Home utilities, like gas and power, often operate on the pay-and-forget model. You get a check and you pay it off each month. If you use digital services like Bill Pay, you probably just tick an item off the list of your bank statement, and little more. If prices suddenly skyrocket, you take a look at your thermostat or start using your fireplace more or less, but you rarely consider changing services — if you even have that option at all.
Companies like Constellation Energy are working to mix up the energy market a little by taking a different, more customer-friendly approach to selling electricity, gas and other resources. Constellation, which is owned by Exelon, is a curious amalgamation of traditional utility supplier, renewable energy company, and energy services business.
If you are looking for most cost-effective utilities, it’s time to see if Constellation Energy offers its unique packages in your area.
Green and Lean, Not Mean
On the commercial side, Constellation Energy offers electricity and natural gas procurement/supply services to other businesses, around 100,000 across the United States. But it’s on the residential side that things start to get interesting because Constellation has built up its services with the customer in mind, a model that many overstretched utility companies have not pursued. For its customers in the northeastern states (plus Texas, Georgia and a few other select states), Constellation directly offers some of the lowest prices around, as well as some of the easiest access to the latest renewable energy sources.
In 2013, the company added 38 megawatts of solar generation to its services in key markets like Arizona, California and New York, so if utilities use solar power to produce electricity for commercial enterprises, it is likely that Constellation Energy is a downstream supplier anyway.
The company also works with wind farms and studies residential uses of electricity to help its customers and clients drop their kilowatt-hours and save money.
Constellation Energy: Power and Pricing
Down to business. What can Constellation offer for your house?
One of the most interesting things about the company is that it allows you to purchase a variety of utilities, as well as energy-saving services, without going to several different vendors. This combination is divided into several key categories.
Electricity: Constellation’s packages vary based on what services are around you. In other words, there is no guarantee that your electricity will come from a green energy source, but Constellation tries to work with all the green companies in the regions where it offers services. In every one of these states, Constellation provides the typical fixed rate plans. In some states, the company also has the option to offer variable rate plans, which follow the energy market. Variable rate plans can lead to lower prices in a healthy energy market, although, they lack the dependability of fixed rate plans.
Natural Gas: Constellation Energy is also one of the three top suppliers of natural gas in the U.S. Natural gas is highly energy efficiency in its own right, and Constellation also offers its fixed rate plans with variable rate packages available where possible.
Renewable Energy: Constellation’s specialization is wind farms, which it manages through the East Cost PJM Interconnection grid. If you live near one of the wind farms, Constellation will use it to give you renewable — and often lower-cost — power. There are also plenty of renewable energy resources for Constellation to enter in the future, including biomass, hydroelectricity, and geothermal power plants.
Home Services: In select markets, Constellation Energy also offers home services to help residential homeowners find unique ways to save energy, provide backup services for data, and advise you on surge protection and other issues you may worry about.
Making Residential Payments
As you might expect of a modern, innovative energy company, Constellation has a large number of payment options. You can make online payment with the card or bank account of your choice, or set up a recurring bank draft. You can also pay by phone, snail mail, or through online management services like myAccount.
However, the best options are unique online deals that net you something extra in return for signing up with Constellation Energy, such as a $75 reward card and a locked-in electricity rate. The company will also take care of calling up your old provider and handling the details of the switch.