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  • Should You Sign a New Energy Contract?

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A deregulated energy market can be a confusing market for many people. For many homeowners, the old practice of getting their energy from their local utility provider was comfortable and simple. With a deregulated market, providers are practically tripping over one another to get you the best deal. When is it right to sign a new contract? And what should you do before you sign a contract?

First off, do you even need to sign a new energy contract? This is something that only a few awareness or information sites discuss openly; in part due to self-interest and in part because the answer should be simple enough. Ontario’s Energy business may have opened up to wholesalers and energy brokers, but your local utility (mostly likely) hasn’t gone away. If you’ve been approached to sign a new energy contract and the deal isn’t good enough for you, you can keep your local provider. It’s your decision.

But maybe the deal is good, and maybe a fixed priced or preferred rates will help you save some extra cash each. What next? Some salesmen will ask to see your energy bill. There’s a host of debate surrounding whether or not you should show your energy bill to a salesperson. Skeptics say you should never do this.

However, if you want to proceed with a contract, you’ll have to show a salesperson your bill sooner or later. Be sure you want to proceed with a contract when you show them your bill. In essence, you should treat your Ontario energy bill like you would treat your credit card: show it when you’re ready to proceed. Some scammers often ask to see the bill immediately, and this can be a good indication that you’re dealing with someone who isn’t representing a legitimate energy broker.

It’s also important to identify the person at the door. While their body language and how they conduct themselves can be a strong indicator of their attitude towards you and their intentions, identification is everything. A valid broker’s business card should contain the following:

  • Their Name
  • Their Business Name
  • The Address of their Business
  • Phone Number
  • An Ontario Energy Board License Number

Lacking these documents, you might be facing a scammer posing as a legitimate broker. Make sure to ask for this badge whenever someone at the door claims to represent an energy company, and make sure to identify these elements on their card.

And finally, feel free to compare prices. Deregulation has created a wide market of distributors who are competing for you to do business with them. It can be a rough-and-tumble industry, but it also has the potential for considerable savings if you jump at the right deal. Compare and review what you’ve been offered, and make a reasoned decision.

Have you saved on your energy bill by signing the right contract at the right time? Deregulation means that it can be hard to find the right price without someone knocking at your door. If you’ve had a positive experience signing an energy contract, we’d like for you to share it with us.

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