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As a customer, you may wonder when the best time is to shop for energy and suppliers often may struggle to provide a clear answer. This is where you can take control. Knowledge is power! In this article, we will provide you with the energy terms you should know and understand as a small business or homeowner.

Common Terms

GRT – Gross Receipt Tax: Pennsylvania imposes this tax for used electric energy. It is based on a percentage of energy usage. This is also a factor when it comes to pricing, as some electric utilities include this in their price to compare.

Heat Load and Flat Load: Heat load means that most of the natural gas used is during the wintertime and not during the summertime. A flat load is when the amount of natural gas that is used throughout the year stays more consistent throughout the year – one example would be restaurants that use natural gas for cooking all year long.

Price to Compare: Knowing the price to compare is very important because this is the number you, as a customer, will use to compare apples to apples. The price to compare is your local gas utility’s price. Not every state is required to list its price to compare.

When to Shop for Natural Gas?

The real question is, when is demand down for natural gas? Think about it, when does everyone turn off their heat for the winter? Summertime can often be a good time for the customer to shop around.

One thing you want to keep in mind is your need to protect your price during the wintertime. Watch out for time frames on these offers. If a supplier has a great offer starting in May for six months, that means your contract will end in October. This could leave you open to a variable deal during the winter with high market prices, just at the time when you will be using the most gas.

January and February tend to be peak months for natural gas use. Key factors to look for: Watch when you’re signing up for that low rate and for how long the term of the contract is to make sure you’re protecting your pricing through the winter months.

When to Shop for Electric?

Again, the same question goes for electricity: when is demand down? As the warmer air moves in, demand goes up mostly due to air conditioning units. The peak months for power tend to be July and August. These may not be good months to shop around for power. Fall and springtime tend to be good times to shop for power, but nothing is guaranteed.

You will need to ask this very important question: is GRT included in your supplier’s pricing?  You will want to compare the utility price to your supplier offer and make sure that you know if GRT is included in each to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. You also want to keep an eye out for the term of the contract. Make sure that the contract price covers your property over the summer so that you do not need to renew your contract during peak times or fall out of contract at the time when you will be using the most electricity.

We hope this article has provided you with some insight into when the best time is to shop for your energy. You can check your pricing today on our website by visiting our Home Energy Enrollment page or our Commercial Energy Enrollment page. Contact us for more information and to discuss your options. We look forward to working with you!