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Best Utility Provider in Calgary Area....?

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Apr 12, 2010
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Best Utility Provider in Calgary Area....?

Hi,

I was just wondering if anybody can advise me to go with the best utility provider. I'm currently with Alberta Energy Saving or Just Save or something else, as they have changed their name many time to fool people. I got hit by them when I was fool enough to sign a contract their door-to-door solicitor. I've suffered for 5 years and now I dont want to decide without any expert advice.

I heard Direct Energy are sort of scums. I'm seriously considering EasyMax program through Enmax. But I need to know the if this is cheapest/best electricity/Gas provider in Calgary... Also there are various options within that like a fixed/variable rate etc. what should I choose.. Any input will be appreciated.

My average monthly bill (gas/electricity) with AB Energy in winter is around $450 and in summer is around $250.

Thanks.
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Mar 13, 2003
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From everything I've read and heard Enmax is best. Direct Energy blows, but the alternatives are much worse. At least DE doesn't pretend they aren't bending you over.

Some months I'd use $3 in electricity yet my bill was $45 with DE. Welcome to Alberta. Glad I've since moved to SK...utilities are orders of magnitude cheaper here.
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We live about an hour North of Calgary , we used to be with Direct energy, but we had to watch the bills closely, now we've switched over to Enmax and no problem with them at all. our power and natural gas goes thru them.
[OP]
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Thanks for the input guys. So what do you think of Fix vs Floating rates. I'm thinking about getting electricity on fixed and natural gas on floating rates.
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Jan 7, 2009
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wow I didn't think rates had gotten that bad since 2004 when we were living outside medicine hat . We pay 180 a month for all city services ( gas power water garbage) . It's funny alot of people here complain about the rates .

I'd take a fixed rate myself , at least you would know your rates . Variable rates could be great one month and poor the next month and even higher when -30c hits . It's a gamble either way .
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Stampeders wrote:
Aug 15th, 2010 12:46 am
Thanks for the input guys. So what do you think of Fix vs Floating rates. I'm thinking about getting electricity on fixed and natural gas on floating rates.
Definitely floating. You'll win 9 times out of 10. The utility companies make their money on people who "just want to know their rate".
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scouzer wrote:
Aug 15th, 2010 10:43 am
Definitely floating. You'll win 9 times out of 10. The utility companies make their money on people who "just want to know their rate".
Even for the electricity? I was told it's better to go with fixed when it comes to electricity.
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Jan 14, 2007
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Anybody ever heard of spot power? Floating rate of .056/kwh in Calgary.

We're getting utilities hooked up for our new place soon and are seriously contemplating this company, even though I can't find much on them.
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Stampeders wrote:
Aug 19th, 2010 12:11 am
Even for the electricity? I was told it's better to go with fixed when it comes to electricity.
When you go with a fixed rate of any kind, you're essentially buying an insurance policy. 95% of the time, you'll lose.
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project240 wrote:
Aug 19th, 2010 8:05 am
Anybody ever heard of spot power? Floating rate of .056/kwh in Calgary.

We're getting utilities hooked up for our new place soon and are seriously contemplating this company, even though I can't find much on them.
I did a little research on them, and found them reasonably good. Since they don't charge any exit fee, they are worth a shot.
scouzer wrote:
Aug 19th, 2010 10:26 am
When you go with a fixed rate of any kind, you're essentially buying an insurance policy. 95% of the time, you'll lose.
understood. I lost thousands of dollars in fixed mortgage for past five years, so it's something that I'm hoping to change myself. Thanks for the advice.
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Oct 18, 2011
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scouzer wrote:
Aug 19th, 2010 10:26 am
When you go with a fixed rate of any kind, you're essentially buying an insurance policy. 95% of the time, you'll lose.
This thread is a year old, so I hope it brings a response.

I'm on easymax and want to know whether the fixed or floating rate is better. Surprisingly, nobody out there has put up any historical information (that I've been able to find so far) that would prove it one way or the other. The enmax rep that I'm dealing with (over some unrelated old billing issues) says that the fixed rate is "way lower". So I've just gone through the last six months or so of bills, and looking at the power cost alone the fixed rate (presently .08/kWh) would have been 7.8% cheaper than the floating rate we paid. It's an arbitrary sample, but I suspect it's reasonably representative. So this would seem to fall into the the winning 5%.

Based on this, we'll definitely switch to the fixed rate. Not just because it's cheaper, but because it'll add some measure of predictability to our power bills. As it is, the rate fluctuates wildly - between .06 and .13 - which makes budgeting really difficult. You'll get a reasonably good bill one month, then get the $h!t kicked out of you the next, even though your usage hasn't changed.

If anyone has (pointers to) any more solid (historical) information that would support or refute this, I'd sure like to hear about it.
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cheapestbastard wrote:
Oct 19th, 2011 7:00 pm
This thread is a year old, so I hope it brings a response.

