4 Things To Consider When Shopping For Energy Rates

June 14, 2023

When it comes to choosing between shopping for energy rates and installing solar panels, the short term benefits of rate shopping may seem enticing. That said, solar should be one of the rates you consider when aiming to maximize your savings.  There are several nuances to energy rate shopping which may impact your decision between choosing alternative energy providers like Direct Energy, or going solar.

1. Additional Fees when Shopping Rates

While energy suppliers like Constellation and Town Square Energy provide rates as low as $0.12/kwh, keep in mind this is only applicable to a portion of the bill. Additional charges, such as customer service fees, fees for using the power lines, and taxes aren’t offset by the lower supply cost.  However, when you go solar, you can secure payments as low as $0.20 / kwh and wouldn’t incur additional charges.

2. Cancellation of Energy Suppliers May be Expensive

Before signing up for an energy provider, ensure you’ve read all the fine print around what it is to get out of the agreement. Some energy suppliers will charge you a monthly fee until your term is over, others may charge a hefty cancellation fee.

3. Shopping for Rates is Short Term.

The terms for agreements with energy suppliers typically range from 6 months to several years, at the end of which your rates may significantly increase. This adds the pressure of having to continually shop for rates, and still being subject to fluctuating utility payments. It also opens the door for skyrocketing rates at the end of a contract term.

4. Rate Shopping Doesn’t Protect from Outages

Shopping for energy rates leaves homeowners dependent on the power grid, making them vulnerable to outages and disruptions. In contrast, solar panels paired with an energy storage system, ensure you will still have power when the energy grid is down.


While shopping for energy rates may initially seem attractive, it falls short in terms of long-term cost-effectiveness, environmental impact, energy independence, and financial returns. By choosing solar panel installation, homeowners can secure a sustainable future while enjoying the benefits of renewable energy generation.

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