Bill Crush recently reviewed the rates for residential energy in Calgary and the results are shocking (and confusing).
It’s no wonder that the average consumer doesn’t shop around.
The problem is, not shopping around could cost you up to 56% more, just because of the rate plan or energy provider you signed up with.
The Fix Is On
In Alberta we have energy providers that offer a variable or a fixed rate. The variable rate moves up and down based on the market rate and the energy provides add their “margin”. Their margin is the amount they charge over and above the market rate, and it varies by provider.
In the past, energy prices were more volatile, so people were pressured into locking into a fixed rate so that they didn’t have a heart attack when they got their bill.
Things have changed, natural gas prices are pretty low. But electricity rates on the other hand are rising in part due to the closure of coal powered plants, sending the prices upwards.
It no longer makes sense to go with fixed or variable rates for both natural gas and electricity. The right approach is the shop for the best rate, which likely means a fixed rate for electricity and a variable rate for natural gas.
Smoke And Mirrors
So why don’t people just shop around for the best rate on the energy bill? The answer is, it’s not that easy.
Because of the market and variable rates, it can be challenging and confusing. We reviewed 13 different energy providers rates and found something very interesting.
It was easy to compare the fixed rates, because they are locked in and posted on the company’s website.
But when trying to compare the variable rate, we found 3 different ways that providers presented their rates to the public.
Here’s an example of what was quoted to us for electricity rates that will make you scratch your head:
Provider A: market rate plus 1 cent per kWH
Provider B: 3.4 cents per kWh
Provider C: provided a rate but did not disclose that there would be a margin on top of that, until we asked…
This is the type of confusion that makes it easy for energy providers to charge more and for aggressive sales people to pressure people into pricey contracts.
Finally, Some Clarity
With choice, comes confusion. Have you seen the yogurt aisle at the grocery store lately? It’s paralyzing.
The good news is that Bill Crush has done the research, confirmed each providers “margin” and can compare “apples to apples”. Bill Crush has been able to identify the lowest energy providers of natural gas and electricity for the Calgary area.
For a limited time, access our FREE report on the lowest energy prices in Calgary (and Alberta), click here and sign-up for our e-newsletter and instant access to the report.
Happy bill crushing!