Can You Switch Power Suppliers? [2022 Guide]

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:

  • Can You Switch Energy Suppliers?
  • How Do I Switch Electricity Providers?
  • How Do I Find the Best Energy Supplier?
Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Energy Expert

Updated 6/24/2022

Why You Can Trust EcoWatch

We work with a panel of experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other energy site has covered the root issues as long as EcoWatch, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

Energy prices are on the rise — and homeowners across the country are getting more and more nervous to look at their electricity bills at the end of the month. For those who live in states with deregulated electricity markets, switching power suppliers offers a tangible way to lower the rates you pay for your energy. But there are a few catches. 

If you’re interested in switching power suppliers, read this guide on whether or not you’re eligible to switch suppliers and how best to go about it if you are.

Best National Company
Badge icon

Nationwide Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Constellation Energy

  • Pros icon Many years of experience
  • Pros icon Great industry reputation
  • Pros icon Award-winning company
  • Pros icon No.1 producer of carbon-free energy in the U.S.
  • Pros icon Makes charitable contributions
  • Con icon Charges contract cancellation fees
  • Con icon No prepaid or no-deposit plans

Services Offered

  • Service icon 100% Renewable Energy Plans
  • Service icon Fixed-Rate Plans
  • Service icon Variable-Rate Plans
  • Service icon Home Solar
Best Rates
Badge icon

Statewide Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Gexa Energy

  • Pros icon Many years of experience
  • Pros icon Great industry reputation
  • Pros icon Makes charitable contributions
  • Pros icon Low rates
  • Pros icon Wide variety of contract term options
  • Con icon Charges contract cancellation fees
  • Con icon No prepaid or no-deposit plans
  • Con icon Slightly high number of complaints versus competitors

Services Offered

  • Service icon 100% Renewable Energy Plans
  • Service icon Fixed-Rate Plans
  • Service icon Variable-Rate Plans
  • Service icon Business Energy Plans
Best Green Energy Options
Badge icon

Nationwide Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Green Mountain Energy

  • Pros icon Green-e certified plans
  • Pros icon Wide variety of contract term options
  • Pros icon Low number of customer complaints
  • Pros icon Many years of experience
  • Pros icon Makes charitable contributions
  • Con icon Charges contract cancellation fees
  • Con icon No prepaid or no-deposit plans
  • Con icon No satisfaction guarantee

Services Offered

  • Service icon 100% Renewable Energy Plans
  • Service icon Fixed-Rate Plans
  • Service icon Variable-Rate Plans
  • Service icon Home Solar
  • Service icon Month-to-Month Plans

Jump To: Can You Switch Energy Suppliers? | How Do I Switch Electricity Suppliers? | How Do I Find the Best Energy Suppliers? | How Do I Find the Best Electricity Rates?

How Does Switching Energy Providers Work?

If you live in a state with a deregulated energy market, you have the power to choose your own electricity supplier. Deregulated energy markets provide electricity customers with a few advantages over the more commonplace regulated energy markets. Here are some of the most significant: 

  • Users can choose where their energy comes from
  • Deregulation promotes competition among energy firms, and motivates suppliers to offer excellent service to their customers
  • Consumers have a variety of products, plans and services to choose from

As of May 2022, the 15 states shown in green on the map below offer some form of deregulated electricity market. Each state differs in the area of the state that is deregulated, the resources available to switch energy companies and how effective its deregulated market is. 

Can I Switch Power Suppliers?

Certain states have deregulated energy markets that allow customers to choose their own energy suppliers. We understand why you might want to switch to a different provider, whether it be to lower your electricity bill, make sure the energy you consume is renewable or improve your overall experience as a customer. But before you look into switching providers, there are a few things to know.

If you live in one of the 15 states on our map above, you likely have the option of switching energy plans. In these states, deregulation allows you to choose a different electricity supplier (sometimes referred to as a third-party supplier), involving a new billing structure and customer service and potentially a contract. 

The delivery of your electricity by your local utility won’t change — your state’s public utility commission (or PUC) remains the regulator for distribution, and delivery will not be interrupted if you switch suppliers. The local utility is responsible for the power lines and poles that deliver electricity to your home or business so is still responsible for outages due to bad weather and other problems that arise.  

Learn more below about what will change if you switch your electricity providers:

How Do I Switch My Electricity Company?

