How to choose

Shopping for a Competitive Service Provider
To make an educated choice in deciding which service providers will supply your electricity and natural gas, you need to have the right information and understand what it means for you.

Many consumers will focus solely on prices, but other factors are also important. Some of them are discussed below.

Your Energy Needs
First, you should first understand your energy needs. The best place to start is by reviewing past utility bills to determine how much energy you use, when you use it, and what you pay for it. You may see significant variations over the course of a year.

If you determine you have varying energy needs over a year’s time, that variation might affect your billing options as well. Some companies may offer flexible plans that vary the price according to the season of the year, the day of week, or the time of day. In addition, most customers have been receiving bills that roll all charges into one bottom-line amount. Your new bill may include an itemized list of charges. Depending on how and when you use energy, these charges may help you decide how to use energy more wisely. Click here for more information about bills.

Extra Services and Special Offers
Some companies may offer to provide both electricity and natural gas service. Others may offer special promotions to attract customers.

In other states, some energy suppliers have offered “environmentally friendly” services and renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydro power.

An aggregator is a person or organization that forms buying groups, which are formed within your community, non-profit organization, or business association. Through aggregation, you may be able to get lower prices through volume discounts for the group and its members. As the competitive market evolves, you may also be able to take advantage of other benefits such as energy management services or energy use analysis. Like any electricity or natural gas competitive service provider in Virginia, all aggregators must be licensed by the SCC. There are exceptions for counties, cities, and towns that aggregate for consumers within their local boundaries.

For additional information, please call Virginia Energy Choice toll-free at 1-877-YES2004, e-mail Virginia Energy Choice, or write Virginia Energy Choice c/o State Corporation Commission, P.O. Box 1197, Richmond, Virginia 23218.