Ma Bell held tight control over the phone system in America for decades. It wasn’t until the 80s that the monopoly was broken up and competition allowed to begin.
The 90s gave birth to the Telecommunications Act, which opened up long distance calls to greater competition. It also gave us such hits as 10 10 220 and Carrot Top commercials.
Start Your Budget Savings Plan
A few days ago, I gave you tips for lowering your utility bills. Using less utilities is a great way to save. But we can stack savings on top of savings.
You’re still going to use electricity, even if you find ways to cut back. Let’s make sure you’re paying the least amount possible for that electricity. And don’t worry. It’s the same electricity coming through those lines. There’s no such thing as “generic electricity.”
The first thing to do is find out if your state allows competition in electric companies. You can find out here. Twenty-seven states allow it with more added each year. If your state doesn’t allow competition, you might want to research it and possibly reach out to your lawmakers to encourage them to pass legislation allowing it.
If Your State Allows Competition…
Google “public utilities commission of [your state]”. For example, here’s the site for Ohio. You want to find a comparison chart that shows options in companies for your state. Ours is called an Apples to Apples Chart.
Use your electric bill to compare companies and prices. Beware of variable rates and intro fees that go up after a time. Look for early termination fees and other fees and promo offers. Mark them on your calendar and shop again before the term expires.
Find Other Companies
Pull up your budget and go down your list of bills. If it’s been a while since you called around to check rates, do that now.
It’s always a good idea to look for new companies you didn’t know about. For instance, try Googling “trash companies near me”. Or ask your friends and family what company they use for utilities and household services.
Look for reviews of new companies to make sure it’s worth the savings. Sometimes a lower rate also means lower service. It isn’t worth cutting your trash bill in half if they “forget” to pick up your trash half the time.
- water and sewer (Usually no competition here, but why not look into it?)
- septic cleaning services
- phone (landline/cell)
Take These Steps:
- Find out if your state offers competition in energy companies.
- Look for the best rate on all your bills.
- Mark on the calendar when rates will expire or change so you aren’t caught off guard.
- Bank the difference in your account.
This was day 14 in the Secure Your Savings and Find Peace in the New Year series. Go to the bottom of this post to find all the money saving and money making posts in this series!
A budget savings plan will pile up month after month. What a great way to save money!
Talking to Carrot Top about options for 20 minutes is worth it for that kind of money.
Have you ever shopped around for utility companies? Or do you just go with the big guys?