It’s Time to Take Out the Trash

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High Electricity Prices: It’s Time to Take Out the Trash

If you are like a lot of people, pushing off small nagging tasks is a common occurrence. Repainting that wall in the kitchen? That will have to wait until next weekend. Taking out the trash? I’ll get that done tomorrow. Analyzing the monthly electricity bill? Don’t have time for that today.

Let’s face it, even with the best intentions these lower priority tasks often get pushed to the backburner. Life just gets in the way sometimes.

Unfortunately, this can allow a low-priority task to grow into a real problem. If you put off taking out the trash for too long, for example, eventually you end up with a pile of smelly garbage in your home. The same can be said about analyzing your monthly electricity bill. While ignoring this task doesn’t equal flies and bad odours, it does mean less money in your pocket each month, which also stinks… just in a different way.

As much as I love my job and find the electricity market in Alberta exciting, I know that not everyone feels the same way. For most, digging into past utility bills and figuring out if they have the best rate doesn’t sound like a fun evening or weekend activity, so they avoid it. But if you are still on the Regulated Rate Option (RRO), pushing off this task has cost you some money this summer. Below I have laid out why you should stop putting this off and take out the trash today.

If you aren’t familiar with the acronym RRO, here’s a recap. The Regulated Rate Option (RRO) is the default provider of electricity for consumers in Alberta. If you haven’t shopped around for the best price for your electricity, you are most likely on the RRO. This is a variable rate that changes on a monthly basis, varies depending on your location in Alberta, and is approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). RRO providers, which we like to call “The Big Three”, include ENMAX, EPCOR, and Direct Energy. With the RRO, you cannot be refused service for reasons such as poor credit, but it’s not necessarily your best cost option.

Here is a look at what the RRO prices have been over the last three months.

Let’s look at an example customer … let’s call her Jane. Jane lives in a single-family home that uses about 800 kWh of electricity each month. Jane is like 50% of Albertans who are still on the RRO. She lives in Edmonton, which means she is serviced by EPCOR. Below we have calculated what Jane would have paid over the last three months on the RRO and compared it to what she could have paid if she had switched to a fixed rate with NewGen Energy. (Energy Cost = kWh used per month x monthly rate).

Poor Jane paid $71.02 more than she needed for electricity over the last three months. That’s equivalent to one whole Internet bill payment, or 13 Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, or a movie date night with her partner.

In the amount of time it would take Jane to crumple up her last month’s RRO utility bill and toss it in the trash, she could have gone online and switched her services to a competitive retailer like NewGen. It’s that simple to switch and start saving.

Lastly, supporting local companies is essential for the health of Alberta’s economy and Jane does her best to shop local when she can. NewGen is 100% locally-owned and operated, so Jane can rest easy knowing that when she needs help with her account or has questions, she will never be transferred to someone overseas.

Don’t put switching off of the RRO on the back burner. It’s time to take out the trash. Save money, support local charities and keep jobs in your own backyard by signing up with NewGen.