How to Get Exactly What You Need When Renewing an Energy Plan

Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are states where energy is deregulated. That means consumers get to choose their energy supplier. It’s a serious advantage that allows consumers to shop around to find the energy plan that best fits their needs, budget and lifestyle.

But finding that plan can be a challenge. Many people opt to simply stick with what they have rather than spend hours hunting down different plans and comparing all the points. It’s particularly difficult when you don’t even know what options could be possible or what all you should be comparing.

We’d like to suggest another solution that’s almost as easy and will help ensure you get an energy plan that’s right for you. That solution is to give your customer care team a call when it’s time to renew. 

Why You Should Talk With Customer Service Before Renewing Your Energy Plan

Let’s imagine that your energy plan is coming to an end in a month. You have a few options. You could stay with the current plan if possible, renew with a different plan from the same supplier or switch to a new plan from a new provider. 

The only thing is you’re not sure what the best option would be, and you’re not quite sure where to start in order to figure it out. In a time when it seems like almost anything can be done online, there are some key benefits to taking things offline and calling your energy supplier. 

You’ll Save Time Securing a Plan

The top reason to contact the customer service department when it’s time to renew your energy plan is because it’s a time-saver. Instead of hunting down information yourself, you can spend a few minutes and a customer service rep can give you all the info you need.

You can start by explaining what you’re looking for in an energy plan. The customer service team member can then explain the key points of your current plan, let you know if you qualify to renew the plan, fill you in on new options that may better suit your needs and answer any questions that you have. 

It’s the absolute quickest way to figure out what your provider has to offer and if the plan you have now is still the best option. 

You Can Line Up a Long-Term Plan So There’s No Worrying Over the Winter

Something to discuss with a customer service rep is the term length of the plan. The last thing New England energy consumers want is to have to switch plans in the middle of winter. It isn’t the time when you want your energy supply to be in question, and it can be costly to start a plan given that energy rates increase when the weather turns cold. 

How long you can lock in a fixed rate plan is just as important as the rate itself given that energy prices tend to increase over time. For consumers in the northeast, it’s highly advisable to secure energy for the long haul by opting for a plan that will get you through the winter months and into the spring. Talking with a customer service rep you’ll be able to weigh the various factors and determine the term length that will be the most advantageous. You may be surprised to find there are more options than you realized. It can range from month-to-month plans all the way out to 24-month plans.  

It Helps Your Supplier Provide Better Services

At Provider Power we encourage customers to reach out all the time, including when it’s time to renew. You’ll not only get personalized assistance with locating plans and deals, you’ll also help us improve the services we provide. 

Simply discussing your needs and what you’re looking for in a plan helps us determine what to offer customers. It gives us insight into how we can do a better job of meeting your needs and the needs of other people in the area. 

If you’re thinking about switching energy providers for some reason it can give your current supplier the opportunity to keep your business by offering you a better deal or fixing an issue that you’ve had with the service. 

In short, if we’re not living up to your expectations we want to know so we can make it right. Any good energy supplier is going to do what they can to meet their customer’s needs, but it’s up to the customer to let those needs be known. And there’s a chance that whatever the issue is it could be a hangup for other customers, so speaking up can help out others as well. 

Are you an existing Provider Power customer? Then we want to hear from you! Our team wants to know how you feel about your current energy plan, what you need as an energy consumer, issues you have figuring out your options and any concerns you have about energy use. And if you’re trying to choose an energy supplier our customer care team is happy to explain what sets Provider Power apart. 

Our goal is for every customer to feel secure and satisfied with their energy plan so it’s one less thing they have to worry about. We’re an energy supplier that’s here for you!

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Importance of Customer Care and User-Friendly Accounts for Energy Consumers

Energy is an important part of your everyday life. Without it our homes aren’t livable, many of us can’t do our work and a person’s health can even be compromised. You rely on energy, which means you need an energy supplier with a solid customer care team you can rely on as well. 

At Provider Power we’ve prioritized customer care because we understand it’s the most valuable aspect of the service we provide. Others can deliver electricity and gas to a home or business, but other providers can’t match our level of customer support. Here’s a closer look at why customer care is so important for energy consumers and how user-friendly accounts can make managing energy use even easier.

Why Customer Care is Critical for Energy Consumers

Electricity and gas are basic necessities. Without them, going about your normal daily life is difficult. That’s why when you have a question or an issue with your energy supply, it needs to be addressed quickly. 

A quality customer service team can also help you: 

Get the Best Energy Plan for Your Needs

No one knows our energy plans and how they compare to the competition like our customer care team. Let them know what you need out of an energy plan, and they can provide suggestions, including recommendations for short-term and long-term periods. 

Find Out About the Latest Offers and Deals

Want to know about all of the latest offers and deals that are available through Provider Power? Then contact the customer care team. They have all the details on the latest offers and specials that you can take advantage of to make every kilowatt-hour that’s used more affordable.  

Renew, Update or Switch Plans With Ease

Is it time to renew your energy plan? We make renewing, updating and switching energy plans easy whether or not you’re a current Provider Power customer. All you have to do is let the representative know the plan you want to sign up for and we’ll handle everything else.

Your Opinion Can Improve the Customer Experience

Your experience interacting with the customer care team matters. We want to know if we’re meeting your expectations and where we might be falling short. Hearing from our customers is the best way for us to improve the support we provide, because that’s our #1 goal. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on:

  • What we’re getting right.
  • What needs to be improved and how.
  • If you can’t find information.
  • If an account tool isn’t intuitive to use.
  • Ideas for how to improve the account portal.

Basically, we want to hear what you have to say about anything related to your energy use. 

Leaving reviews is also helpful for our customer care team and other potential clients. Reviews provide valuable feedback on the customer experience so we can where improvements can be made. Consumers appreciate honest reviews that provide insight on what it’s like to work with Provider Power. 

