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Are You Leaving Energy Savings On the Table?

4 reasons you're probably paying too much for your electricity—and how Perch can help you find savings or switch to eco-friendly 100% renewable energy at no extra effort.

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In April 2021, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office reported that consumers across the state overpaid for electricity by $85.7 million between July 2019 and June 2020. That number jumped to a whopping $426 million over the last five years.

They’re not alone. Across the United States, millions of people are either overpaying for electricity or missing out on savings for a variety of reasons.

They may be failing to take advantage of deregulation or have difficulty navigating offers from third-party suppliers. They may be missing out on energy-saving state programs and home energy efficiencies. For most people, it’s a combination of factors.

Have you been overpaying? To find out, start by answering these four key questions below. Then learn how Perch can help you get the energy savings you deserve.

1. Are you putting deregulation to work for you?

In the past, electricity markets in the United States were government-regulated. Consumers had no choice but to pay utility company rates. But in 1992, with the passing of the Energy Policy Act, the energy industry began restructuring or deregulating in some states to prevent monopolies, expanding access to suppliers, competitive rates, cleaner energy options and efficiency programs.

Regulation vs. deregulation

  • Regulated markets: In regulated states, the state public utility commission sets the electricity rate—which can be high, because the utility companies may be required to lock in long-term contacts. The utility company then owns, operates, and controls all electricity from generation to meter. Because customer choice is limited, regulated markets are considered monopolies.
  • Deregulated markets: In deregulated states, electrical suppliers can compete with the utility companies—and each other—for customers, driving down rates. Because they can trade in shorter-term contracts, they can offer far more competitive pricing and cleaner options. Learn more about energy deregulation.

Benefits of deregulation

You continue getting the same service consistency you’re used to—since your local utility company is still responsible for the transmission and distribution of electricity to your home—but you may pay much lower rates since you're buying your electricity from a third-party supplier, not your utility. You’ll also benefit from:

  • More competitive plans: Deregulation lets you choose between multiple plans that best suit your needs and benefit from hyper-local competitive rates.
  • Greener options: You can choose suppliers that offer 100% renewable energy, community solar options or a mix of clean energy and fossil fuels.
  • Better service: Competition drives suppliers to up their game on customer service.

Deregulated states

Deregulated electricity markets are available in all or part of the following states:

Bottom line: If you live in a deregulated state, but are paying utility company prices, you may be seriously overpaying for your electric supply. You’d be smart to shop around for cleaner options at more competitive rates. Check to see if Perch is in your state.

2. Are independent suppliers taking advantage of you?

Many people who live in deregulated states don’t even realize they have a choice in electric supply providers. And even for those who do, comparison shopping is no picnic—and it’s easy to get scammed. You need to read contracts carefully, making sure you avoid deceptive practices and don’t fall for promotions that mysteriously turn into giant rate hikes. Learn how Perch takes it all off your plate to find you energy savings and prevent pitfalls.

Low-income communities bear the brunt

All too often, low-income communities and minority households are disproportionally targeted by predatory suppliers. For example, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office recently reported that Massachusetts electric consumers overpaid by over $85 million between July 2019 and June 2020, with the largest overpayments coming from lower-income communities.

COVID increased the burden

As the pandemic created job insecurity for many over the past year—it also created higher electricity bills. Our homes became offices, schoolrooms and social spaces, and we used more electricity as a result. Once again, lower-income families suffered most from this: Many are carrying large past-due balances and cannot get ahead due to new work-from-home industry policies.

Bottom line: Energy markets are complex and confusing—and trying to figure them out can be costly. Perch energy's matching technology regularly monitors the market for the cleanest, lowest-cost supplier that meets your preferences, and then automatically switches you over to that plan. There are no hassles or hiccups, no extra fees or rate hikes. In fact, we only profit when you save.

3. Are you using state energy assistance programs?

Most states offer free energy audits, assistance programs and even rebates to help consumers improve energy efficiency, take advantage of more green energy options and improve energy security in lower-income communities. Here are two such programs in Massachusetts and New York, respectively.

