You are a great host and don’t nickel-and-dime your guests by charging extra for utilities, such as electricity or gas. That is definitely understandable. Unfortunately, this type of arrangement does not incentivize your guests to conserve energy and, as a result, your utility bills could get quite high.
We all heard the horror stories of bitcoin miners who stay in Airbnb apartments to take advantage of the “utilities are included” arrangement, racking up large electricity bills in the process.
So, is there anything you can do to mitigate the energy costs while providing great hosting experience aside from charging extra for utilities?
One of the simplest (and free) ways to do this is to take advantage of the competition brought about by energy deregulation.
Very few hosts realize that they have a choice at all when it comes to their electricity options to reduce energy bills.
But consumers in a number of U.S. states can now take advantage of the competition created by the deregulation of energy and reduce their utility bills by switching from a variable to a more budget-certain fixed rate and even, in some cases, getting green electricity at no extra cost.
If you’re in one of the 17 states that already has electricity choice, here’s how to get started.
The Benefits Of Deregulation
Deregulation of many industries, such as airline and telecommunication, brought a number of benefits for the consumer, including more products, better services and lower prices. Driven by increased competition, consumer behavior changed, placing heavy emphasis on comparing prices and rates, thus explaining the popularity of travel comparison sites, like Kayak and Expedia.
Now that the energy industry is also deregulated in a number of states, including Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and many others, there are more options than ever for hosts when it comes to utilities. New electricity suppliers have reduced prices and added product features not available by established utility companies, including budget-certain fixed-rate plans and renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro and wind.
More importantly, hosts now have a choice and can compare and select an energy supplier the same exact way they select and compare hotel rates and airlines fares.
Understanding Your Electricity Service
Your electricity service consists of two parts, delivery and supply. Since the delivery part is managed by your local utility, which owns the wires that go into your house, you can’t change that part.
You can, however, choose who supplies your electricity. If you don’t make any choice at all, the default supplier is the local utility — and most charge a variable rate that can fluctuate month to month at the utility’s discretion. This is where hosts can potentially realize big savings.
Three Things To Look For When Making A Switch to Reduce Energy Bills
You will get the same exact bill are you already getting from your utility company, simply reflecting your new supplier on the second page. Just remember that while your new supplier is going to supply your electricity, your utility company is still responsible for the delivery portion of your service, which also includes any maintenance or service interruptions.
If you’re thinking about a switch, here are three things to consider:
1. Look To Reduce Overall Utility Bills
The primary reason for comparing and choosing your own electricity supplier is to reduce your electric bill. As many suppliers compete for your business, you can often find great deals with low rates that are much lower than the variable rate you are being charged by your utility.
2. Switch From Variable To Fixed
If you are unaware of your energy options and don’t choose your electricity supplier, your local utility will supply your electricity by default and, most likely, will charge you a variable rate. That variable rate might fluctuate from month to month and could be quite volatile. So, the benefit of switching to a fixed-rate plan is to have a piece of mind that the rate you’ll be paying will stay the same for the duration of your contract.
3. Opt For Green Electricity At No Extra Cost
While the option to switch to green electricity, such as solar, does exist for some hosts, it usually comes at a price, at least initially. For example, if you would like to install solar panels on the roof of your house, you would need to invest significant time, effort and capital to implement that option.
Now, many hosts that are located in energy-deregulated states can have green electricity running through in no time for zero initial investment, as more and more competing plans come with free green options, such as wind.
So, go ahead and take advantage of the competition, compare electricity rates in your area, reduce your energy bills, switch from a variable rate and go green in the process at no extra cost.
This article is courtesy of PowerSetter.com. PowerSetter.com is a free online service, enabling hosts to reduce energy bills and get green electricity at no extra cost by instantly comparing electricity rates from all available suppliers in the area.