Advanced Online Account Features Make Energy Management Easier

If you want to better understand how you use energy, where you can save energy and track energy use over time our online accounts are an excellent resource. Through your account you can also: 

  • Access all of your energy bills and records in one place for easy review.
  • Manage your energy plan and make updates.
  • Send messages to the customer care team.

See what makes Provider Power stand out as a best-in-class energy supplier. Contact our customer care team for personal assistance selecting an energy plan or signing up for service. We’ll handle everything else so you can seamlessly switch energy plans without any service disruptions. 

Use a zip code to find available Provider Power plans in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire!

Get in Touch With Customer Service

Want personal assistance signing up for an energy plan or need help getting a question answered? Contact the customer care team Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm Central.


  • Electricity Maine- (866) 573-2674
  • ENH Power- (800) 549-6160
  • Provider Power Mass- (888) 346-4080



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Securing Energy for the Long-Haul

Maybe it’s because a new school year is starting soon or the seasons are changing, but the end of summer is a time when a lot of people get things lined up for the rest of the year and beyond. It’s as if the summer playtime is over and it’s time to get back to business.

As an energy consumer, getting back to business should include taking a look at your current energy plan and how that vital service can be secured for the months to come. Here are some things to think about as you consider your energy needs for the months ahead. 

Why Locking in a Long-Term Energy Plan is a Good Idea

First, let’s go over why securing energy for the long-term is important. There are three primary reasons why it’s usually a good idea to lock in an energy plan for the long-haul:

Energy Prices Are Volatile and Can Change at Any Time

Energy is what’s known as a volatile commodity. That means pricing is not consistent. The price of energy can go up or down at any time, sometimes significantly. Part of the reason for the volatility is that energy is a global commodity that is impacted by many different factors, some of which can’t be controlled whatsoever. 

Energy Rates Have Trended Higher Historically

When you look at energy rates over the long-term you’ll notice a trend. The cost of electricity and natural gas is getting more expensive. It may drop slightly from one season to the next every now and then, but overall the trend is upward. The latest electricity rate stats from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) paint a pretty clear picture. The year-over-year rates increased in every region of the U.S. New England experienced the biggest increase by far. 

More Predictable Monthly Expenses

Locking in a rate for the long-term makes monthly energy expenses more predictable. You won’t be worried about a world event or storm that could send your energy rate skyrocketing the next month. 

Energy Plan Term Lengths

Energy plans have a lot of variables, and the term length is one of them. Below is an overview of some common term lengths for energy plans.


Month-to-month plans offer the least amount of security since the duration is only a month. These types of energy plans do have their place. If you are living somewhere short-term or you know you will be relocating soon, then a month-to-month plan may make the most sense for the moment. It’s also easy to switch providers if you find a great fixed energy rate because there are no termination fees.

12 Months/Yearly/Annual

You’ll be able to find annual energy plans with virtually every provider. It’s a very common term length for energy plans, which many people select as they budget for the year ahead. 

18 Months

You’ll also find longer 18-month energy plans with some providers. Energy savvy consumers will sometimes choose an 18-month plan based on the season to try to lock in the best fixed rate for an extended period. 

24 Months

The longest term many energy providers offer is 24-month energy plans. This term length can offer the most security because you will be set for two years. It’s a good option for homeowners that know they aren’t moving any time soon. 

How the Rate Type Impacts Energy Security

Another variable that directly affects energy security is the type of rate for the plan. Today, providers are coming up with inventive plans that base rates on a lot of different things including demand, how much energy is used and the days when energy is used the most. 

You’ll find a lot of rate structures, but there are four primary types of rates you’ll see for an energy plan:

Fixed Rate

A fixed rate is just like it sounds. You’ll be charged a certain amount per kilowatt-hour no matter what. This is the rate that is going to give you the most energy security because you know exactly how much energy will cost for the entire length of the plan. You’ll also get seasonal price protection because the rate doesn’t change with the season. 

Variable Rate

There are also variable rates that can change. There are different types of variable rates, but traditionally variable rate plans have energy rates that can change from month to month. The rate from month to month is going to be based on the current market prices for your area or some other factor selected by the retail energy provider.

Time-of-Use Rate

The rate for a time-of-use energy plan is all based on when you are using electricity. Typically, a time-of-use plan will have 2-3 time blocks with different rates. For example, a time-of-use plan could have a rate of: 

$0.14 per kilowatt-hour between the hours of 6am and 2pm

$0.17 per kilowatt-hour between the hours of 2pm and 9pm

$0.10 per kilowatt-hour between the hours of 9pm and 6am  

Tiered Rate

This is another type of variable rate. But in this case the rate is based on how much energy you use in a billing period. You’ll start each billing cycle at the lowest rate (tier 1). Once you exceed the baseline allowance of energy use the rate goes up to tier 2. The baseline allowance of a tiered rate is based on the season, so some months you may be more likely to pay tier 2 or tier 3 rates. 

Securing a Long-Term Energy Plan

Securing a long-term energy plan that makes expenses more predictable isn’t hard. As a consumer switching energy providers doesn’t require much effort. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Look over your electric bill to find the current rate and term length details, paying careful attention to when the current plan expires.
  • Make note of any fees that are associated with ending the plan early (early termination fee). 
  • Check to see what the average energy rates are in your market area and/or state.
  • Compare rates, term lengths, benefits and customer ratings for your top provider picks.
  • Select a provider and plan that best meets your needs. 
  • Sign up for the plan online or over the phone.
  • Sit back and let your new energy supplier handle the rest.

Switching energy providers really is that easy. Your new provider will make arrangements with the old supplier and local utility to make sure you experience no interruption in service. 

Rebates That Help You Save No Matter What Energy Plan You Have

Securing energy for the long-haul goes beyond your plan. Making your home as energy efficient as possible is an effective way to keep energy use under control every season. Lowering energy consumption also helps to secure electric grids that are maxed out. 

