By: Tracy McCormick
In the face of ongoing inflationary pressures impacting American households, a notable shift in consumer behavior is underway. A current example of this shift is the January “No-Spend Challenge” — a TikTok-driven trend that advocates a strict, short-term budget that prohibits spending on non-essential items.
But what if there were a way — a value proposition that provided dividends all year long — not just through a No-Spend, short-term challenge? Enter Big Energy Savings Week, a proactive initiative designed to underscore the notion that your electricity and gas, similar to any monthly service plan, needs periodic review and management. The week seeks to prompt consumers to practice periodic energy shopping throughout the year, with the Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) serving as a source to assist with guiding the public on how to shop and compare options effectively.
Routinely shopping for your energy needs as you would for other everyday items is a smart practice. Energy operates as a commodity, and fluctuations in potential savings are inevitable. As James Clear’s acclaimed book, “Atomic Habits,” emphasizes, monumental outcomes emerge from incremental steps. Ingraining the habit of regularly shopping the energy market facilitates financial gains over the long term.
The first step is determining eligibility based on your location within a state or jurisdiction that permits consumers to choose their electricity and natural gas provider. Not all states allow consumers to choose, and many continue to use the outdated monopoly-dominated model. A visit to RESA’s website provides an interactive map delineating states where choice is available.
Of the states that empower consumers to choose, many have public utility commissions that maintain websites offering comprehensive information on licensed suppliers, products, plans and pricing. These platforms prove instrumental in simplifying the shopping experience. Examples include:
- DC Power Connect
- Empower RI
- Energize Connecticut
- Energy Switch MA
- MD Energy Choice
- NJ Power Switch
- NYS Power To Choose
- Ohio’s Apples to Apples
- PA Gas Switch
- PA Power Switch
- Plug In Illinois
An organization that has fought for consumers’ rights for over 20 years, RESA is a staunch advocate for consumer freedom in selecting energy providers, and we recognize that education is paramount in navigating offers, comparing plans and comprehending contract terms. For those seeking a deeper understanding of retail energy choice, its benefits, and effective shopping practices, RESA invites exploration of its comprehensive online consumer resources section of the website: www.resausa.org.