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Signed Up With Washington Gas Energy Services
Posted By Jim On 06/08/2006 @ 1:34 pm In Government,Personal Finance | 37 Comments
When a company offers 10% off summer rates and 3% off winter rates for a year on electricity, you usually want to jump at the opportunity to save a few bucks. (There are catches; you need to sign up for at least a year) You definitely want to sign up when you know rates are going to be readjusted upwards of seventy-something percent on July 1st and that’s exactly what I did last night.
The signup on their website  was painless and took about two minutes. The only hiccup I saw was a button that said “Add more Wind Power” but no information about how much that would cost. Had it cost nothing, I would’ve added as much wind power as possible but right now it’s at the standard level of 5%. (The site does say “5% of your electricity is generated from clean, efficient WIND POWER at no additional charge to you!” so I assumed to add more would cost more)
If you received a direct mailing from WGES, look for an offer code on the front of it above your name. If you enter in that code you can get more favorable rates. A friend of mine had an offer code that gave him 12% off summer rates for a year.
Why wouldn’t everyone do this? You can’t spread that price increase in power costs across a number of years, as the original plan with BG&E offered. Since the price hike was so sudden (at least publicly, it was on the books for four years) and a lot of families are likely unable to sustain the shock of it, you can spread the increase over a number of years (I forget now if there’s an interest penalty associated with it). If you are unable to withstand an increase (and subsequent discount provided by WGES), then you don’t want to take this plan. You want some sort of deferred increase plan.
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