Frequently Asked Questions
Who is U.S. Power & Light?
We are experienced energy advisors committed to educating consumers about energy deregulation and helping them find an energy plan that fits their needs. Our easy process makes it simple to find available suppliers, compare plans, and make the switch.
Where does U.S. Power & Light operate?
Currently, we serve customers in all active deregulated energy markets in the US. To find out what options are available in your area, please complete our quick and easy contact form and one of our energy advisors will reach out to you shortly.
Why should I choose U.S. Power & Light?
We take the mystery and hassle out of shopping around for new energy services. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code to start comparing plans. By choosing a plan from our selection of vetted and trusted suppliers, you can rest easy knowing you’ll receive reliable and uninterrupted energy service. Even after you’ve switched, U.S. Power & Light keeps working for you. We keep track of when your contract expires and will let you know when it’s time to start shopping for a new plan again.
What happens when the plan I sign up for ends?
You should receive a notice from your supplier at least 30 days before your contract expires, alerting you that it’s time to renew your contract or shop for a new one. If you do nothing, you will likely be moved to a plan your provider picks for you, which may not the best available deal.
Who will I pay my bills to if I switch?
It depends on where you live. Even if you change suppliers, your local utility is still responsible for delivering the energy. So, you likely will receive a single bill from your utility that includes the cost of both delivery and supply. In some areas, you may receive one bill from the utility for delivery and another from the supplier for the actual energy used.
Will I have to get a new meter or buy any new equipment?
No. The energy will run through the same lines that already go to your home or business—the only thing that changes is where the energy comes from.
Will I have to pay a deposit or get a credit check?
Some plans offered through U.S. Power & Light do require credit checks. Depending on your credit score, a deposit may also be required to begin service.
Are there any ‘hidden fees’ when signing up with a new supplier?
Some plans offer low rates, but include fees that can end up costing you significantly more than other energy plans. U.S. Power & Light makes it easy to avoid added costs by clearly listing all fees associated with each plan. To find out if your current service has hidden fees, you should look in the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) and Terms and Conditions (T&C) documents that came with your plan.
Will I lose power during the transition?
No. You should receive uninterrupted energy service before, during, and after the switch.
How long does it take to switch my service?
In most cases, your new plan will go into effect within one to two billing cycles. The length of billing cycles can vary by location, but most are typically 30-90 days in length.
Do I have to call my old supplier to cancel service?
No. Our sign-up process will let your previous supplier or utility know that you’re switching to a new energy provider. Once your utility or old supplier receives your application, they will cancel your previous service on your behalf.
How do I know if I have a contract with my current supplier?
If you don’t have a copy of your plan, you will need to contact your current supplier to see when your contract expires and if it includes Early Termination Fees.
Will I have to pay fees to leave my current energy supplier?
If you don’t currently have a contract with a provider or have one that is month-to-month, then you can cancel your current service free of charge. If you have a contract and switch service before it expires, you may have to pay an Early Termination Fee—just as if you were breaking a cell phone contract. Please check with your current supplier to see what its cancellation policy is.
When can I change plans?
If you’ve never changed energy plans before, you can switch anytime. If you currently have a contract with a supplier, then you may need to wait until your contract expires before switching. Most, but not all, plans charge customers an Early Termination Fee for canceling the contract. Contact your provider or check your account details online to see your plan’s policies.
Month-to-month or variable rate plans do not have Early Termination Fees, so customers on those plans can switch at any time. When you change providers, you can indicate when you want the switch to take place. Usually, if you schedule the switch within two weeks of the contract’s expiration, you won’t be charged an early termination fee.
What should I look for in an energy plan?
Electricity and natural gas generally work the same. When shopping for plans, you’ll want to consider the following factors:
- The reputation of the supplier
- The length of the contract, which can range from three to 24 months or longer
- The price of the energy
- The percentage of energy that comes from renewable resources such as wind or solar
Can I really switch my energy suppliers?
It depends. More than 20 states and Washington, D.C., allow residents some choice in selecting their energy suppliers. As other states move to give residents choice in their energy service, we will roll out service into new areas. So stay tuned to see what your options are.
Where can I find the rates, length, and other details of the plan I signed up for?
You can find all the information about your plan, including the rates, term length, and other details in the confirmation email you received after switching suppliers. If you can’t locate your confirmation email, check your spam folder, as it may have landed there. if you are still having issues please call us at (800) 674-9809 to speak with your energy advisor.
How can I find out my current electricity or gas rate?
Beyond taxes and fees, your energy bills are generally made up of two main sections: Supply Charges and Delivery Charges.
