The Facts and Myths of Ohio Energy Choice

How Ohio Energy Choice Benefits You.

The days of Ohioans being stuck with one energy supplier are long gone. Since 1997, Ohio residents have been able to choose their electric and natural gas suppliers based on plans that best fit their needs. The problem for many people is that the process of switching energy suppliers may seem daunting and risky—and, to be honest, depending on the company you choose, it very well might be. That’s why choosing the right company is so important.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the simple process of choosing and switching to your preferred Ohio energy supplier. We’ll also offer tips on what to look for, and disprove any myths you may have heard along the way.

While it might seem overwhelming at first to switch your energy supplier, we’ve created this simple guide to help walk you through the process one step at a time and answer some common questions along the way.

Understanding Your Choices

It’s important to understand what service you are actually switching before you start. By switching your energy supplier, you will be changing the company that actually supplies the energy that flows into your home. These supply costs make up the majority of your bill and vary by company. By finding a supplier with lower prices, your bill may decrease as a result. Price isn’t the only criteria to use, though—but more on that later.

Your utility company, however, which actually delivers the energy to your home through wires or pipelines, will remain the same regardless of your decision to switch. Ohio utility companies support their customers’ energy choice options and even include the supplier’s charges on their bills.

Electricity Lines

What Are You Paying Now?

Start by understanding what you’re currently paying. Look at the energy supply line on your past few bills. This shows how much energy you’re currently using and what you are paying for it—and this figure will be your benchmark when looking at new options. Different suppliers offer different prices that, over time, can have a significant impact on your total energy bill.

If you’re currently with a utility company, you can move at any time. If you’re currently with an energy supplier, make sure your current contract allows you to move; if not, there may be early cancellation fees involved.

Research Your Options

A simple online search of energy suppliers in your area is a great place to start your research. Here are some of the criteria worth looking at:

  • Company history—Do they have a license for your specific area? What is their level of energy experience and reputation?
  • Pricing—Shopping only for the lowest price is like buying a car just for the color. A low price may allow you to take advantage of energy market price disparities, but be sure to look out for hidden fees and surcharges. Price stability is also very important. How would you like to keep your price stable, even during heat waves and cold polar vortexes? This can be thought of as similar to fixed vs adjustable rate mortgages—where the amount of stability you prefer in your monthly payments should be weighed against predicted future price fluctuations in energy costs.
  • Term length—This is the length of time you are contractually committed to a supplier. Terms are typically 12, 18, or 24 months. Locking in your term helps you know you’re not going to be hit by seasonal price fluctuations. Choosing the right length can often become a balancing act depending on where the market is and what time of year it is when switching.
  • Fees and surcharges—Some fees are fairly standard when it comes to energy suppliers. One example is early cancellation fees, which would be charged if you wanted to cancel (for any reason other than moving) before your term expires. Some suppliers, however, have hidden fees such as enrollment fees or monthly charges, so make sure you read their Terms and Conditions carefully.
  • Green energy—Some companies offer environmentally-friendly energy plans where the energy is either sourced directly from sustainable, renewable resources or accounted for by using energy credits. Typically, renewable energy is more expensive than energy sourced from fossil fuels, so it’s a personal decision. How green do you want your energy?
  • Reward programs—A few firms offer programs that allow you to earn rewards based on how long you’ve been a customer, monthly usage, monthly spend, etc. This is a great way to earn discounts and savings for something you already pay for every month.
  • Customer service—Many utilities and energy suppliers don’t have much in the way of customer support. As a result, it may be difficult to get an answer when you have a question or there is a problem. Choose a company that offers adequate availability, either 24/7 or during regular weekday hours.

Make the Choice

Once you’ve decided on your new energy supplier, it’s time to switch your service over. Make sure you have your utility’s energy bill on hand. You can either call your new supplier on the phone or use their online form to enter your personal information: billing address, service address, utility information, etc.

Your new supplier will contact your utility company for you and notify them of the change in supplier. After you enroll with the new supplier, the new supplier will send you a copy of their Terms of Service. In Ohio, you have at least a week to cancel without any obligation. So, if you’ve made a mistake, this is the time to cancel.

You will still receive your energy bills from the same utility company; however, going forward, the supplier listed will be your new one.

coffee table

Common Questions and Concerns

Will there be a lapse in my energy coverage if I switch?

No. Once you contact your new supplier, switching from your old supplier will be seamless. While it may take 1-2 billing cycles for your new supplier to show up on your bill, this lag will not interrupt your energy service.

Will there be a decline in customer service?

From your utility—no. Utility companies are regulated when it comes to energy delivery, even in deregulated markets. They are responsible for delivering the same level of service to all customers in their area regardless of their choice of energy supplier.

From your energy supplier—maybe. This depends on the specific energy supplier you choose, so make sure to research the energy company before you switch. Keep in mind that you are still a customer of the utility company, so you can always call the utility with questions about usage and energy delivery.

Who do I contact if there is an outage?

If you experience an electric power outage, alert your utility company about the problem. They will still be your point of contact for updates and are responsible for restoring service regardless of which energy supplier you use.

Whether you’re an Ohio resident or not, we hope this article has provided helpful information on choosing your new energy supplier. We at Powervine Energy are committed to providing our customers and the communities we serve with credible and helpful information so people can make informed decisions. We strive to be upfront with our offer terms, with no hidden fees or surcharges. We keep things simple and offer a knowledgeable customer service team that is available to help with questions or concerns. We are glad you are searching for a new energy supplier, but, if you are reading this here on our site, then you’ve already found the best company to choose—Powervine Energy.

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