You Have Questions, We Have Answers!

I can actually choose a different energy supplier than my utility?

The deregulation of the utility industry means that your utility is required, by law, to allow you to purchase energy from any supplier and transport this to your meter.

Why would I choose another energy supplier?

It’s cheaper. By purchasing the energy you need from a competing supplier, you can buy at a lower rate. The combined cost of buying your energy from an alternative vendor and paying the utility to transport the energy to your account can be substantially less than buying the energy directly from your utility at “retail rates.”

How can it be cheaper?

Energy Cooperative is aggregating a group of customers that allows us to purchase electricity in large quantities directly from the generators. Also, New York State is encouraging customers to buy from companies like Energy Cooperative by reducing the taxes on the electricity, and through various rate incentives. This assists Energy Cooperative in providing discounts to our customers.

Who is the Energy Cooperative of America?

The Energy Cooperative of America is a not-for-profit corporation created by a group of businesses that use energy. We buy energy at wholesale prices and pass the discounts onto our members.

Can't I just buy this energy myself?

Purchasing energy as a transportation customer is a complex undertaking; you have to track your company’s usage, and “balance” your order throughout the month. If you order too much, your local utility can assess penalties against you. If you order too little, you may be charged high rates on the makeup energy. These charges can cancel out the advantages of purchasing transport energy altogether.

How does the Energy Cooperative buy its energy?

The Cooperative combines the accounts of all its members into one group and then hires a consultant, Fluent, to provide the specialized buying services to us. Previous to the Cooperative, it was necessary to have a truly huge energy bill or multiple accounts to afford the cost and overhead of engaging an energy consultant. By providing an energy billing service to our members, the Cooperative in effect becomes a single customer with a single bill and a single relationship with the consultant.

I'm seeing ads from gas brokers or gas marketers, how do they fit into this?

A marketer or broker buys energy at the lowest price it can obtain and resells the energy at the highest price the market will bear. They will have a whole different incentive than a cooperative that returns any profits back to its members.

How is the Cooperative service different from the service provided by other energy suppliers?

The Cooperative is different. The Cooperative provides an “energy management” service that provides its members the best prices we can get. Fees are a flat rate based on volume, (currently $0.11 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) for natural gas and $0.0012 per Kwh for electricity), there is no incentive to have our member buy energy at higher prices. The Cooperative provides you with access to an on-staff natural energy procurement expert, at minimal cost, and with your best interests at heart. Any surplus of profits (if any) are returned to the members based on the members proportion of the total Cooperative’s consumption.

What is the benefit from that difference in service?

The Cooperative works to minimize your total fuel costs (this includes the combination of the supplier costs, the transportation costs and the management costs) The Cooperative uses its group buying power to negotiate superior pricing so each new member enhances our purchasing power and yours as well. Through our consultant’s advanced proprietary software, the Cooperative offers cost management analysis, and responsiveness, while keeping overhead costs low. The Cooperative’s commitment to integrity, performance, quality, and responsiveness is real and demonstrated.

How do I enroll?

Select from the “Sign Up” button located at the top of this screen.

How will I be billed?

Commercial Customers – If you are currently receiving services from National Grid , NYSEG, or RG&E you will continue to receive an invoice from them. This invoice will be for the transportation of the electricity and or gas; and you will receive an invoice from Energy Cooperative for the actual supply of the electric and or gas. If you are a business in the National Fuel service area you will receive one invoice from the Energy Cooperative. National Fuel will no longer be billing you.

For residential National Fuel, NationalGrid, NYSEG and RG&E residential customers you will continue to receive the same invoice from the utility that you currently receive as billing is done in a one bill model.

Is there a fee for switching?

No, there are no fees for enrolling in the program. If you are not completely satisfied with our service or the savings you receive, you can return to the traditional utility service.

Will my electric and or gas service continue as usual?

Yes. The utility company will continue to read your meter and deliver the energy to your home or business. In the event of an emergency or issues regarding service, you will still contact the utility directly.