore many different states and the energy rates available. While the information on these websites shouldn’t be the only factor when deciding on an electrical provider, it can give you a general idea of what your costs will be and which suppliers tend to be the cheapest.


5. Ask about additional services they may offer
Some electrical providers may offer a number of services that may interest you as a landlord. They may provide unique maintenance services or even offer tips on how to reduce your energy usage. They may also offer certain tools or products that help you manage your property, such as software that can help you monitor your energy use. Don’t be afraid to ask an electrical provider why they should receive your business.
Ultimately, finding the right energy provider isn’t always easy, but with the proper research and precautions, you should be able to get the best deal possible for your properties.


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