Announcing Price Rollbacks
When was the last time you heard of a retailer automatically rolling back electricity prices? Especially today, while everyone is fearful of higher prices on the horizon. This is exactly what happened for a lucky 1,500 customers.
There's tremendous media buzz whirling around:
- Climate Change Action Plan;
- Carbon Levy;
- Mr. Terry Boston, impending report on the cost of closing down coal plants;
- Government subsidies to entice investors to build renewable generation.
All of these things eventually will cause the cost of electricity to increase over the long term. BUT NOT TODAY.
Consumers Save on Energy Bills
1,500 chosen electricity consumers received a gift this week. Their energy rate was reduced, on average from 7.52 cents per kWh to 5.72 cents, effective immediately.
The new rate is guaranteed to the end of 2018. UTILITYnet, who also owns Green Alberta Energy, financed this rollback to lend support to a number of Alberta Energy Markers who are actively promoting their efforts in "Greening the Grid". This is not a government subsidy, but rather a simple message to consumers in our province that Alberta is a healthy place to do business.
The rollback is a differential of over 30%. This group of 1,500 consumers will see their energy bill go down - by approximately $20 per month - which, on an annual basis, will save customers $240. This action plan will put $360,000 into consumers' pockets next year to invest as they see fit or simply to help balance their home budget in tough economic times. In an economy hard hit, this is good news, at least, for the list of 1,500 Albertans.
More than anything, this announcement demonstrates our belief in the positive future that Alberta holds for those participating in this province's energy market. Not only were retail prices rolled back for 1,500 of customers who have been clients of Alberta's independent retailers for years, but also other new lower rates are available for all consumers, guaranteed out to January 1, 2021. Buy today, fix the price and forget about the government's Carbon Tax on electricity. A short-term solution to protect yourself.
Investing in Greening the Grid
We have been able to show consumers how they can reduce their electricity bill, even in the shadowy fear of the upcoming Carbon Levy. With lower electricity prices available, many consumers in Alberta could actually save enough to offset the cost increase they are facing in January on the Carbon Levy which will be added to their natural gas bill. And, hopefully, some still will have savings left over to invest in helping to green the grid by voluntarily purchasing Green Offset RECs.
Avoid the Immediate Hit of the Carbon Levy
Buy smart. Invest the savings you gain on electricity into offsetting the full impact of the Carbon Levy on natural gas.
We know that there still are consumers in Alberta locked into fixed rates in the 8 cent range with the old incumbent utilities. Ask yourself a simple question: why pay more than you need to?
Increasingly, consumers are choosing a Floating Rate Option (FRO). For 60% of residential consumers in Alberta who still are on the RRO (the government's Regulated Rate Option), they overpaid on the energy they consumed by 30% this year. That is a lot of money needlessly being paid out to the big utilities.
If you are a consumer still stuck on the RRO being provided by your utility, consider this: over the last 9 months, the difference that could have been saved on electricity was enough to offset the Carbon Levy on natural gas that you are going to pay next year. Shop around. It's possible the net impact of the Carbon Levy could be "Net Zero". Stop listening to the doom and gloom of the naysayers. Sure, prices will go up in the long-term but, today and during the next 3 to 5 years, if you make the right decision you can save a lot of money.
Locked Into Energy Contracts?
Not really. This is another myth and fear that we often hear from consumers. UTILITYnet offers customers the unique benefit of exiting their contract, at any time, with no penalties - or switching rates from one plan to another with a simple 10-day notice. The prices are guaranteed. And consumers can opt out at any time with zero cost.
Bank Energy Savings to Ride Out the Pending Economic Storm
In our crazy market, especially with so much negativity and emotions swirling around the new Carbon Levy, consumers sometimes need good news. Don't listen to fear mongers and worry about what is going to happen on January 1st next year. Given the current soft energy market, it is possible to achieve short-term savings on electricity prices that will help protect Albertans from the unknown impact of the upcoming Carbon Levy. Having said this, we do expect prices to go up in the future. It is inevitable - but, for now, our recommendation is to bank the savings over the next 3 to 5 years. This will help many people ride out the economic storm.
Never Give Up!
What sets us apart from the big utilities? A few things but, especially, everyday lower rates and discounted rates for Seniors. And, let's not forget that last May, not only did we and other Energy Marketers in the network make a donation to Fort McMurray during the fire, just like many others in the province, but a number of us also committed to donateing 10% of our total income to the Red Cross and Food Bank for the balance of 2016 (each and every month on the sale of energy to all their customers across 300 Alberta communities).
And, last, for consumers who want to support "Greening the Grid" through our partnership with Green Alberta Energy, we focused on making green affordable. Green what you can afford...15% of consumption only costs the average consumer about 5 cents per day. In the last 9 months, 15.5 million kWh have been greened through this program. It's a great start! And, for the skeptic: what do we do with the profits? At Green Alberta Energy we created a private trust fund to help support Micro Generators in the province with the "Light up Alberta" program. Check it out.
Here is a simple story of a hummingbird that believed: " Do what you can and never give up ." It may help you understand the power of people if they participate in helping to make a difference by supporting each other.