Currently, there are a lot of incentives and rebates available to help people make energy efficiency improvements. They are offered at the federal, state and local levels. Below are rebate resources for customers in Provider Power market areas:

Rebates for Maine Energy Consumers

Rebates for Massachusetts Energy Consumers

Rebates for New Hampshire Energy Consumers

Provider Power wants every customer to enjoy energy security. Give our team a call to discuss your energy needs and we can give you guidance on what options will work best!

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Healthy Ways to Cool Down Without Increasing Your Energy Bill

It’s summer again, which means one thing is certain – heat. After a reprieve in the spring, energy consumers are once again thinking about how the seasonal shift in the weather might impact their energy use and monthly electric bills. For many people, the goal in summer is finding the happy place between physical comfort and financial comfort.

We’re helping consumers find the balance so that energy costs don’t get out of control. There are many hacks for reducing air conditioner use, but you can also make lifestyle choices that make it easier to get through the hottest months. Below are five healthy ways you can cool down this summer without using any extra electricity.

Cold Plunge in the Bathtub or Shower

If you’re into the latest health crazes you’ve probably familiar with cold therapy. Many studies now show that there are significant therapeutic benefits to exposing your body to the cold for short periods. In particular, cold water immersion is highly beneficial beyond cooling you down quickly.

Research shows that exposure to cold water can lead to increases in dopamine production, better management of stress, improved insulin sensitivity, protection against cardiovascular diseases and more. Plus, it’s a great way to cool down without using energy since the hot water heater won’t kick on.

True cold water immersion is when you fill a tub with very cold water and sit in the bold water up to your neck for 1-3 minutes. That’s the first piece of good news – it doesn’t take long to feel the positive effects. The other piece of good news is you can get benefits in the shower as well. Instead of sitting in a tub you can stand under the cold water for 1-3 minutes. It’s best to have the water hitting your head or the back of your neck for the biggest health benefits.

What’s most important is the water should be uncomfortably cold, but not freezing. Of course, if you’re trying to chill out during the hot summer months the cold water will be more refreshing than frigid.

Bring Down Your Body Temperature With Breathing

Another healthy habit that’s getting a lot of attention lately is breathwork. Meditation and yoga practitioners have long stated the importance of proper breathing techniques that can be used on their own to relax the body and bring core temperature down.

Deep breathing is considered an effective stress reducer that calms the mind and body. If nothing else, breathing techniques activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which has a calming effect that makes dealing with the heat a lot easier.

One common breathing technique to calm down quickly is deep breathing through one nostril only. You cover one nostril completely, take four deep breaths and then repeat on the other side. Another easy breathing technique is to breathe in deeply through the nose, take another short inhale to completely fill the lungs then slowly breathe out through the mouth.

Surprisingly, a few studies suggest that meditation isn’t the best practice for cooling down. Tibetan monks who are experts at meditation can actually increase their body temperature while meditating.

Stay Hydrated With Cool Water

When you’re hot you may be tempted to pour a glass of ice cold water, but that could end up making you hotter. Research studying hydration in athletes found that cool, not ice cold, water was the most effective at cooling people down. The body’s natural cooling system (sweating) appears to regulate the quickest when a person drinks cool water. Ice cold water might actually increase your temperature as the body works to melt the ice and warm up the cold water.

Eat Plenty of Fruits and Veggies

Summer and popsicles are a classic combination that people of all ages can enjoy, but it isn’t the best way to bring your body temperature down. Instead reach for chilled fruits and vegetables with a high water content. It turns out foods like watermelon are a great way to beat the heat from the inside.

Fruits and vegetables will help you stay hydrated, plus they have minerals that can keep your body balanced for improved body temperature regulation. There’s also very little fat and protein in fruits and vegetables, which is easier for the body to process.

Use Cold Packs Strategically

It turns out there is a way to cool the entire body down by applying cold to the right spots on the body. But where the cold should be applied may surprise you. For years, when someone was overheating we rushed to cover as much of their body with cold water or ice packs as possible thinking that the more they were exposed to cold the better it would be for cooling down. In particular, the focus was cooling down the person’s head.

We now know it’s actually best to place ice packs on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet to cool someone down quickly. The hands and feet are where the highest rate of blood flow occurs, and it’s also where we have special blood vessels that are highly effective at heat removal. As blood moves through the hands and feet it cools the blood that then circulates back to the warm core of the body helping to cool you down. You can also place cold packs on the cheeks and neck to cool yourself down even quicker.

Keep cool this summer with a predictable fixed rate energy plan from Provider Power. See which plans are currently available in your area!

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Save Energy Exploring New England’s Coastal Towns This Spring

One of the best things about spring is the great weather. It’s perfect for taking a day trip or a weekend getaway to explore a nearby locale. Getting out to explore new places is beneficial in a lot of ways, including for your energy bill. 

Right now is prime travel time for people in the northeast who want to explore New England’s uniquely beautiful coastline. There are dozens of quaint villages with tons of character as well as bustling vacation spots that attract people from all over the country. No matter what type of experience you’re looking for, we’ve found seven New England coastal towns that won’t disappoint. Plus, we’ve provided a few suggestions for saving energy while you’re away.  

New to New England? This checklist for moving to New England will help you get things done so you have time to tour around the area. 

7 New England Coastal Towns to Explore in Spring

Nantucket, Massachusetts

If you’re looking for a beach town, Nantucket is the perfect spot. New England isn’t known for its beaches, but Nantucket is one of the exceptions. Most notable is that every square foot of the beaches are public. There’s also a lot of variety in one place. You can find gentle waves at Children’s Beach or sizable waves on the south shore. If you want to get close to the sealife, make time to visit the Coatue Wildlife Refuge.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Want more of a vintage beach vibe? You can’t get better than Cape Cod. It’s actually a collection of small towns that have largely remained unchanged for decades. Many consider Cape Cod to be the epicenter of Americana culture, and it’s easy to see why when you visit. At every turn there are American flags, lighthouses and artwork that amplifies pride in the USA. If you’d prefer to get out in nature than go shopping, check out the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

Watch Hill, Rhode Island

If stunning views are what you’re after, Watch Hill won’t disappoint. The town sits high up on a cliffside where you can see the Atlantic Ocean, Pawcatuck River and Little Narragansett Bay. With all the water around it’s not surprising that sailboating is a major pastime in Watch Hill. Visitors all enjoy kayaking up the river and fly-fishing. While you’re in Watch Hill stop by The Preserve for a full day of outdoor activities. 