I'm on easymax and want to know whether the fixed or floating rate is better. Surprisingly, nobody out there has put up any historical information (that I've been able to find so far) that would prove it one way or the other. The enmax rep that I'm dealing with (over some unrelated old billing issues) says that the fixed rate is "way lower". So I've just gone through the last six months or so of bills, and looking at the power cost alone the fixed rate (presently .08/kWh) would have been 7.8% cheaper than the floating rate we paid. It's an arbitrary sample, but I suspect it's reasonably representative. So this would seem to fall into the the winning 5%.

Based on this, we'll definitely switch to the fixed rate. Not just because it's cheaper, but because it'll add some measure of predictability to our power bills. As it is, the rate fluctuates wildly - between .06 and .13 - which makes budgeting really difficult. You'll get a reasonably good bill one month, then get the $h!t kicked out of you the next, even though your usage hasn't changed.

If anyone has (pointers to) any more solid (historical) information that would support or refute this, I'd sure like to hear about it.

Here's the rates:

https://www.spotpower.net/docs/electric ... Report.pdf

Floating is better on average. In Calgary it's pretty darn close, but in other areas it's a bit more.
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Oct 18, 2011
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scouzer wrote:
Oct 19th, 2011 11:37 pm
Here's the rates:

https://www.spotpower.net/docs/electric ... Report.pdf

Floating is better on average. In Calgary it's pretty darn close, but in other areas it's a bit more.
Thanks for this. But I'm not sure it can be trusted - I can't reconcile the numbers they're stating.

I'm on Fortis, so I'm looking at their "Residentail RRO" column. First of all, I've noted one (minor) error in the data - the rate for April 2011 is given as 11.544, but should actually be 11.540 . It's an insignificant difference, but indicates the numbers aren't 100% trustworthy. Second, I've tried to figure out how they arrive at the average given at the bottom of that column (7.729), and I can't reproduce it. It's not the 2011 year-to-date average - that's 9.098 . It's not the 2010/2011 average - that's 8.249 . It's not the 2009/2010/2011 average - that's 7.624 . And I even tried miscalculating the 2011 average by dividing the YTD total by 12 instead of 10, but it came out to 7.582 . Can you show how they arrived at the 7.729 ? If not, I don't think this table's conclusions can be considered valid.

The other problem is that taking simple averages doesn't yield any trend information. If the 2010 average is 6.589 , and the 2011 YTD average is 9.098 , prices are rising, and locking in at 8 cents makes a lot of sense. You can mentally graph the numbers (I haven't bothered to enter them into a spreadsheet), and the slope is obvious. Look at 2010 - the range is 5.419-8.723 . The 2011 range is 6.233-12.812 . Based on this, the fixed rate is the right thing to do. Easymax is flexible - if this trend reverses (unlikely), one can always bail out and go back to the RRO, but I don't think that's going to happen. Prices are going to continue to rise; even Redford (who's being called a red tory) isn't making any noises about re-regulating the electricity business in Alberta.
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cheapestbastard wrote:
Oct 20th, 2011 10:30 am
Thanks for this. But I'm not sure it can be trusted - I can't reconcile the numbers they're stating.

I'm on Fortis, so I'm looking at their "Residentail RRO" column. First of all, I've noted one (minor) error in the data - the rate for April 2011 is given as 11.544, but should actually be 11.540 . It's an insignificant difference, but indicates the numbers aren't 100% trustworthy. Second, I've tried to figure out how they arrive at the average given at the bottom of that column (7.729), and I can't reproduce it. It's not the 2011 year-to-date average - that's 9.098 . It's not the 2010/2011 average - that's 8.249 . It's not the 2009/2010/2011 average - that's 7.624 . And I even tried miscalculating the 2011 average by dividing the YTD total by 12 instead of 10, but it came out to 7.582 . Can you show how they arrived at the 7.729 ? If not, I don't think this table's conclusions can be considered valid.

The other problem is that taking simple averages doesn't yield any trend information. If the 2010 average is 6.589 , and the 2011 YTD average is 9.098 , prices are rising, and locking in at 8 cents makes a lot of sense. You can mentally graph the numbers (I haven't bothered to enter them into a spreadsheet), and the slope is obvious. Look at 2010 - the range is 5.419-8.723 . The 2011 range is 6.233-12.812 . Based on this, the fixed rate is the right thing to do. Easymax is flexible - if this trend reverses (unlikely), one can always bail out and go back to the RRO, but I don't think that's going to happen. Prices are going to continue to rise; even Redford (who's being called a red tory) isn't making any noises about re-regulating the electricity business in Alberta.

FWIW, I put my mom on fixed rate electricity with Enmax. The gas is floating which is *significantly* cheaper.
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May 1, 2003
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scouzer wrote:
Aug 19th, 2010 10:26 am
When you go with a fixed rate of any kind, you're essentially buying an insurance policy. 95% of the time, you'll lose.

You just need to know prices, historical and predicted.
I locked in at $0.07/kWh a few years ago and haven't seen it any lower.

Natural gas prices though fluctuate way too much though. Didn't lock that in, and not sure if I ever would.
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