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What To Expect When Switching Electricity Providers

May 24, 2019 9:36:29 AM

For most of us, setting up or switching our electricity services has become a simple but unsophisticated task. It’s not an exciting purchase you’ve been saving up for or something you’ve been eyeing for a while. It’s a household commodity for all of us, and more so for business owners. However, it CAN be a rewarding shopping experience – if you understand the process.

Important Considerations. Whether you’re setting up brand new services or just switching before your existing contract expires, there are a few important items to consider.

  1. Early Termination Fees. An Early Termination Fee - ETF can be assessed if you don’t stay through your full contract or accidentally switch companies too early. It happens more often than you think. If you can find the original paperwork that was sent via email or USPS at the time of your enrollment, there will be clearly stated terms in your Terms of Service, and in Texas in the EFL (Electricity Facts Label) as well, to help avoid an ETF. If you can’t find the email or documents, be sure to call your company’s customer service line, and they’ll be able to help you.
  2. Read the plan carefully. So now you know if you’re under contract or not and if you aren’t, it’s time to pick a plan. We’ve discussed this a few times before, but some companies will do almost anything to make an offer look good. Make sure you keep an eye out for any usage requirements or tiered-rate plans that might not be right for you. Some plan names sound really appealing and look too good to be true. We know the saying associated with that, though, don’t we?

Lifehack: If you can’t switch just yet and think you found a great rate, say right before prices go up (AKA usually the start of summer), you might still have the option to do what we call a self-selected switch. This is available in Texas, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

  1. Utility switch times. When making the switch to a different provider, there are some need-to-knows depending on where you live. This is especially true for our friends in the Midwest, Mid Atlantic, and Northeast. You can check out the different utility switch times below to help give you an idea of when you should start shopping.
  • PA & MD (BGE and PEPCO)—3 business days
  • NJ—21 calendar days
  • OH and Delmarva MD—12 calendar days
  1. Expect a call from your previous provider. After you’ve completed a switch to your new provider, your previous/existing company will be notified and might try to contact you. No big deal, as they are just trying to keep you as a customer. Because, let’s be honest, you’re pretty great. The choice is yours, but if I were you, I’d stick with APG&E. Totally unbiased opinion of course…

To Be Expected. Once you’ve set up your new service or have chosen a new electricity provider, some things should come standard. We’ll talk about those and some of the perks you get if you sign up with us.

  1. Letter from the utility. When you switch services from one provider to another, your utility will send a postcard like letter to your residence. In most cases, this typically serves as a reminder to the homeowner that they switched providers. However, it’s one of the quickest ways to catch a mistake made in the marketplace. There might have been an address mix up or typo. It happens. If you received a notice that you switched and know that you didn’t, you can call your current provider and notify them so that they can handle the situation on your behalf.
  1. Welcome packet. As we mentioned earlier, once you enroll with a company, there are required documents that your company must send. If you don’t receive that, consider it a red flag. We clearly outline the plan information for you and send your legal documents to you either by mail or email.
  1. Welcome email. In addition to the required documents, we like to send you a warm welcome to quickly introduce ourselves and thank you for picking us as your provider. If you don’t get this, be sure to check your junk folder. 
  1. Usage emails. Once your account has come on flow with us, we’ll start to send you bi-weekly energy usage reports to help keep you in the know. Over time your report will begin to show your previous months usage history to help you identify trends and better gauge your usage. As an added bonus, we’ll include helpful articles with energy tips and tricks, industry news, and articles geared towards helping you better your home and life. You can subscribe to our blog as well and get updates each time we drop a new piece.

Behind the scenes. There’s a handful of departments and processes in place working behind the scenes here at APG&E to ensure that things run smoothly for our customers. Not only does it take the right set of skills and understanding for the industry, but it’s the drive and dedication that our employees embody that make us an efficient and stable electricity provider. Beyond our team here, there’s a lot of people involved in making sure that when you flip the switch, the lights come on. Below you’ll see what really happens in the background to make sure power is being delivered to your community.

Switching Electricity Graphic [Converted]-1If you ever find yourself in a situation where you don’t quite understand something or have a question about your bill, don’t ever hesitate to reach out to us. Our customer care team is dedicated to making sure you have the best customer experience possible, and we’ll help in any way that we can. If you have more questions, be sure to check out our FAQs, or you can reach us in the following ways:

Mon-Thurs: 8 AM – 7 PM CT
Fri: 8 AM – 5 PM CT
Sat: 9 AM – 1 PM CT 

Mollie Dean

Written by Mollie Dean

Mollie joined the APG&E team in January 2018. She is an experienced digital sales and marketing analyst with a history of working in retail electricity and natural gas.