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Martha’s Vineyard is a regular retreat for professionals that grind away in Washington, D.C. and New York City. If you’re there over the weekend you’re likely to see a politician or two. But what you’ll really want to check out is the beachfront real estate. Martha’s Vineyard is home to some of New England’s most impressive houses from elaborate, cozy cottages to expansive mansions.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor is a family-friendly spot where kids of all ages can take part in activities. This historic town is where you’ll find the well-known Acadia National Park. The 2.2-mile Ocean Path bike trail and 45 miles of carriage roads have earned Bar Harbor the designation of being one of the most bikeable beach towns in the country. 

Mystic, Connecticut

You may have heard about the movie Mystic Pizza that launched Julia Roberts career. That pizza joint is in Mystic, CT where you’ll find many other attractions and museums. It’s a great getaway for anyone who wants to use their vacation time to learn something new. Visit the Mystic Aquarium to learn about the local aquatic life, stop by the Mystic Seaport Museum for a look at a fishing village from the 1800s or stroll through Olde Mistick Village for modern day shopping in beautiful historic buildings with unique stories. 

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

People come to Portsmouth to sample the fresh seafood, take a relaxing stroll around Market Square and enjoy live entertainment at Prescott Park once the sun goes down. It’s more active than many other smaller coastal towns in New England, which is great for couples or groups that want to relax during the day then have fun experiencing the local nightlife. It’s especially convenient for Bostonians that live just an hour away. 

How to Save Energy While You’re Exploring the New England Coast

While you’re away from home exploring the New England coastline you can help fund your trip by saving energy. Here are a few energy saving essentials for travelers.

Put the Programmable Thermostat in Away/Vacation Mode

The biggest energy saver is going to be adjusting your programmable thermostat. Hopefully you’ve already made adjustments to your thermostat for summer energy savings, but you can save even more by using the Away or Vacation setting rather than your normal daily schedule. 

The Away/Vacation setting overrides schedules that you’ve created. Instead of going by the regular presets, when a thermostat is in Away/Vacation mode it will automatically adjust the temperature for optimal savings rather than comfort or preference.

Put Smart Bulbs on a Schedule

Hopefully, you’ve also invested in at least a few smart LED bulbs. Smart LED lighting not only lowers energy use, it also improves safety and security at home while you’re away. You can set the bulbs up on a schedule so they only turn on for a limited amount of time each day. That way you can conserve energy, but it will still look like someone is home controlling the lights.

Plug in Smart Power Strips

You can go a step further and eliminate vampire power from wasting energy while you’re away by using a few smart power strips. You’ll be able to completely cut the power to electronics that are in standby mode, and you can control devices remotely in the event something needs to be turned on or off. If you don’t have smart LED bulbs you can plug a lamp into a smart power strip and control lighting remotely that way.  

You can count on Provider Power to supply reliable electricity when you’re at home or away. We serve communities throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. Check to see which Provider Power energy plans are available in your area.

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Give Yourself Energy Price Stability This Spring

Many consumers are understandably concerned about energy prices in the winter and summer when extreme weather can increase demand and make prices spike. However, spring is another season when various factors can cause price volatility and unpredictability. Unlike winter and summer, it’s really uncertain as to whether prices will go up or down during the spring. 

There are three things in particular that make spring less than predictable for energy consumers. 

What Makes Spring Energy Prices Less Predictable

Tornadoes are more likely to occur in the spring than any other time of the year, and that could certainly disrupt the power supply and even natural gas production. But there are three things that are more likely to have a large-scale impact on energy use from April to June in the northeast. 

Lingering Cold

In some areas of the country, temperatures may linger just above freezing or there could be a last minute cold snap at the start of spring. When that happens it can keep demand for energy higher than normal, which could have an impact on pricing. In the northeast this could definitely be the case since it’s cold enough for snow to still be falling in April. 

Early Heat Waves

The opposite could also be true, and you may work up a sweat during your spring cleaning. In some parts it may feel like you go straight from winter to summer and skip a milder spring season all together. If an early heat wave hits there will be little downtime for the HVAC system. That’s why it’s best to line up an air conditioner tech to come by in the early spring for an AC tuneup that could increase energy efficiency. 

Rainy Days That Keep People Indoors

The spring can bring rain. Not just a few spring showers, but a lot of rain that keeps people inside all day. Being cooped up inside means that more energy is being used. 

For example, in April there’s almost a 50/50 chance it will rain any day in New Hampshire. The good news is most of the time it’s a light shower that will keep you inside for a short time. 

What You Can Do to Make Spring Energy Prices More Predictable

In spring you never know what will happen with the weather that could potentially affect rates. But with Provider Power that’s not something you have to worry about. You can relax and enjoy spring with an energy plan that’s set for the season.

Provider Power works to help customers optimize energy use in every way through all of the seasons. Fixed rates, excellent customer care and special promotions help consumers make the most of essential energy services. 

This spring you can give yourself pricing stability with the Safeguard Plan! The plan gives you a predictable rate that won’t change all season. Find out if the Safeguard Plan is offered in your area. 

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10 Tips for Cooking Large Meals Without Wasting Energy

As families plan get togethers for the Easter holiday there’s sure to be a lot of discussion about the meal. Staples like a ham, deviled eggs and warm rolls are paired with foods that are unique to each family, which is part of what makes holiday meals so special. 

