You can sign up for electricity in just a few steps:
If you haven't already, you'll need to create an account with your local utility. Unless you're moving, you should already have an account.
Check whether you are under contract with your current provider. If you are, make sure you won't be charged an early termination fee if you switch providers before your contract ends.
Have a recent utility bill on hand, as you'll need your utility account information to enroll with a competitive provider. If you're moving and haven't received a bill yet, you can contact your utility for this information.
Shop for the electricity plan that fits your needs. After you sign up, your new provider will contact your local utility to complete the process.
The time it takes to turn on your electricity varies based on when your local utility can connect your home. Be sure to leave yourself enough time to shop and sign up with your new provider, and check your utility's timeline to make sure you can get your electricity turned on when you need it.
Some utilities may charge a switching fee when you sign up with a new provider. Make sure to check with your local utility for more information.
Electricity rates will usually be listed as cost per-kilowatt-hour (kWh), the unit used to measure electricity consumption.
Total costs include your electricity charges (the rate multiplied by your usage) and utility fees associated with delivering electricity to your home. Even if one plan has a lower rate than another, your total monthly cost could end up being higher, depending on the plan.
What extra benefits, like smart home products, green energy or free nights or weekends, do the available plans provide? Any electricity plan will power your home; how do the plans you're considering add value to your lifestyle?
Consider what term length (the duration of your contract with the provider) would fit best for your situation. Are you renting for a short period of time? Would you prefer to keep the same electricity rate for a while? Will this contract end before a peak usage season when electricity prices are higher?
Now that you're a savvier energy consumer, are you ready to find your perfect plan? Enter your zip code to check out our offers for your area.
Here are a few terms you'll see when shopping for an electricity plan:
In deregulated areas, customers are no longer required to sign up with their utility for electricity. Instead, they can shop offerings from available competitive electricity providers to find the best one for their household.
Your local utility is responsible for transmitting, connecting and disconnecting electricity to your home, and for reading and maintaining your home's electric meter. The utility also maintains the power lines and other equipment used to transmit electricity. In some deregulated areas, your utility may compete on the electricity market, selling its own electric plans to customers.
Retail or competitive providers vie to provide electricity to customers. In areas with deregulated electricity, customers can shop and compare electricity plans from various retail providers, like Direct Energy.
A kilowatt-hour is the unit used to measure electricity usage. It represents the consumption of one kilowatt, or 1,000 watts, for one hour.
The rate per kWh is the price you pay for each kWh you use. This price is set by your electricity provider.
The term length is the duration, usually in months, of your contract for an electricity plan.
Your electric meter is used to measure how much electricity you have used each billing cycle. Your local utility reads and maintains your electric meter. If you've chosen a retail or competitive provider to supply your home, the utility sends this information to your provider so you can be billed accurately for your usage.
With a fixed-rate plan, you'll be able to lock in an energy rate per kWh for a term length of your choosing. Fixed-rate plans protect you from market price fluctuations, but you will typically need to sign a contract and your rate may be higher than the market rate during seasons with low energy demand.
Your electricity bill can vary based on many factors, so it can be difficult to determine what an average electricity bill looks like. The best way to calculate your average electric bill is to look at your past bills. If you're moving to a different home or region, you can get an idea of your average electricity costs by researching similar homes online or asking other residents in the area. The average electric bill depends on the following elements:
Smaller homes typically use less electricity than larger homes because less electricity is needed to run lights, heating and cooling and other appliances and electronics.
Some regions tend to experience a mild climate and pleasant seasonal temperatures, taking some of the workload - and electric usage - off a home's air conditioner and heating system; residents of regions with more extreme temperature swings may need to use these systems more to maintain a comfortable indoor climate.
If you develop energy-saving habits like turning back your AC or heating and unplugging electronics, you might have a lower bill than if you were less conscious of your usage.
Your heating, cooling and large appliances are major energy users, accounting for up to 73 percent of the average household's energy use. Appliance efficiency and regular maintenance can affect how much energy your appliances use.
Factors like windows and insulation can affect how your home uses electricity. Well- sealed windows and good insulation can help your air conditioner and heating system use less electricity by keeping the treated air inside your home and the hot or cold air out.
Obviously, the price you pay per kWh of usage will also affect your bill.
You will typically receive your electric bill from your local utility every 28-32 days, depending on when your utility reads your electric meter. Your bill includes the energy charge for your usage (charged by your provider) and operational costs (charged by your local utility) associated with providing electricity to your home.
If you are a Direct Energy customer, you will still receive your bill directly from your local utility. You will usually see Direct Energy as a line item on your bill under "supply" or "generation services".
You will usually pay your electric bill through your local utility even if you have opted to buy your electricity from a competitive provider like Direct Energy, so contact your utility to for information on your available payment options.
The amount of your electric bill will vary based primarily on your electricity usage. There are two major parts to your electric bill: the charges for the electricity you use in your home, and your utility or delivery charges, which cover the operational costs of delivering electricity to your home. The utility charges are the same for all residents in that utility's service area. You can calculate your bill by adding up the electricity usage and utility costs.
Electricity regulators in your state may require electric suppliers to create and display documents detailing information for each of their electric plans. These documents provide vital insights like the rate, term length, fees and other stipulations. You can use them as tool to help you compare potential costs of a plan against your current bills, and also against other electricity plans you may be considering.
We have a variety of electricity plans to help meet the needs of your home and family. Our fixed-rate plans allow you to lock in an electricity rate for a term length of your choosing and get protection from market price fluctuations.
Check out our Moving Hub for moving checklists, buying and renting guides, moving out of state and other tips on how you can have a stress-free move.
Smart electric meters are becoming the new standard in electric metering. They provide valuable benefits like the ability to turn on electricity more quickly and track your use more closely, and the opportunity to sign up for time-of-use electric plans, which allow you to get free electricity at certain times.
We'll notify you at least 30 days before your contract expires and give you the opportunity to explore your new plan options. If you don't choose a new Direct Energy plan or switch providers before your contract expires, we'll put you on another plan with us. Don't worry – you'll be notified beforehand of the plan rate and details.
We have a variety of electricity rates and plans so you can find the best one for your home.