For years, Energy Plus has had standard 5,000, 7,500, and 12,000 miles offers with several award programs in exchange for selecting them as your energy supplier. They’ve recently increased their United offer to a best ever 25,000 miles (update 9/1/13 – down to 7.500) and their AA offer to a best ever 20,000 miles (update 9/1/13 – down to 5,000 miles). Miles are awarded after your second month of service and there are no cancellation fees. Sounds great right? When the deals were for 5,000-12,000 miles, I recommended avoiding the promotion at all costs, it just wasn’t worth the hassle or the money. With the higher mileage offers, I’d still recommend against getting into bed with this slimy company, but the deals can be tempting, even for the outrageous rates you’ll incur. At least be aware of the following experiences:
Me: My first month with them my overall electric bill was $6.47 more than the previous month and $6.76 more than the same month in the previous year. My second month the variable delivery rates skyrocketed and my bill was $21.37 more than the previous month and $22.89 more than the same month the previous year. There was no change in my electricity usage. My miles posted about 3 days after the second bill and I called Con Edison to immediately switch my service back over. Unfortunately, it can take 30-60 days to switch your service provider. Lucky for me, it took only one additional billing cycle after I called ConEd’s customer service department to push the switch through as fast as possible…but what a final cycle it was! My bill was $56.81 more than the previous month and $59.91 more than the same month in the previous year. Just for analysis, if we assume that I would have had no change in rates from the previous year had I stayed with ConEd, then I spent $88.04 for 20,000 AAdvantage miles. Actually pretty good, but mine is one of the better stories. It seems that Energy Plus is running a classic bait and switch, with rates for several customers doubling or tripling after the first month…
Colleague in NJ: The first month charged 6.7 cents/kwh, second month charged 10 cents/kwh, third month charged 16.3 cents/kwh (cancelled but had one final month), fourth month charged 19.6 cents/kwh. He estimates that the total cost for him compared to the same months in the previous year was $298.65 for his 25,000 UA miles.
Friend in IL (compared to same month from prior year): The first month charged only $2.87 more, month two charged $12.61 more, month three charged $98.87 more, month four charged $149.54 more…all based on variable delivery charges. Total was $263.89 for 25,000 UA miles.
If you decide to switch, know that you’ll essentially be paying for your miles. Make sure you CANCEL as soon as the miles hit your account after your second month of service. You should then be able to transition back to your original energy provider by month four. However, there is no telling how high your rates will be in month three and four. Also note that there is a class action law suit pending against Energy Plus for their bait and switch practices.
If you are in NJ there is a little bit less risk as the updated T&Cs specific for NJ state –For your first 3 months as a new Energy Plus customer, you’ll receive a special electric supply rate that is at least 5% lower than your utility’s current supply rate. You will receive a promotional supply rate for your first 3 billing cycles. After the first 3 billing cycles, this promotional supply rate will expire. Thereafter, you will be charged a variable supply rate that is subject to change each billing cycle based on various factors as described in your Terms of Service and may be different, including higher, than your utility’s supply rate. You can cancel at any time without a cancellation fee. Current and historical rates should not be taken as a guarantee of future rates and we make no warranty, express or implied, regarding future savings.
In other news, this marks my 500 post on Point Me to the Plane! Thanks so much for your readership!!!
Update – The UA link will only offer 25K miles for residents in NY, NJ, CT, IL, TX.