If you signed up to host the family Easter dinner this year there’s probably a lot to get arranged before the festivities. You may already be getting your grocery list together and coordinating with family members to get everything on the table. But one thing you might overlook is how much energy is needed to make a large Easter meal. 

Spending time with loved ones shouldn’t require spending more on your energy bill. Use the tips below to host an epic Easter dinner without seeing your electricity use spike.

Tip #1 – Create a Cooking Plan

If you want things to go smoothly and efficiently in the kitchen, you can set yourself up for chef success by creating a cooking plan. It doesn’t have to be anything in-depth or elaborate. But taking a little time to plan things out in advance can save you stress and energy when you’re cooking, especially when it’s a large family meal with lots of food. 

The cooking plan can include:

  • What you plan to cook
  • The cooking requirements for each dish
  • A general order in which things need to be cooked
  • What items can be cooked together
  • Ways that energy use can be reduced or eliminated

Get creative on the last point to save the most energy. You can consider things like if you can use a more efficient cooking method or change up the recipe so it doesn’t take as long to cook. The goal is to prep so that you are set up to save energy right from the start. 

Tip #2 – Use the Oven Strategically 

The oven is where a lot of the magic happens during an Easter meal, and this is where your cooking plan will really come into play. Depending on what you plan to cook, you could save energy if you:

  • Start with food that cooks at the highest temperature and work your way down. That way the oven is already preheated for the next dish. 
  • Load the oven up as much as you can with dishes that have a similar cooking temperature.
  • If you’re adjusting the temperature to accommodate multiple dishes, go with the lowest temperature required. Many recipes have a temperature that’s slightly higher than needed to cook.  
  • Use the oven light to check food instead of opening the door. Cracking the door just a bit can cause the temperature to drop 25 degrees.
  • Don’t worry about pre-heating the oven in advance if something needs to cook for more than an hour. 
  • Turn the oven off (but don’t open the door) about 5-10 minutes before a dish is done cooking. The residual heat should be enough to finish it off. 
  • Give your oven a good cleaning before cooking. Ovens that are clean and well maintained will cook more efficiently.

Tip #3 – Use Glass or Ceramic in Place of Metal Pans

The lower you can set the oven temperature the less energy you’ll need to use. When the oven is on for hours cooking a large family meal, lowering the temp even a little can make a difference. That’s why we suggest you use glass or ceramic dishes and pans instead of metal. Glass and ceramic hold heat better than metal, which means they can cook food at a lower temperature. 

If you use ceramic or glass pans and dishes you can set the oven temperature 25 degrees lower than what’s noted in the recipe.

Tip #4 – Use the Grill Instead of the Oven

You can skip the oven all together for a number of foods if you have a grill. Does your family prefer brisket over ham? Then slow-cooking a slab of beef on the grill will help you save space in the oven for other foods so it’s used less overall. 

You can also get creative and find other foods that can go on the grill if you have more room on the rack. Lots of veggies can be cooked on the grill or even appetizers and side dishes like bacon-wrapped asparagus, baked beans and cheesy flatbread.

Tip #5 – Use a Pressure Cooker When Possible

If you can choose between the oven and a pressure cooker, the pressure cooker is always going to be the more energy efficient option. Bonus – you can keep it in the cooking pot to serve the dish so there’s one less thing to clean. 

Tip #6 – Don’t Overlook the Microwave

Don’t get too caught up in the idea that you need to use complicated cooking techniques to create a 5-star Easter dinner. If a recipe gives you the option to use the microwave, go for it! The microwave is much more efficient than cooking in the oven, particularly when it’s a small item that requires high heat. 

Tip #7 – Choose the Toaster Oven for Small Dishes

Sometimes the microwave is no substitute for oven cooking, but there’s another option. There may not be a lot of space in a toaster oven, but that’s why they’re so efficient. It takes about half as much energy to heat up the toaster oven, and it can cook a small dish just as well as the oven. 

Tip #8 – Watch Your Hot Water Use

When you’re rinsing dishes or filling pots be mindful about whether you’re using hot or cold water. Whenever possible keep it cold so that the hot water heater doesn’t kick on. The hot water heater is one of the worst appliances for your electric bill. The older storage hot water heaters are very power hungry. They can account for as much as 14% of an electric bill. 

Tip #9 – Make Cold Foods the Main Attraction

Cold foods are perfect for Easter holiday dinners for a few reasons. As the weather warms up, cold foods are refreshing. Appetizers like egg salad finger sandwiches also don’t require any electricity or gas to cook, but there’s another energy saving bonus. Keeping the fridge fully loaded helps it cool the inside more efficiently. 

Tip #10 – Use Pots and Pans That Are Appropriately Sized

When you’re cooking on the stovetop, the cookware makes a huge difference. If a pot or pan is too large you’ll waste energy heating it up. And if it’s too small for the burner that you’re using you may use more energy than necessary because of heat loss. 

Flat-bottomed cookware is also recommended since it provides better contact with the burners and heats up more quickly. If the pot or pan has a copper bottom that’s even better. 

Want to keep saving energy in the kitchen? The Provider Power blog has lots of useful advice like energy saving grilling tips and how to store food for max energy efficiency. It’s just one way that Provider Power helps customers lower their energy costs so they can enjoy a comfortable quality of life.

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3 Surefire Ways to Warm Up Without Increasing the Heat

We’re still in the thick of winter with days that are chilly and nights that are even colder. By now you’re probably growing tired of feeling frigid and even more tired of the increased energy use that’s needed to warm up your home. 

The U.S. Energy Department recommends keeping the thermostat at 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter for optimal energy savings, but that isn’t comfortable for some people. If you’re in that group we’ve created this list for you. In addition to winterizing your home, here are three surefire ways to warm up without increasing the heat and energy costs.

Layer on the Clothing Where It Counts

The easiest and cheapest way to warm up without cranking up the heat is to layer on clothing. You may have heard this advice before, but there’s a key point that could influence what you wear. 

