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View Full Version : First Energy offer to lock in rates??? good?


boatnut
09-19-2012, 09:50 PM
Got something in the mail from First Energy (my electric supplier) touting a plan to sign up and lock in a rate of $6.99/kw for next 7 years. Hard for me to get a handle on where electric power rates may go in the future but my gut feeling says they probably won't get cheaper? Any thoughts on this? Anyone else done it?

KaGee
09-19-2012, 09:56 PM
I don't know either. Who's done the math?

boatnut
09-19-2012, 10:05 PM
I know with de-regulation of the utility industry, that there are a lot of "re-sellers" out there. I suppose one should take the time to consider their rates also? It's all so confusing to me, LOL

ohiojmj
09-20-2012, 07:54 AM
The 7 yr fixed rate looked much higher than the 1 or 2 yr fixed offers I've recieved. I'm not so sure I'm going to lock in a higher rate for the short term in hopes that it will look good in later years. However, it's no big deal for me since the cost of generation is 1/2 the bill and my house has all gas appliances, furnace, etc.

crappiedude
09-20-2012, 08:14 AM
A few months back,(it mayhave been a year or so) they came door to door with an offer to lock in rates for 1 year. I listened to the pitch and it all looked and sounded good compared to my last Duke Energy bill I had so I signed up. Later that night I looked into the rates a little deeper by checking the past 12 months of rates and found that maybe it wasn't such a good deal.
Like all contracts in Ohio the buyer has 72 hours to back out with no penalty so I called 1st Enery and canceled the service. When I did so, they immedialey offered lowered rates. I declined and again the tried to sweeten the pot. I forget the second offer but it may have been to hold the lower rates even longer than the 1 year.
Over all I don't think the rates were awful bad but they weren't wonderful good either.

My rates are locked in with Duke Energy Retail so maybe my savings would have been better had I not currently been locked in with an alternate supplier.

I do think having (or at least looking at) an alternate energy supplier is a good idea vs counting on the utility supplier offfering the best deal. I probably wouldn't like a 7 year commitment.
It is hard to figure out the numbers because temps vary from year to year so there is no hard line to compare one year to the next. However since signing up with Duke Energy Retail my monthly (even billing) payment dropped from $279 mo (2010) to $259 mo (2011) to $207 mo (2012) and I am currently running a balance and expect another drop again next year.
Since natural gas has dropped in cost over the last few years its hard to figure out what exacly caused such a drastic drop in the monthly bills.
I would look at all your options.

I do believe my neighbor is signed up with 1st Energy and he said he is saving about $20 month.

Agitation Free
09-20-2012, 03:25 PM
Will never do it again. Got burned by IGS.

KaGee
09-20-2012, 03:42 PM
^ IGS is a scam company. Google them.

Snakecharmer
09-20-2012, 06:31 PM
According to the Cleveland P.D., first energy in laying off 200 workers dure to lack of demand for electricity. Sounds like they have more than they can sell? Maybe the forcing of people to Fluor bulbs is working.

Big Chief201
09-20-2012, 07:38 PM
I'm an energy structurer for a large utility in Ohio and I calculate these prices. Basically what is going on is a large battle for load between utilities. Keep in mind if you are being supplied power over company "x" lines and buy your generation from company "y" eventually you could get dinged with differential costs depending on how these rate cases play out. Be careful and make sure you read through the fine print. I know FE had a huge cancelation penalty with their 7yr deals.


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BuzzBob
09-20-2012, 09:02 PM
With First Energy they automatically moved me into NOPEC which offers 6% lower than the "Price to Compare" which should be on your bill somewhere.

Duke Energy offers a 12% reduction off the "Price to Compare". Of course, I'm talking variable plans, not fixed. So I switched to Duke.

Use the PUCO Apples to Apples chart found at www.puco.ohio.gov

BuzzBob
09-20-2012, 09:11 PM
So Big Chief, based on your job title, can you offer some insight on who we should go with? And, do you advocate fixed or variable rate plans? Help us out my friend!

c. j. stone
09-21-2012, 12:58 PM
I have an all electric house and just got a letter from NOPEC offering a locked in rate for several years. Th LI rate is half a cent MORE per KWH than I am paying my supplier currently(also NOPEC!!) This didn't sound too favorable for me at the present time! I guess I also need to know what are the projections for rate increases down the road. Wonder how much the Presidential election could impact utility rates??

fishinjim
09-21-2012, 04:58 PM
I feel that im satisfied with the rates i have received with duke so i havent switched. I mean, how much could it be saving me? Short term maybe but long term i figure ill pay more by switching


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OSUdaddy
09-21-2012, 06:09 PM
I did the math comparing my Illuminating Company rates vs those offered on the PUCO Apples to Apples site, while using the average monthly usage on my latest electric bill, and found I would save a whopping $78/year by switching. Not knowing if other fees would be added by the Illuminating Company by switching I said no thanks.

On the natural gas side I did make a switch suppliers as there was a significant savings.

Thank you PUCO for providing the Apples to Apples sites.

Big Chief201
09-22-2012, 08:50 AM
So Big Chief, based on your job title, can you offer some insight on who we should go with? And, do you advocate fixed or variable rate plans? Help us out my friend!