If you live in (or are moving to) an area with deregulated energy, you have a number of methods of finding a new energy supplier. Many utility websites have guidance on your choice of energy suppliers. 

Searching through state-run databases can be painstaking, and not every state offers those resources — but EcoWatch is here to help. We’ve narrowed down the top clean-energy providers in certain deregulated states, and by using this tool or clicking the links below, you can compare prices and find the right plan for you.

VIEW MORE

How Do I Find the Best Energy Suppliers?

When comparing companies to provide your energy supply, there are a few key things to look out for. There is no single best electricity provider in a given region, as that would defeat the purpose of a competitive market. Each supplier offers unique plans and incentives to attract customers. 

Electricity Rates

Every electric supplier offers its own unique rate plans. The first thing to consider is that a lower per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll save money on your bill overall. Lower rates often come with strings attached — signing fees, early cancellation fees, and other “fine print” terms. Something we like to recommend to our readers when thinking about rates is that if a rate seems too good to be true, it probably is. In addition, if your energy use is high, your bill can still be high even with a lower per per-kWh rate.

Electricity rates typically come in two different forms — fixed and variable: 

  • Fixed Rate: Energy rates in deregulated areas can fluctuate frequently — as often as day to day. A fixed-rate plan lets you secure a per-kWh rate that will stay the same throughout the entire duration of the contract you will need to commit to.
  • Variable Rate: Variable rate means that the per-kWh rate you pay changes along with the energy market. This can be advantageous if you prefer paying month-to-month instead of being locked into a contract term that comes with fixed-rate plans.

Generally speaking, fixed-rate plans offer more protection for consumers against costly spikes in electricity prices. These can occur during extreme weather or other times when electricity is in short supply. We’d only recommend variable rates if you need to pay month-to-month, or if you believe that the cost of electricity will decrease in the near future.

Source of Energy

natural gas is biggest US electricity sourceHaving a deregulated market gives customers the option to choose the source of their electricity supply. In 2021, the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) reported that natural gas was the most prevalent source of U.S. electricity generation at 38%.1 This means that for most standard plans, the energy you use most likely comes from burning natural gas  — a significant contributor to carbon emissions and climate change. 

However, for our conscientious readers looking to make a difference through their energy choice, many electricity providers offer plans with 100%-renewable energy options. This isn’t the same as installing solar panels on your home as your energy will still be delivered by a utility. But choosing a new supplier with a 100%-green-energy plan means your money will be going to support wind or solar farms rather than conventional plants powered by fossil fuels.

Customer Service and Reputation

A big reason customers search for a new supplier is because of poor quality service from the old electric company. In most cases, you’ll want to select a supplier with a long track record of quality service in your area. 

Electricity plans are a hot topic of late, and companies across the country are looking to compete for your business. We always recommend that readers do their research on the reputation of a company prior to signing a contract with them. Here are a few things to check out before signing on to a new plan. 

  • Read customer reviews online: This can help you identify where the shortcomings of a supplier are. Also, if a supplier has mainly poor reviews, it’s probably a good indication to look elsewhere. 
  • Check a provider’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: If a company has a poor BBB rating, it means that they do a poor job of responding to customer complaints — not a great sign for the quality of a supplier. 
  • Look into the company’s history: We like to recommend companies with a track record of success — if a company only has a year or two of experience, it’s generally riskier for the consumer. On the other hand, companies with five to ten-plus years of experience are more likely to have effective and efficient systems in place to ensure quality service. 

How Do I Find the Best Electric Rates?

As we’ve mentioned, the cheapest rates don’t always make for the best plans. The cheapest plans may be cheap for a reason — and are often designed to entice customers into signing contracts with significant conditions in the fine print. Some companies will offer low rates for short-term contracts with a provision that the rate will increase or become variable when the contract expires. Be wary of this, as companies with misleading advertising may not have your best interests in mind.

With that in mind, you can check out our page on the best electricity rates by state to browse the best renewable energy options in your area. Or, you can start seeing rates from some of our top-recommended wide-scale suppliers below.

VIEW MORE

Lowering Your Electric Rates Through Solar

Installing solar panels on your property is another popular option to reduce your electricity rates and become your own energy provider. By reducing your reliance on the utility grid, homeowners and other property owners can increase their independence and lower their vulnerability to rising electricity prices nationwide.

Blog author image

Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten Neumeister is a solar energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the renewable energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on solar energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.