There are three spots on our bodies that are more susceptible to the cold. The palms of the hands, bottoms of feet and cheeks feel the cold more than other places on the body because the blood vessels don’t constrict with the cold. When cold is applied to these spots of the body it causes heat removal at the skin surface, which cools body temperature. During the hot summers this is a benefit, but during the winter it can make you feel even colder. Wearing gloves and keeping your cheeks covered may not be possible, but thick socks can make a big difference in heating up without a heater. 

Strategically Place Portable Space Heaters That Provide Direct Heat Using Less Energy

It may seem like using a space heater isn’t the best way to save energy since they run off of electricity. However, if the choice is between using a portable space heater or turning up the central heat, the space heater is usually the better option. 

This is definitely the case when there’s just one person needing warmth in a specific location of your house. The portable space heater doesn’t spread warmth around. Instead it provides direct heat exactly where you need it. To conserve the most energy possible, opt for a smaller space heater that’s appropriately sized. Other energy efficient features to look for include temperature controls, eco settings and scheduling capabilities. You may also want to consider heaters that can oscillate if you want the heat dispersed throughout a room. 

Does your home have a fireplace? The fireplace is essentially a fixed space heater that can be used when you’re in the room. If you have one, read through these five tips to get more warmth out of your fireplace.

Make Adjustments at the Windows to Keep Heat Inside

A lot of heat escapes and cold gets in around the windows. Even if you’ve weatherized, there are a number of ways you can make adjustments to the windows to keep the warmth inside. 

  • Invest in heavy blackouts curtains with a thermal lining or thermal curtains. 
  • Keep curtains closed most of the day, particularly at night.
  • Open up curtains when sunlight is streaming through the window.  
  • If the temperature outside exceeds the inside temp, then open the windows.
  • Move furniture away from the window where it’s colder.
  • Use draft blockers at the bottom of the window frame where it opens. 
  • Use a window film to increase the insulating factor of the glass. 
  • Consider using removable caulk at the bottom of windows you don’t plan to open during the winter.
  • Cut vegetation back from windows to let more light and heat in. 

One last thing regarding the windows. Always make sure all windows are properly closed in the winter. They should be locked to ensure they are fully sealed. And if you have storm windows check to make sure they’re shut correctly as well. 

Want more ways to save on energy during the winter? Provider Power helps customers lower the cost of energy with detailed usage information, expert resources and attentive personal assistance. Making the switch to Provider Power is easy – start by using your zip code to find energy plans in your area.

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5 Steps to Reaching Your Energy Resolutions

At Provider Power we like to set energy resolutions every New Year. It’s a reminder that we can always do more to optimize energy use and reduce consumption. The problem is only 9% of people follow through on their resolutions.

A big part of the reason why people don’t see resolutions through is because they don’t have a solid plan in place for reaching their goal. They just set a goal, which is only the first step. There are actually five steps to take to improve your chances of reaching your energy resolutions. Let’s walk through the steps now so you can reach your energy resolutions this year!

Step 1 – Set a Measurable, Attainable Goal

Too often people set a huge goal that is admirable but not always reasonable, or they set too many resolutions that divert attention in a lot of directions. Reaching goals starts with setting the right goals. 

It’s always best to set goals that are measurable and attainable. Measurable means that you can measure the result to know you’ve reached the goal or you’re getting closer. An example of a measurable energy resolution is the goal to reduce consumption by 5% in the first month. This example is also an attainable goal, which means you can reasonably attain the goal in the given amount of time. 

ENERGIZED INFORMATION: How to Save Green While Going Green This Winter

Step 2 – Map Out Milestones for Reaching Your Goal

Once you’ve set a measurable, attainable goal it’s the time to map out how you’ll reach it. Milestones are like mini goals that are hit on the way to reaching your goal. They are what needs to be accomplished first.

Mapping out the milestones is good for two reasons:

They give you direction and keep you moving towards the goal.

Accomplishing milestones encourages you to keep making progress. 

Ultimately, mapping out milestones is what makes goal setting actionable. Without milestones the goal may seem like a long ways off and that can make it hard to stay motivated all the way to the end. 

Step 3 – Find a Way to Track Your Progress

One of the best things you can do to stay motivated is track your progress. Seeing the progression that’s made is a powerful motivator for a few reasons. For one, you can see yourself getting closer with each milestone that’s hit, and that alone can keep you going. Tracking progress also allows you to see where adjustments need to be made to keep making progress.

The great thing is you might already have a way to track energy resolution – your utility bills! It will tell you how much energy is used month-over-month so you can clearly see if the needle is moving up or down.

Step 4 – Get an Energy Accountability Partner

An accountability partner is someone who you share your goal with and holds you to it. They provide encouragement when your motivation is waning and can help you figure out a solution when you run into a problem. 

Accountability partners increase the likelihood of reaching the end goal by as much as 95%! Plus, it’s more fun to share the experience with someone else. Find a friend or family member who is equally interested in energy savings who can keep you accountable. The upside for your accountability partner is they also get to celebrate reaching milestones and hitting the big win once you reach the goal.

Step 5 – Hit Your Goals and Keep Going

If you took the steps above you should be on track to hit your goals – but don’t stop there! Goals are meant to be achieved and for the bar to be set higher. If your goal was to use 5% less power for three months in a row and you do that in May, then set a new goal to reduce energy use by another 5% by August. 

As long as you keep progressing that’s what’s most important!

Provider Power will help you reach your energy resolutions every year. From detailed bills that make progress easy to track to personalized assistance choosing a plan that will help you exceed your goals, we’re here for you.

Find out what Provider Power energy plans are available in your area!

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Do You Need a Home Energy Management System?

Are you thinking about installing a solar power array? Want to maximize energy efficiency? Then you may be interested in a home energy management system (HEMS). 

A home energy management system is designed to improve household energy use, but these systems aren’t cheap. Before you make an investment in a home energy management system take a few minutes to learn more about what a HEMS can do and how you could benefit from using one. 

