With this bitter winter hopefully behind us, there is no doubt one of its most harmful effects still lingers—high energy bills.
Many constituents I have heard from have seen major spikes in their utility bills in recent weeks. People are understandably upset, and they want to know what they can do about it.
One thing you can do to lower your energy bill is consider buying your energy from a different company. It may surprise you to learn that National Grid and/or National Fuel are not the only game in town.
Since the deregulation of New York's energy industry in the late 1990s, residents have the option to purchase their natural gas or electricity supply from their main utility distributor or from an independent Energy Service Company (ESCO).
The addition of ESCOs has made the energy market competitive. You can now research to look for better deals and lower prices.
An ESCO may offer lower supply costs. Most energy bills are divided into two parts—supply and delivery. While you may pay delivery costs to a company like National Grid, you are not required to purchase your supply of energy from them.
You can compare prices and services offered by various ESCOs by visiting www.newyorkpowertochoose.com. The website is simple to use; just enter your zip code to see the many offers available in your area.
While some companies' rates fluctuate heavily with the demands of the market and other factors, ESCO customers are often able to get fixed rate contracts so they know what to expect when they receive their monthly bill.
Shopping around for an ESCO and taking steps to conserve energy usage is something consumers can do to take control of their own costs.