Making the Switch Deciding on a New ESCO

Saving money is always a top concern of any co-op or condo board, but with tough economic times and high fuel prices, saving on energy costs can be a challenge. Thanks to deregulation of the New York energy market a little over a decade ago, boards and managers have a wide array of options for energy delivery—many of which can yield significant savings.

According to Mark Loughlin, vice president and CFO of FFC Energy in Brooklyn, energy was deregulated because monopolies in the market had energy customers up in arms. “The consumers complained that they didn't have a choice in providers. It was monopolized for many years until the Public Service Commission gave the other companies a chance to sell at the same time and offer consumers a choice. It was about having the power to choose.”

So what's the best way to choose a new energy service company (ESCO) and find a good deal, if you're looking to switch?

Doing the Right Research

If you're just starting out in the process of researching ESCOs, a good place to begin might be the New York State Public Service Commission's (PSC) website at www.dps.state.ny.us, or www.newyorkpowertochoose.com, or Con Edison's ConEd Solutions at www.conedsolutions.com or Con Ed’s www.poweryourway.com. There you can find a listing of current ESCOs eligible to sell energy in New York and current plans and current promotional offers. It's a good idea to check the price per kilowatt hour of several companies you may be considering to give you a beginning basis for comparison, and see if the ESCO is offering any incentives to new customers, and if the prices quoted include taxes. ESCOs are known to offer discounts to entice customers to switch. Check the individual websites for more information.

Nate Kessman, vice president of business development for Great Eastern Energy in Brooklyn, says boards and managers should keep a few important tips in mind before choosing an ESCO.

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