The Basics About Home Energy Management Systems

The home energy management system global market is growing rapidly. It was a $2.1 billion industry in 2021 but is expected to reach $6.8 billion by 2027. It’s a clear sign that as energy prices increase, more people are looking for ways to curb consumption.

The primary objective of a home energy management system is to better manage energy use to improve efficiency. The HEMS does this by gathering information then using that information to:

  • Analyze how energy is used in the home. 
  • Measure the energy requirements of appliances and systems. 
  • Measure the energy consumption of appliances and devices.
  • Coordinate the operation of electrical components including solar panels and appliances.
  • Optimize energy consumption by automating systems.
  • Sync and manage smart devices.
  • Manage home batteries and backup power supplies.
  • Analyze local utility data to adjust use based on current energy demand.

If you have solar panels you can do even more with a home energy management system. One big advantage is being able to balance out and distribute solar power throughout the day. It helps overcome the issue of inconsistent energy production. And when you produce energy with your solar panels the HEMS can determine whether it should be used, stored or redistributed to the electrical grid. 

Installing a home energy management system can reduce energy use by 5-10%. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that you’re using energy in a more sustainable way that helps decrease demand that is getting harder to meet. Plus, reducing energy use can help extend the life of your appliances, saving you even more money in the long run. 

How a Home Energy Management System Improves Efficiency

A home energy management system is a sophisticated setup that can accomplish some pretty amazing things. But how does a HEMS do it?

HEMS Software – The Brains of the System

A home energy management system is powered by innovative software. Without the software nothing is possible. The software’s algorithms are able to analyze massive amounts of data in real time. It then converts the data into reports that can be easily read and used to make energy efficiency updates. The software can even identify trends in the data and make predictions about future energy consumption. 

A home energy management system is analyzing more than just your energy use. To make the best predictions and adjustments HEMS software also measures:

  • Weather Conditions – The weather is going to have a big influence on energy use and needs. That’s why a HEMS constantly monitors current weather conditions. It’s the best way to balance comfort and efficiency.  
  • Availability of Electricity and Demand – If the grid gets strained a home energy management system can help ease the load. By measuring demand and the availability of electricity a HEMS can adjust energy use and tap into stored power if the home has solar panels. 
  • Current Energy Rates – A home energy management system can also take energy rates into consideration to determine the best way to automate systems. If you have a time-of-use or variable rate plan this feature can help you reduce energy costs even if you don’t use less energy. 

The Parts of a Home Energy Management System

The software is the brains of the HEMS operation, but it can’t do everything on its own. Other components are needed to make the system operable so that it can provide you with actionable information. The two other key components of a home energy management system are:

The Hub – The Heart of the System

The software connects to a hub in order to gather all of the data it analyzes. The hub is a device that is installed at the electric panel. It’s like a middle man that relays data from the panel to the software.

Internet-Connected Device – The Interface of the System

The software and hub gather data, but the information doesn’t do much good if you can’t read it. That’s where an internet-connected device comes into play. A device is needed to interact with the software so that the data can be read. Using a corresponding app you can get energy data reports, see changes in energy use and receive suggestions on how to reduce energy consumption. 

Provider Power customers can receive data on energy use even if they don’t have a home energy management system. Each month we’ll provide you with valuable information on how you consume energy so that you can reduce use and lower monthly costs.

Check to see which Provider Power energy plans are available in your area

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Gas Appliances vs Electric Appliances: Which Are Better for Your Energy Bills?

Are you buying a new home? Maybe you have an appliance that’s on its last leg? Or you want to upgrade your appliances for greener models? 

No matter what has you shopping around for appliances, there’s probably one big question on your mind. Are gas appliances or electric appliances better for my energy bills? 

That’s a good question and a pretty significant one. Some people don’t have the option and can only use electric appliances. But for those of you who can choose between gas and electric appliances, keep reading to get a better idea of which one is going to cost less to operate every month. 

Energy Rates: Electric Appliances vs Gas Appliances

The first thing most people think about when they’re deciding between electric and gas appliances is the cost of the energy source. Given that a lot of electricity is generated using natural gas, it’s understandable that gas prices would be cheaper than electricity prices. Generally speaking, electricity is more expensive than gas.

Of course, that isn’t always the case, especially in the northeast. You may remember how natural gas more than doubled in price over the last two years. 

When you compare costs, the timing makes a difference. At certain times of year, natural gas is going to cost more per therm in the northeast due to demand for heating fuels. If it’s a particularly cold winter season it can really increase the cost of natural gas. That will close the gap between gas prices and electricity prices. 

But to know for sure, you’ll have to research the average gas prices and electricity prices for your area. Rates are going to vary from one market to the next, even within the same state. 

Of course, if you own or plan to own a solar power system, then electric appliances will likely be the most cost-effective option since you’d be using electricity you generate from the sun for free. 


Gas Appliances – In almost all instances, despite rising natural gas prices, gas will be cheaper than electricity. 

Energy Efficiency: Electric Appliances vs Gas Appliances

But what about efficiency? What you end up paying on your utility bills isn’t just a matter of how much an energy resource costs. How much energy is used to power appliances is also a big factor. For that reason, you have to also consider the energy efficiency of gas and electric appliances.

Experts agree that gas appliances tend to be more energy efficient than their electric counterparts. Part of the reason gas appliances are more energy efficient is because gas generates heat more quickly than electricity.

However, it does depend on the appliance. For example, gas dryers are 30% more energy efficient than electric dryers. BUT – gas washing machines no longer exist. They have been replaced by a more efficient option – high-efficiency electric washers. 

All new appliances should provide information on energy requirements, meaning how much energy is needed for operation. You can use this information paired with the average energy rates in your area to get a good estimate of how much the appliance will cost to operate either monthly or annually. 

Winner: Gas Appliances – Once again natural gas comes out on top as the most energy efficient option for many appliances, although some types of electric appliances use less energy.

