What are the basics for shopping for electricity?

There are many tips on how to save electricity in your home. We can insulate our homes and switch to energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. However, the best way to save money on your electricity bill is by shopping wisely for your electricity.

Now that we’re starting to experience some warmer weather, we wanted to share a few steps on how to shop for electricity wisely.

Know how much electricity you use

When looking for a new plan or a new rate, it’s important to accurately assess your electricity usage or how much you have been spending in the past year.

Specifically note what months tend to be high for you and which tend to be low. For some people, electricity during summer months tend to be high. Noting how much electricity you use is a good indicator of how much you’ll use in the future.

Choose between fixed or variable rates

After you’ve familiarized yourself with how much electricity you use, it’s a good time to start looking at companies and the plans and rates they offer. Research supply companies to make sure they have a good customer service track record. Make sure the supply companies you’re looking at are providing fair prices for their services. 

In researching suppliers, start thinking about whether you want to go with a fixed or a variable rate plan. Use your annual electricity usage as a guide to whether a fixed or variable rate is better for you.

Variable rates plans describe plans that changes in pricing dependent on supply and demand, temperature, and weather conditions. A certain amount of risk is involved with a variable rate plan. Signing up for a variable rate plan means that you will pay a higher bill in some months than in other months.

Many people have instead opted to use a fixed rate plan. Fixed rate plans offered by companies such as Santanna Energy lock in your price for the duration of your contract and protects you from market volatility. In this way, your bills stays the same and there are never any surprises when you receive your bill.

Familiarize yourself with fees or incentives

Some electric plans charge minimum usage fees to customers who do not use electricity beyond a certain threshold. If you have a smaller home or household or if you live in an apartment, take care to read the plan’s details to make sure you will not be surprised by a hefty fee at some point in the year.

Also make sure to refer back to your yearly usage and see if there are months in which your electricity usage is particularly low and if you’re likely to get levied a minimum usage fee in those months.

There are other fees to watch out for when shopping for electricity services. Some supply companies charge a customer service fee for corresponding with agents. Some charge a fee to send a paper bill to your mailbox.

Make sure to note these hidden fees when you’re shopping for electricity so that they do not suddenly sneak up on you.

Also consider if there are any freebies or incentives that comes with signing up for a certain plan over another. Many companies these days offer gadgets or gift cards to sign up. It’s imperative to consider the worth of these freebies and balance it out with the cost of your plan. In some cases, the plan these freebies are attached to are far more expensive than what you’re willing to pay.

Carefully consider the plan in question and gauge whether the free gift or perk is worth the price you’d be paying long term.

Best Time to Purchase

When considering when the best time to purchase a new plan, first find out if your current plan has any termination fees. Fixed rate plans tend to carry an early termination fee so it’s wise to find out if the plan you’re on has a fee like this.

However, if you’re switching at the end of your current contract, make sure to sign up for a new plan at least two weeks before your old one is to expire.

Additionally, if you’ve determined that you want to stay with your current supplier, make sure to renew your plan. There are some cases where you will be rolled over to a month to month plan when your current one expires and you might get charged more.


Santanna Energy offers fair fixed rate plans to help you and your family with cost-effective options. Santanna also offers an energy rewards program to their customers to further help them accrue savings! Contact us to learn more today.