CLEVELAND — Energy prices have risen significantly the past few months. And on a hot day like today, you have to ask yourself, is it really worth running the AC or do I leave it off to save a little cash?
There’s another way for many Northeast Ohioans to find some savings on their electric bill. And it's as simple as making a phone call.
If you use NOPEC or any other electric aggregator, you might be paying too much. Just compare your rate to the price to compare on your most recent bill.
"They’re up double. The good news is that’s double from historic lows. The bad news, it’s still double," says Chuck Keiper, CEO and executive director of NOPEC.
NOPEC is used by 242 communities and serves roughly a million customers. Their goal is to save you money. But right now, they'll freely admit they're not the best option.
"They (customers) have an option, to be put back to the utility’s pricing. They can call the 800 number, ask to be put back, and they can enjoy some savings during this rough time," Keiper explains.
That number is 1-855-667-3201.
On 3News' Brandon Simmons' last bill, the utility price to compare offered by FirstEnergy is 33% less than NOPEC's cost per kilowatt hour.
"There’s no doubt that the default service provider right now is probably the least expensive. So if you’re pinching pennies, that’s a good place to be," Keiper adds.
Making the switch was simple. Just a quick call to NOPEC. You'll hear a prompt: "If your account is electric, press one."
And in three minutes, Simmons' rate was lower. When market prices change again, you can always enroll again. No fees or penalties. But be careful is you're using an aggregator other than NOPEC, as some services aren't as helpful.
"You want to make sure that if you leave from where you’re at, you’re not having to pay some large penalty," cautions Keiper.
It's a good time to lock in this savings now, because the pricing for electric energy could be lopsided until May or June of next year. If you don't do it, you're basically leaving money on the table.
So why doesn't NOPEC or other aggregators have lower rates right now?
It all has to do with contract dates more than anything. We're in a strange time where FirstEnergy's supplier rate was locked in months ago before the market went up. NOPEC knows they can't beat it until the next energy auction comes around later this year. That's why they're offering this advice to customers now.