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Comparing Each Alberta Energy Company to the Competition

Now is the time to shop for a new energy plan in Alberta. Energy choice has been part of life in this province since the 1980s. Before then, residents and businesses didn't have a choice among the major gas companies, but a lot has changed in the past 30-some years. Competitive power companies are on the scene as well, and if you haven't taken the time to shop around for a more competitive rate, there's never been a better time!

Whether you're looking at the offerings of competitive electric companies or gas companies, there's one primary rule you should always keep in mind: Don't settle for the first compelling offer you come across. As with any major purchase you make, it's important to do some comparison shopping when examining which Alberta energy company to go with.

What are you looking for from retail electric and gas companies?

Before you can even narrow the field of gas and electric companies, you have to know what it is you're looking to achieve. Are you looking for a lower rate? A different type of rate structure? A shorter contract period? Each of these concerns has its own list of priorities that should impact your eventual decision.

Low rates are attractive, and they're often the first thing competitive gas and power companies lead with. It's important to keep in mind the supply rate associated with a plan from a competitive marketer isn't the only price tag you'll be dealing with. There could be any number of fees associated with a plan, upfront and otherwise.

Rate structures can vary considerably. Some of the most common offered by competitive Alberta electric and gas companies are secured-rate plans, variable-rate plans and indexed-rate plans. When set next to one another, the differences between each of these types of plans are easy to see.

Secured-rate plans offer consumers price protection with a supply rate that won't change that won't change. Variable-rate plans offer prices that rise and fall with the overall energy market. Indexed-rate plans have rates that rise and fall at the same rate of another commodity, such as oil.

Contract periods usually have lengths that are proportional to the type of rate structure a given plan has. Because of the risk of a secured-rate plan assumed by gas and power companies, these plans usually require a longer contract period than variable-rate plans.

Likewise, variable-rate plans often have shorter contract periods. If you're concerned with being attached to any particular Alberta power company or gas company for a long time, be sure to enquire about contract lengths.

Whether you're looking at plans from Just Energy, EasyMax, Direct Energy, Spark or any other competitive energy company in Alberta, can help you know what to ask for when you speak with a representative.

Reputation matters with your choice of energy company

While it's true you probably don't know everything there is to know about every competitive Alberta energy company, it is important to look into the reputation of any marketer you're seriously considering as your next choice of energy company. The first step is to do a simple search engine query. Most marketers in Alberta, whether major gas companies or electric companies, have online reviews published about them.

While online reviews matter, you should also remember that you shouldn't believe everything you read online. Once you've done some basic research on competitive gas and power companies in Alberta, ask your friends what marketers they use and what their experiences have been like. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to learn about the pitfalls and successes of many Alberta energy marketers.

Gathering rate quotes to compare

All you have to do to compare rates from several energy providers is to pick up the phone. is a great place to start if you're not sure what to ask when you're connected to an agent, but you'll still need to call in to actually get rates to compare. Take each of the offers you receive and weigh them carefully before making a final decision. With a little patience and background knowledge, making the right choice of an Alberta energy company isn't is hard as it looks.