PowerToChoose.org doesn't work anymore . . . Electricity companies game the system; regulators can't keep up.
The Current Traps On Power To Choose
The top plans on Power To Choose are advertising a rate of about 5¢/kWh. That rate sounds too good to be true, and in reality it isn't true. If you sign up for one of these plans, you will almost certainly end up paying more. Many of the plans that appear near the top of the list use one or more of the following tricks to sell consumers on one rate and then charge them another:
Huge Base Charges: The plans at the top of the list
right charge a huge flat fee (around $50) for usage up to 1000
kWh. That's great if you use exactly 1000 kWh--you will pay
5¢ per kWh. But in the winter months, you will still pay
$50, even if you barely use
any electricity at all. That's a terrible deal. Also, you
start paying an exorbitant rate once your usage goes above
charge for your additional usage.
Tiered Pricing: A plan will have a low rate up to
a point, and then the rate skyrockets,
so when you hit the summer months, you end up paying way more
than you expected.
Short-Term Plans: Many electricity providers will
offer you a good rate on a 3 month plan, but when your contract
up, your rates rise quickly. They are counting on you forgetting
or being too busy to switch providers. Oftentimes it works, or
they would not be offering these plans.
Seasonal Plans: Energy prices are seasonal--they go
up in the summer and down in the winter. In the fall, you will
start to see some 6 or 9 month plans. A plan that does not
cover summer will look good next to
a plan that covers one or two summers. However, once your
contract is up, your electricity prices will be subject to
change when rates are at their highest.
Beware of Minimum Usage Credits - Whiteboard Video
Penny power isn't realistic. Sign up for one of these plans, and you may be in for an unpleasant surprise on your electricity bill.
Beware of Minimum Usage Credits - Infographic
Here is one of the ways that consumers can be misled on Power To Choose and similar web sites.