By now you must have seen the ads talking about switching energy providers. They are all over the place. If you haven't, it's probably because you don't live in a deregulated state. Deregulated! What does that mean?
Well, deregulation is when the government minimizes its role in how industries operate and gives companies more freedom and control. In most cases it also allows for more competition to come into that industry.
Some of you may remember back when the telecommunications industry deregulated. That was when "Ma Bell" controlled the entire local phone industry. The Regional Bell Operating Companies managed everyone's local calls, and AT&T provided the long distance. It was a monopoly.
But after deregulation, new companies like MCI and Sprint showed up, giving people more options. For the first time, residents were able to choose their long distance provider. It was great for the consumer because in most cases they saved a lot of money.
Right now that same deregulation is taking place in the energy field. A few states have allowed its residents to decide who they want to be their energy company instead of having one forced on them.
I know when I first heard about switching energy companies my husband and I didn't jump on the band wagon right away. We didn't completely understand what was involved with the switch and our electricity wasn't something that we wanted to mess with since we had two small boys living in the house.
But over time we started hearing a lot about Stream Energy. We took a closer look at the company and made the decision to drop our long time energy provider, TXU. From that basic change, we went from 10.9 cents per kilowatt hour to 5.7 cents. It cut our bill in half. In states like Texas that's a really big deal especially during the hot summer months.
The other great thing about switching is that our energy delivery and maintenance is still being taken care of by the major utility company, Oncor. That part of the industry is still under regulation. So if you make the switch and you have a power outage, your lines will still be serviced by the main utility company for your area. The only thing that will be different is your monthly billing. And in most cases you will be charged a whole lot less.
So if you live in a deregulated energy state, you should consider switching energy companies. We were able to chop our bill in half. We are so glad we made the switch, and you'll be happy that you did too.