The freedom to choose a competitive energy retailer
Did you know that you can choose a competitive energy provider (electricity and/or natural gas) depending on which Canadian province you live in? In Alberta and Ontario, you can select which energy retailer provides your home with electricity, as well as natural gas plans. In British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec, you can choose which energy company provides your home with natural gas.
What that means for consumers is that you’re free to shop around for an electricity and natural gas provider that suits your energy needs at a reasonable price. After all, we’re all looking for ways to lower our natural gas and electricity bills in Canada.
If you’re a little lost when it comes to figuring out how to choose an electricity provider or natural gas supplier, you’re in luck – we’ve compiled all sorts of tips on choosing an energy supplier in Canada right in this post. After reading this, you’ll have a clearer idea of what changes and what doesn’t when you choose a new energy provider in Canada. It’s always a smart choice as a consumer to know what you can and can’t do with your energy options.
Electricity and natural gas rates
When it comes to choosing how you buy your energy, you should be aware of what you can actually choose if you’re planning on selecting a new energy provider in order to save on energy costs. Essentially, you can choose the energy rates (¢/kWh for electricity and ¢/m3 for natural gas) you’d like to pay for your energy usage. Many different energy retailers will be able to provide you with utility prices before you commit to any particular energy plan. However, energy rates aren’t the only thing that comprises your energy bill.
NOTE: Regardless of who you buy your energy from, you’ll always have to pay distribution and transmission rates which are regulated by your province. These costs are the same for every energy retailer in your province. Distribution and transmission costs cover the cost associated with transporting electricity from generating facilities to residential areas as well as maintenance costs for generating facilities.
Energy plan duration
Something important to consider when you’re searching for how to save money on a new electricity and natural gas deal is the duration of the energy plan you’re considering. For example, fixed-rate plans often come with a contract of one, three or five years. They ensure that over the course of one, three or five years that you’ll always be charged the same amount of money for each kilowatt-hour of electricity or cubic metre of natural gas you use.
While that can be great for being protected against unforeseen events that may not be ideal for all types of energy consumers. Some people prefer to take risks in order to get the potentially lowest energy rates whenever the market changes.
Variable-rate plans charge you according to how much energy currently costs – in other words, the cost varies frequently and it’s based on the energy market conditions. As such, you could potentially pay less for energy some months if you were on a variable plan rather than a fixed plan. However, as mentioned above, unexpected events – from natural disasters to political decisions — could cause energy prices to rise and you could find yourself paying a much higher rate than you expected.
Ultimately, it’s important to consider your financial goals in the long term when you’re deciding what kind of energy plan is right for your household or commercial facility.
In addition to the distribution and transmission costs we mentioned above, you’ll also want to look into the admin fees of any electricity and natural gas companies you may be considering. Energy providers can have completely different admin fees. In Alberta, for example, this difference can be more than two times higher depending on the energy supplier.
Also known as administration charges, admin fees are usually charged monthly and used for covering the cost of billing and customer service as well as managing your account. Administration charges vary between energy retailers, generally ranging anywhere from $5.50 – $12.
You can get an idea of what the admin fees are in your area by entering your postal code into EnergyRates.ca and choosing whether you’re looking for an electricity or natural gas provider. In addition, you’ll also be able to easily compare the energy rates of competitive energy retailers in your area and find the rates best suited for your household or commercial operations.
At EnergyRates.ca, business, commercial, large commercial and industrial electricity and gas consumers can get a free quote based on their energy usage, which will detail the best energy plans and rates for your business. Find out if you’re paying for the cheapest energy rates on the market: https://energyrates.ca/