Pros/Cons to using an electricity supplier to earn miles

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Sweet Willie, Mar 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    For decades I've used ComEd as my electricity supplier as for decades I haven't had a choice.

    Today I received a letter in which an electricity supplier (Energry Plus) claims they can lower my electric bill & give me UA miles if I switch to them. I've read the fine print and have come up with the following pros/cons.

    Pros:
    Same delivery & service (ComEd lines, meters, service, emergency, etc)
    ~10% off my monthly bill
    UA miles I wasn't currently earning (one time 7,500 mile sign up bonus, ongoing 2 miles for every $1 spent, use my UA CC for an additional 1 mile for every $1 spent)
    no sign up fee
    no cancel fee
    no contract

    Cons:
    I can't see any
    EDITED TO ADD: some random searching on the company showed many complaints as to Energy Plus charging more than the local utility did.

    Anyone else have experience with new suppliers due to energy deregulation? (bad/good?)
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Pros:
    You earn miles.

    Cons:
    You almost certainly will be paying a terrible premium to earn those miles. The rates are generally awful.
     
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  3. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I am also contemplating this as I received the letter yesterday. It is supposed to be a 10% savings plus the miles, does that 10% shrink over time?
     
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  4. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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  5. gpaya
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    gpaya Gold Member

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    Your local supplier generally has a contracted/steady rate while Energy Plus will have a highly variable rate based on the Electricity Market. While the miles are a benefit, there's a significant amount of risk in the changing cost.
     
  6. jaw_24
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    jaw_24 Silver Member

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    I'm sure this all depends on what state you are in, but in TX, we have powertochoose.org, where you can compare rates from all major electric providers. I've checked out every one of the electric provider partners with FF programs, and the rates are all at least $0.02/kWh higher compared to the best available rates even with the bonus mileage factored in. To give some reference, this is about a 25% increase in the base rate.
     
  7. I am also in TX and after consulting the site mentioned above I took the plunge and signed with Gexa. It was a no brainer for me... 1 AA mile per dollar vs no miles, better rate than previous (locked, not variable), no change to provider and Gexa is rated higher than previous company. Hopefully I won't regret my decision.
     
  8. ScottC
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    ScottC Silver Member

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    I was thinking about doing the same promo, but my rates from ComEd are already low, and I have variable pricing during the day, something none of the competitors can offer.
     
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  9. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    I have the same, real time pricing with ComEd, switching to that system dropped our bills about $80/month.

    I've heard a lot of stories about these reseller companies, they promise savings, but you end up paying more through the fine print; and customer service doesn't exist. There might be some good ones out there, but I haven't heard of them.
     
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  10. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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  11. ScottC
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    ScottC Silver Member

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    Same here. My bill dropped considerably when we switched. Ideally, i'd like this along with a smart meter, but ComEd is slow at rolling those out :(
     
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  12. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    As noted above, Gexa offers very competitive rates in Texas with a choice of either AA or CO miles. It currently offers a 12-month fixed rate of 8.0 cents, which is the lowest such term rate available.
    .
    Gexa is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc,.which generated 2008 revenues of more than $16 billion, has a presence in 27 states and is one of the nation’s leading clean energy providers.
     
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  13. Erny
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    Erny Active Member

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    I have heard very bad things about Energy Plus in my neighborhood. Some people I know wound up paying much more with their rates. This is in Brooklyn, NY
     
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  14. jaw_24
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    jaw_24 Silver Member

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    This probably depends on your delivery charges as well--and they also like to advertise the 'per kWh at 2000 kWh/month' rate, which is a bit lower than the 1000 kWh/month rate that powertochoose.org uses (2000 is usually way more than people use 9 months of the year). They tack on a fixed $4.79 base charge every month which is averaged into this rate, and so the average rate goes down with higher usage.

    For comparison, in my area, powertochoose shows Gexa at 9.3 cents right now if you have Centerpoint as delivery, Potentia energy is 8.7 cents if you use 1000 kWh/month, and several others at 8.8 cents with no usage restriction.

    All-in-all, with these assumptions, you would need to value your miles at about 2.7 cpm to break even with 8.8 cents/kWh.

    As with most of this, YMMV, but just wanted to put all of what I have learned out there since all electric providers like to do some fuzzy math every now and then to get you on the hook.
     
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  15. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Looks like the old saying about no free lunch holds true here for the most part. If you can lock in better fixed rates and there is no charge to switch to or from, then miles are a bonus. Just don't let the tail (miles) wag the dog.
     
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  16. i switched to Energy Plus, currently circa 10% less than existing supplier, I keep an eye on the monthly bills to make sure they're not creeping up , but received an offer from Dominion today that guaranteed 20% less than PS&G and fixed for twelve months, no points though, the 8c mentioned in this thread looks like the best value.
     
  17. JohnnieD
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    JohnnieD Silver Member

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    DON'T USE ENERGY PLUS!! They are a bait and switch operation. They promised me a low 4 cents kwhr, but after 3 mos it was 12-14 cents!! I just signed up with NYSEG Solutions @ fixed rate of 5.5 cents kwhr for 12 months. My provider is National Grid. NYSEG sent me a $25 thank you check after the first month![​IMG]
     
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  18. Lyssa
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    Lyssa Silver Member

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    That is interesting to have a choice. I don't think we have a choice here (IL).
     
  19. just checked NYSEG, not available here, but thanks for the heads up re Energy Plus.
     
  20. adexpert
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    adexpert Silver Member

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    I decided based on what I learned from starting that thread that I was going to stick with ComEd like them or not.
     
  21. xp0
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    xp0 Silver Member

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    I tried them - finally got my electric bill --- kwh price went up 3x - Called and canceled right away. I guess this is a BIG YMMV but it seems everyone has a bad experience with them.
     
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  22. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I'm located near Chicago, my guess is you do have a choice if interested.
     
  23. Lyssa
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    Lyssa Silver Member

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    Me too! I've never heard of this though. I'll have to look into it and see if it's worth anything.
     
  24. JohnnieD
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    JohnnieD Silver Member

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    Here in NY, our utility bills are 'unbundled'. Our bill is split into two-- provider (pipes and wires) and supplier (3rd party source.) It was supposed to save money..............our bills still went up. My provider, National Grid, just lost a big rate case with the NY PSC (on the provider end) and is rumored to be up for sale with a certain southern utility rumored to be the buyer....Who knows..................
     
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  25. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    I have gotten these mailings many times to switch for miles. But every time I check it out they're nothing I need to bother with. We use on average less than 5kwh per day and I'm not looking to have our rates go up.

    For me the single best way I reduced the power consumption and therefore bill was putting everything I could on a switch or powerstrip. I know this isn't spot on topic, but if you're comparing electric rates within a couple cents per kwh, cutting consumption by simple methods may make a large difference for you.
     

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