Massachusetts: Mass Save

Sponsored by Massachusetts’ electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, and in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, Mass Save provides a wide range of services, incentives, and training to promote energy efficiency and help residents manage costs. They offer:

  • Schedule a free home energy assessment. Home energy efficiency experts will come to your home—and meet with you virtually‚ to provide an electrical audit. Following the audit, they will provide an in-depth custom report and access to home energy rebates
  • Get rebates on energy-efficient products. Lower energy costs and improve home comfort with rebates for smart thermostats, electric heating and cooling items, electric heat pumps and water heaters, lighting and appliances, building and renovating supplies, connected solutions, and much more
  • Buy energy-saving products with instant discounts. Massachusetts residents can shop the Mass Save website for all kinds of energy-efficient home products—and save instantly.

New York: NYSERDA

Like Mass Save, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), works with multiple stakeholders to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate economic growth, advance clean energy innovation and reduce New Yorkers’ energy bills. With NYSERDA you can:

  • Schedule a free residential energy audit. Get an expert assessment and a list of recommended improvements that can include everything from added insulation and energy-efficient lighting to a high-efficiency heating system and ENERGY STAR® certified appliances.
  • Apply for residential financing. NYSERDA offers a variety of loans to help New York State residents finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements made through NYSERDA’s programs. These loans provide lower interest rates to lower-income New Yorkers and to those who cannot qualify for traditional financing.
  • Get energy-saving technical support. NYSERDA offers expert technical consulting and technical expertise for a wide range of residential projects.

Additionally, as a New York resident or business owner utilizing solar energy, there are many NY solar incentives and tax credits you can take advantage of.

Bottom line: Many states are committed to helping their residents create a greener, fairer more energy-efficient future, and have invested heavily in doing so. Most services are free to state residents, so If you’re not taking advantage of them, you’re definitely leaving money on the table.

4. Are you optimizing energy efficiency at home?

According to move.org, the average monthly electric bill in 2021 in the U.S. is $114.44. You already know that using Perch can help you lower your electric bill. But you can reduce it even further by identifying the energy hogs in your house, and lowering your usage.

Here are cost estimates for the largest energy users based on a 10-cent per kilowatt-hour rate.

  • Central heating and cooling: HVAC systems account for about 46% of your home’s energy usage. So a 3500-watt HVAC unit costs you from $85-$195 a month.
  • Water heaters: Water heaters typically represent about 14% of home energy usage. Running a 4500-watt water heater costs around $40.50 a month.
  • Appliances: Major appliances account for about 13% of your home’s electricity cost. Together, these appliances cost about $38 per month. See which appliances are using the most energy in your home and tips for minimizing the cost.

Energy savings and efficiency tips

There are lots of ways to trim your electrical usage without experiencing any discomfort—or breaking the bank. To truly take your energy-effiency game to the next level, check out our ultimate guide to saving on your electric bill. Here are a few of the more common, effective ways.

  • Use LED lightbulbs. LEDs use 75% less energy—and can save you up to $75 a year.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics. No need to be drawing power when they’re not in use.
  • Insulate. Keep the cold out and the heat in winter—and the inverse all summer.
  • Use ENERGY STAR appliances. Energy-efficient products can save you up to 30% a year.
  • Consider community solar. Without having to install any solar panels yourself, community solar is a great way to save money, support your local economy and lower your carbon footprint. If there's an eligible solar farm in your area, you can subscribe to it and you'll receive credits toward your utility bill. Learn about Perch's Community Solar offering.

Bottom line: While Perch takes care of lowering your electric bill, you can take care of lowering your usage. The planet—and your wallet—will thank you. Let Perch help you lower your electric bill for good

Perch is your savings secret weapon

At Perch, we’re making cleaner energy more accessible, more affordable, and more equitable for all, by making it the easy choice. Let us take care of everything, so you never miss out on supply options, energy efficiency programs—or savings. Take advantage of our Community Solar offering. Or our automated matching technology, for vetted suppliers that offer the cleanest, most affordable plans based on your preferences. Learn more about Perch's mission here.


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