The process of having electricity delivered to your home can be thought of in three pieces: generation, transmission and distribution. Generation covers the production of power from power plants. Transmission is the movement of the power from the power plant across the large transmission lines. Distribution is the movement of power from those large transmission lines to the smaller lines that deliver power to your home.
Prior to electric choice, consumers could only purchase generation and transmission from the utility. Electric choice introduced competition for the generation and transmission portion of your bill while allowing the local utility to continue to maintain the distribution portion. Just like competition in the phone industry, electric choice gives you the ability to choose among many qualified retail electric providers in your area and select a service that best fits your needs. Not only can you shop around for the best price but you can also choose how your electricity is generated and the duration of your contract.
The only difference you’ll see is in your billing. Electricity bills are separated into supply, delivery, and (sometimes) transmission charges. If you accept an offer from a provider, the section for supply cost will change. Beyond that, everything else is the same. You will not see an interruption in your service and no one will need to come to your home to adjust anything on your premise.
It depends on the term of your contract. If you sign up for a Variable term plan, your price may well vary month-to-month. Offers listed as 6 months, 1,2 or 3-years or with a fixed end date have a fixed price over that period of time. Offers shown as Indexed track a wholesale market price and will therefore vary month-to-month.
Generally, customers are moved over to their energy supplier of choice after their next meter reading date. Because of timing issues, this could mean that a customer could wait a month for their service to begin if, for example, they signed up right after their meter was read.
There may be. In some cases energy suppliers may charge an early termination fee you decide to terminate the contract and switch energy suppliers before the term has ended. Please consult the terms and conditions of the retail energy supplier’s contract to determine any applicable fees.
You should continue to contact the utility if you experience any type of problem with your power, including an outage. Their emergency number should be located on your monthly bill.
If the billing problem is with the supply portion of your electricity or natural gas bill, contact the retail electricity or natural gas provider. If the problem is with any other portion of the bill, contact your utility.