When you’re shopping for a new or better deal on electricity, your goal is naturally to find the cheapest electricity rate available. Easy enough, right? Actually, there’s more.

Electric suppliers offer many choices when it comes to your electricity options. Customers must consider not only the rate but also additional features and incentives that go along with the rate. You’re really shopping for an electricity plan. Learning about all of the features included in an electricity plan can help you save on your energy usage, earn rewards, and ultimately save you money.

Electricity Plan
An electricity plan is a contract between a customer and an electricity provider to provide electricity service to a home or business. It includes the following:

An electricity rate (the energy rate in most states). In Texas, the advertised rates are an average price based on usage that includes both energy and delivery. It also includes base charges and minimum use fees if applicable.

Terms such as contract length and type (fixed, variable, or indexed).
Features such as renewable %, prepaid, no deposit, smart thermostats, and more.Energy Provider value-added services such as rewards programs and online usage tools. Provider differentiators such as customer service and financial stability.

What is More Important – the Electricity Rate or the Electricity Plan?

No doubt the electricity rate is the biggest motivator for electricity customers when selecting the best deal. However, the other elements of an electricity plan are also important. For a visual, basically consider the rate, terms, features, and other services as puzzle pieces that come together to form an electricity plan. Each part of the puzzle should meet your needs to get the best overall deal on electricity.

Besides a good electricity rate, how do electricity providers set themselves apart?
A common answer is customer service, but that’s a given. All electricity providers must have excellent customer service if they are going to survive. Customers have too many choices to put up with poor customer service.

The better answer is the extras they offer to their customers. Extras like reward programs or energy saving gadgets that can make a difference in energy consumption. Some providers also offer free online usage management tools to their customers with smart meters. For example, Direct Energy’s ‘Direct Your Energy’ usage tool lets you know how much you use from week to week and breaks down usage by major appliance so you can make better decisions about your energy usage.

Let’s Talk About the Extras

An electricity plan is more than just a rate. When shopping for an electricity plan, consider the electricity rate as it relates to what else you’ll get when you sign up with the electric supplier.

Some providers offer reward programs that earn cash back, airline miles, gift cards or future bill credits for simply being a loyal customer and paying your bill on time. For example, Bounce Energy in Texas has a very generous customer rewards program that includes gift cards, bill credits, American Airlines AAdvantage® Miles, cash back, or “Mommy Merits” all for just paying your bill on time.

Electricity plans that come with smart home gadgets are a popular trend. Most of the gadget plans include smart thermostats. These plans do cost a little more because you get a Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat which has good value. The idea is that you’ll save energy with a smart thermostat and, in turn, reduce your electric bill.

Renewable energy is another great plan feature available for electricity customers everywhere. Choosing a plan that offers 100% renewable energy supports and promotes sustainable energy electricity production facilities. Green electricity plans are very affordable too. You can definitely feel good about this kind of electricity plan.

Choosing the Best Electricity Plan

It’s easy to be overwhelmed with choices when it comes to picking the best electricity plan. You have to consider price, term, plan features, and the provider. Price matters but the perks certain providers make available to their customers can also be a motivating factor.

Energyoutlet provides customers with easy to use search tools to find plans with specific plan features and sort by price. Helpful details about the providers including their rewards and incentive programs are also available. Energyoutlet offers the right information and tools to help you make the best decision about your next electricity plan.