When it comes to saving money, you’ve probably done a lot of the basics – eating out less and spending less on your hobbies. But did you know that if you switch your energy supplier, you can find better energy rates and save money?
If you’re wondering “how do I change my energy supplier?”, we’ve got you covered. We’ve made a step-by-step guide on how to switch energy suppliers right in this article.
Read on to learn more about switching utility providers and how you can make the switch today.
How to switch energy suppliers in five easy steps
It’s easy to switch your natural gas and electricity provider – all it takes is five simple steps for you to switch energy services.
Step 1: Make sure that you live in a deregulated province
Step 2: Enter your postal code at EnergyRates.ca
Step 3: Compare energy suppliers and their prices
Step 4: Select the best energy provider and their plan for you
Step 5: Review your current contract and switch utility providers
What does it mean to switch energy providers?
Switching energy providers means you will be selecting among the available competitive energy retailers in your province for a new natural gas contract or new electricity plan.
This means you have the freedom to compare energy rates, plans and suppliers and find the best option for your residential or commercial energy needs.
Once you’ve looked through the available energy companies in your province and selected one, they will be in charge of your energy services from a set date onward.
In Canada, some examples of competitive energy retailers in your province include (but aren’t limited to) Just Energy, RiteRate Energy, ATCO Energy, Direct Energy, ENMAX, Encor by EPCOR and many more.
Can I switch electric companies?
If you’re looking to switch electricity providers, you’ll have to be living in either Alberta or Ontario to do so, since only these two provinces have a deregulated electricity market in Canada. Otherwise, you won’t be able to change electricity providers.
Can I switch natural gas companies?
If you’re looking to switch natural gas suppliers, you’ll be able to do so if you live in any of the following provinces:
Although you can switch electricity retailers only in a few provinces, you can still save plenty of money by doing an energy provider comparison and reviewing your natural gas deal.
When can I switch energy suppliers without penalty?
If you’re with a regulated retailer, you’ll be able to change energy services anytime without penalty. If you’re with a competitive energy supplier, you can cancel a contract without penalty and switch energy providers if you give them 15 or 30 days’ notice (depending on which utility companies you receive your energy services from).
However, in some cases with competitive energy retailers, you may be required to pay a fee. It’s always worth it to review your current contract with your current provider and their cancellation policy before you switch gas and electricity suppliers. In some cases, the new energy retailer may even help you figure that out.
Is switching energy suppliers worth it?
Switching energy suppliers is definitely worth it – you’ll be able to find the lowest current energy rates in your area, choose a plan that suits your long-term goals, and pay lower admin fees.
As we’ve mentioned before, it’s a simple process – you’ll be happy to know that switching energy providers doesn’t require rewiring of any kind. Some companies will also offer perks for switching over, while others will provide discounts if you get both your natural gas and electricity services through them, also known as an energy bundle.
However, you should note that some things are the same for all power companies, such as distribution and transmission fees, which are regulated by the provincial government. You can check out this blog post to learn more about what you’re actually choosing when you select an energy provider. In summary, whether you switch electricity companies or switch your natural gas supplier, some fees are going to stay the same.
Will my service be interrupted?
No – in most cases, your transition to a new energy supplier will be easy and hassle-free.
The pros and cons of choosing a competitive electricity and natural gas retailer
If you don’t choose a competitive electricity or natural gas retailer, you will receive your energy services from a regulated retailer (RRO). The rates for regulated retailers are reviewed and approved by the local utility commission. For example, Alberta is regulated by the Alberta Utilities Commission. Here’s a full guide to all of the utility commissions across Canada.
Below, we’ve listed the pros and cons of competitive electricity and natural gas retailers as well as the pros and cons of regulated electricity and natural gas retailers.
The Pros and Cons of Choosing a Competitive Electricity and Natural Gas Retailer
- If you bundle your energy services and get them from the same retailer, some competitive retailers will reduce the amount that they charge you.
- Competitive retailers may offer incentives for signing contracts.
- You can lock in a price that you agree with and be protected from short-term price increases with fixed-price energy contracts.
- By signing a fixed-rate energy contract, you could miss out on potentially paying less for energy when the market rates drop.
- Some competitive retailers may require you to pay a fee, or at least 15 days’ notice, if you want to end your contract before the original agreed-upon end date.
The Pros of Choosing a Regulated Retailer for Electricity and Natural Gas
- Signing a contract isn’t necessary and you can change providers at any time.
- When the market price drops, you could pay less for your energy services.
- Unpredictability – you won’t be protected from price spikes that can significantly increase the price of electricity or natural gas.
- You can’t bundle your services with regulated retailers.
- You can’t fix energy rates or choose plans that fit your energy needs.
EnergyRates.ca: Energy supplier comparison made easy
Now that you know how to switch energy providers, why not compare energy rates and find the cheapest energy provider in your area?
EnergyRates.ca is a free and unbiased cost comparison tool that can help you compare both electricity and natural gas rates based on your location in Canada. You can use EnergyRates.ca in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Québec.
EnergyRates.ca can help whether you’re looking for energy rates for a large business or energy rates for your home. Small business, small commercial, large commercial and industrial electricity and natural gas consumers can get a free quote based on their energy consumption and goals.
To find the best energy rates in your area, all you need to do is go to the form above. It’s easy, quick and free!