I would feel if I give you an answer of who to go with I would be biased because of who I work for. Personally I feel the fixed price is hands down the best way to go. There are a lot of coal plants being retired due to the EPA regulations and not enough gas being built to make up for the losses. Based off some pricing models generation could be double or more than what your paying now. The prices being offered have very low margins for the companies because all we are fighting over is load sustainability. Also when factoring in the volatility of generation costs, the real-time LMP's, plant reliability it leaves only the company to eat all the risk if you lock in your rate. I hope this helps!


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Buckeye Ron
09-22-2012, 11:56 PM
I would feel if I give you an answer of who to go with I would be biased because of who I work for. Personally I feel the fixed price is hands down the best way to go. There are a lot of coal plants being retired due to the EPA regulations and not enough gas being built to make up for the losses. Based off some pricing models generation could be double or more than what your paying now. The prices being offered have very low margins for the companies because all we are fighting over is load sustainability. Also when factoring in the volatility of generation costs, the real-time LMP's, plant reliability it leaves only the company to eat all the risk if you lock in your rate. I hope this helps!


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Big Chief,
Does the location that you live in within Ohio have any bearing on what you have previously stated? No coal firing plants around where I live.
Thanks,
Ron

Bowhunter57
09-23-2012, 09:59 AM
I recieved a notice from First Energy that stated that my services would be being handled by them, IF I didn't fill out the enclosed form and mail it back to them stating that I didn't want them to handle my services. I thought this "tactic" was underhanded from the word go, so I placed a call to A.E.P. and asked what was going on with the switch.

The gentleman with A.E.P. said that he'd never known of a switch to another subcontracter that didn't have an increase in rates. Somewhere along the 1, 2 or other amount of year(s) of "locked in rates" the contractor gets their money back or they'd go out of business.

Basically, these contracted companies are just providing services with electrical power that's being provided by A.E.P. anyway, so it makes sense that if A.E.P. is charging $1 for something that the next company isn't going to make any money if they don't charge more than the original price of $1.

I decided to stay with my original supplier, as I've not had any problems with them and the rest of these other money grabbers haven't proved to me that they're not going to slit my throat somewhere down the road. I didn't like the way First Energy was just going to switch my services from A.E.P., unless I filled out their form and mailed it back. Nuts! :p

Bowhunter57

Big Chief201
09-23-2012, 04:56 PM
Big Chief,
Does the location that you live in within Ohio have any bearing on what you have previously stated? No coal firing plants around where I live.
Thanks,
Ron

There's no easy way to answer that. Since we are in a RTO where all the companies "pool" their power the overall prices should increase for everyone. The problem is there are source points and zones that could be affected more if they are being serviced by a plant being retired. For instance central Ohio is in AEP Zone and north eastern Ohio is in FE zone if there's 5 plants closing in the FE zone that will increase the price throughout the RTO but will increase FE Zone more.


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crappiedude
09-23-2012, 08:50 PM
Bowhunter57
My neighbor got a similar letter to yours from 1st Energy. After looking into it farther he found out he would actually save around $250 per year. I don't know all the details but I know the deal wasn't too bad.

Buckeye Ron
09-23-2012, 10:22 PM
Bowhunter57
My neighbor got a similar letter to yours from 1st Energy. After looking into it farther he found out he would actually save around $250 per year. I don't know all the details but I know the deal wasn't too bad.

In comparing my current rate per kWh, i would have an increase of .0046 per hour. But dont know if there would be an increase that would be higher than that in the next 7 years or not.

I did enter their contest today though.

Ron

Sasamafras
09-23-2012, 11:13 PM
I sell energy to commercial users, and what I can tell you is true with anything. Know what you are signing up for, in my opinion there isn't too much of a reason to sign up for a residential program with a large cancellation fee unless you know to keep an eye on it when your contract expires. Right now there are plenty of options to save a decent amount 15-20 percent underneath utility rates. 7 year deal, yikes I would stick to under 3 years and look for a fixed rate well under 6 cents per kwh in aep or first energy territories. Large commercial do see lower rates than residential so what I do is a little different. Like with cable phone Internet when your price expires do something to get on a good new rate, If you just do this there is no way to get ripped off, you cannot be charged more from your utility by switching suppliers and they will still service you as normal as you still pay them for delivery/ customer charges. Only do an offer with utility consolidated billing. Sorry for any errors typed this on my phone.


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slimdaddy45
09-23-2012, 11:41 PM
I keep getting stuff in the mail from First energy ,IGS and AEP RETAIL ENERGY so far Ive stayed with just AEP didnt know whether to change or not I cant UNDERSTAND how these other companies can sell any cheaper than AEP I heard a guy on the radio that switched to First energy and he said he wished he hadnt done it so I dont know which way to go or stay with AEP

Burks
09-24-2012, 12:09 AM
We get these from time to time as well. Never thought about switching, no real plans too.

Just seems "too good to be true".

iam20fan
09-24-2012, 03:55 AM
i switched from Dp+L to border energy.i went from paying 9.8 cents a kwh to 6.2.