Supply Charges refer to the portion of your bill that goes to pay for the actual energy you consume. The electricity rate is measured in cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and the natural gas rate is measured in cents per therm or cubic feet. Once you’ve found these numbers on your bill, you can compare them with the prices offered by energy suppliers online.
The Delivery Charges refer to the portion of the bill that goes to your local utility to pay for maintaining the lines and infrastructure that brings energy into your home or business. This portion of your bill will remain the same no matter which supplier you choose.
What is the “Price To Compare”?
If you purchase gas or electricity from your local utility, you can find the “Price to Compare” as a line item on your bill.
The “Price to Compare” is the benchmark you can use to compare the costs of different energy plans. For electricity, the “Price to Compare” will be measured in cents per kilowatt hour. Depending on the state, the “Price to Compare” for natural gas will be measured in cents per therm, or per hundred, thousand, or million cubic feet.
If you can find electricity or natural gas rate lower than the “Price to Compare,” it may be advantageous to switch your energy supplier.
When comparing plans, how is the cost per month calculated?
The cost per month is calculated by multiplying the rate by the average amount of energy consumed in your area. If your usage differs from the average, then you can change the numbers at the top of the page to give you a more accurate account of what your monthly bill would be.
Who will supply my energy when my contract expires?
About 30-45 days before the end of your contract, we will send you a notice alerting you that your contract will shortly expire and that it’s time to shop around for a new energy plan. If you do not sign up for another plan, you will continue with your current supplier onto a month-to-month plan.
Who do I call if my power goes out?
Your local utility is still responsible for maintaining your electric service. You will still call it in the event of an emergency or outage at the number provided on your bill.
Will my energy service continue to be reliable with the new supplier?
No matter which company you choose, you should continue to receive reliable energy service. While the suppliers provide the energy, your local utility owns and remains in charge of maintaining the infrastructure that brings energy into your home or business.
My current supplier is now offering a lower rate than I signed up for. Can I get that lower rate?
Unfortunately, no. Those are promotional rates and are only available to new customers. When your current contract expires, you can shop around for a lower rate.
Will my power go out if my supplier goes out of business?
No. If a supplier goes out of business your local utility will ensure you’re covered until you can choose a new supplier.
How do you select the supplier plans you offer?
With U.S. Power & Light, what you see is what you get. We only offer plans that allow consumers to make an informed choice about their energy options. No ballooning teaser rates, no hidden fees.
Why isn’t my current supplier available on U.S. Power & Light?
We have high standards when it comes to choosing the suppliers we work with—and not all of them make the cut. If you have one you feel would make a good partner for U.S. Power & Light, please contact us and let us know.
Why don’t I have a choice of energy suppliers in my area?
Currently, over 20 states and Washington, D.C. allow residents to U.S. Power & Light suppliers. However, suppliers may not operate in every region of the state. Additionally, many utilities in these states do not offer you a choice of suppliers.
How do I figure out if I have a fixed rate or variable rate plan?
Compare the price per unit of energy over your past two bills and see if the rate changed during that period of time. The price per unit of energy for electricity is cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and for natural gas is cents per therm or million cubic feet (mcf).
Does my utility offer fixed rate or variable rate plans?
It depends, some utilities offer residents variable rates. Other utilities offer residents fixed rates.
What’s the difference between fixed rate & variable rate plans?
- Fixed Rate Plans. When you sign up for a fixed rate plan, you’ll pay the same rate for your electricity or gas for the duration of the plan. Fixed rate plans protect you from spikes in the price of gas or electricity. However, your electricity usage will still affect your bill.
- Variable Rate Plans. When you sign up for a variable rate plan, the price you pay for your electricity or natural gas varies month to month based on the market price. While this means you may get a great deal when electricity or gas market rates are low, it also puts you on the hook if rates suddenly shoot up.
What’s a supplier?
A supplier is an independent company that generates or purchases energy to sell directly to consumers. That energy is delivered to you through your local utility. In the case of an emergency or power outage, call the utility, not the supplier.
U.S. Power & Light works with trusted, reputable suppliers to ensure the quality and reliability of service.
What’s a utility?
A utility is the company that maintains the pipelines, power lines, poles, and wires and is responsible for delivering the electricity or natural gas to your home or business. The utility remains your point of contact in the case of a downed power line or power outage. You cannot change your utility.
What is energy deregulation and how does it affect me?
In short, deregulation allows you to choose where you purchase your electricity and natural gas. That means you can now shop for your energy plan the same way you do for phone and internet service.
Energy deregulation separates the production of energy from its delivery. Utilities have typically been responsible for both supplying and delivering energy. Deregulation breaks up this monopoly, allowing you to purchase energy from independent suppliers.
Where can I learn more about electricity rates across the country?
U.S. Power & Light’s Electricity Rates by State page will show you what’s happening around the U.S.