4 things you didn’t know about independent ESCOsUntil you’ve owned your own home or business, it’s easy to overlook the importance of where you get your power. As long as the lights come on when you flip the switch and the house gets warm when you raise the thermostat, what does it matter where the power actually comes from?

If this is your line of thinking, you may want to reconsider. If you’re still getting your power from a local utility company, you may be overpaying. Independent Energy Service Companies, or ESCOs, have sprouted up in states with deregulated energy markets and are providing home and business owners with an alternative to their utility company. Here are four things you probably didn’t know about ESCOs that set them apart from utilities.

Different rate types

Because independent ESCOs have to compete in deregulated markets, they provide a variety of lucrative pricing options. Many ESCOs will offer their customers different bill rate types as a way to differentiate themselves from utilities. For example, an ESCO customer can get a fixed-rate bill, meaning that they pay one price for their power, even if the cost of electricity rises. This is a huge asset during the winter season where electricity prices tend to be most volatile. If prices spike, someone with a fixed rate bill can save money by locking in one low rate.

Better customer service

In a monopoly, a utility company can treat its customers however they want. In deregulated markets where businesses have to compete for every customer, providing the best service is crucial to success. ESCOs know that their customers can shop around and easily switch providers, so they make sure to go the extra mile for them.

More options

In addition to better customer service, independent ESCOs also tend to offer a wider array of options for heating and cooling your home. Natural gas, heating oil, electric heating, retrofits – ESCOs can offer all of these and more making the customer experience more customizable.

Small businesses win with independent ESCOs

Small businesses often get lost in the shuffle when it comes to cost cutting on their energy bills. They are more energy intensive than residential buildings, but often lack the size and funding to buy power in bulk, meaning that utility companies don’t want to offer them a discount. Independent ESCOs are big enough to offer a wide range of cost-cutting measures for small business while being small enough to be responsive to their needs.

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