What to Know if You’re Switching 

Something to consider is the cost of switching from electric to gas or vice versa. Your home may not be set up for both types of appliances, which means you’ll need to do some converting. The cost could be just a couple hundred dollars or it could be a few thousand. 

If you are converting to gas, then gas lines may need to be installed. Conservative estimates put the cost somewhere between $250 and $700. And if you are converting to all-electric, then gas lines may need to be capped off and new wiring put in. Installing electric lines costs around $350 per line. 

There could be an upfront cost, but you may find that the monthly savings after switching is worth it in the long run. Something else you’ll want to keep in mind is that gas appliances tend to last longer than electric appliances since they have few parts. If you plan to be in your home for years to come, appliance longevity matters.

No matter what type of appliances you have, you can count on Provider Power as your energy supplier. We have service areas across the northeast – use your zip code to find electricity plans in Massachusetts, Maine energy plans and New Hampshire power plans for homes and businesses.

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5 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill in New Hampshire This Fall

This time of year in New Hampshire we’re starting to feel a reprieve from the warmer temperatures, but the winter cold isn’t right around the corner yet. It’s the perfect balance between the summer and winter seasons, which means it’s the ideal time for saving electricity. Let’s take a look at what New Hampshire residents can do in the fall to lower their electricity now and in the months ahead.  

Open the Windows to Let Fresh Air Flow Through

One of the simplest, easiest and most affordable ways to save electricity is to turn off the AC and open the windows up when it’s cool out early in the morning and later in the afternoon or evening. Not only will it help the house cool down naturally, it will also circulate in fresh air for improved air quality.

In New Hampshire during early fall the temperatures drop to 50-60 degrees at the coolest parts of the day. If you open things up strategically you might be able to completely forgo the AC and furnace during the whole season and significantly lower your electric bill.

Get the Furnace Serviced

Now is a great time to get your furnace serviced for the winter season since you may be tempted to turn on the heat at night when temperatures drop below 60 degrees. Professional servicing helps extend the life of the furnace and can improve energy efficiency. Beyond cleaning and replacing worn parts, you’ll want to check the insulation around the furnace ductwork. Adequate insulation will ensure heat isn’t lost in the unlivable cavities of the home.

Weatherize Over a Weekend

Energy efficiency experts recommend weatherizing a home once a year, and early fall is also the ideal time for this type of home maintenance. It helps to get your home prepared for the winter so you aren’t faced with easy-to-fix problems that make your home less comfortable, increase energy use and raise your electric bill.

Fortunately, weatherizing is fairly easy even for a novice DIYer. Here’s a quick checklist of what to do to weatherize your home:

  • Replace worn weather stripping around the exterior doors.
  • Install or replace worn weather stripping around the door to the garage and/or basement.
  • Caulk around the exterior doors and windows.
  • Caulk any gaps in the foundation and exterior seams of the home.
  • Add insulation to exterior pipes going into the home.
  • Inside the home add caulk to fill gaps around outlets and baseboards.

Take a look at our Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit Checklist for even more ways to weatherize and improve energy efficiency.

Limit Hot Water Use

When people are trying to conserve electricity to lower their energy bill, water use isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, the hot water heater is a pretty big energy consumer. And if you have an electric water heater every drop of hot water adds to the electricity bill.

  • Start by checking the temperature setting on your hot water heater. Set it to 120 degrees or lower. For every 10 degrees that it’s lowered energy use goes down by 5%.
  • Always turn on the cold water, not the hot water when using small amounts of water. If you use the hot water setting it will likely cause the water heater to start up, but the hot water won’t make it all the way out of the faucet by the time you’re done. It essentially starts up the hot water heater for nothing. 
  • Try to limit showers to no more than 10 minutes. Make the water use really count by washing your face, brushing your teeth, etc. while you’re in the shower.
  • Opt for showers rather than baths. A hot shower uses about a third of the water needed to fill a standard bathtub.

Look Into the Electric Assistance Program

New Hampshire has a number of energy assistance programs, one of which helps residents save on their electric bill. The Electric Assistance Program (EAP) is a state program that provides financial help for those who are having a hard time paying their electric bill. Eligibility for the program is based on income. Families and individuals that qualify can get a discount of up to 76% on their electric bill.

At Provider Power we’re proud to offer fixed-rate energy plans that make electric bills more predictable. You can lock in the kWh rate for 12 months or more so that you have more assurance and control over your energy costs. Check to see which New Hampshire energy plans are currently available in your area.

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Energy Savings Programs in New Hampshire

Most people already know that energy costs are going up in New Hampshire, particularly electric rates. The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission has already announced that they estimate residential customers served by the utility companies Liberty and Eversource will end up paying $70 more a month for electricity. Customers served by the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative will likely pay $40 more a month on average.

What you may not know is there are state energy savings programs that can help lower costs for many NH consumers. And with the huge increase in electricity rates, more New Hampshire residents may qualify for a program.

Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs

Saving energy is a great first step in lowering utility costs. There are lifestyle changes you can make to save energy and there are also changes you can make to your home. New Hampshire residents that make energy efficiency improvements can get assistance and special incentives to offset the costs of lowering consumption.

It’s an effort on the state’s part to reduce energy consumption and make energy costs more manageable for more people. Since 2003 the state has offered programs to encourage residents and businesses to invest in energy efficiency improvements that lower demand. One way they do that is through incentive and rebates that lower the cost of energy efficiency improvements. These programs are offered through the state government, public utilities and local organizations.

You don’t have to install a solar panel system to get energy efficiency rebates in New Hampshire – although there are state programs for that. There’s a wide range of energy efficiency programs in New Hampshire that help with improvements large and small.

If there’s only one resource that you use to search for energy efficiency programs in New Hampshire it should be NHSaves. NHSaves publishes an updated list of energy efficiency rebates that are offered in the state as well as programs from the utilities.

Natural Gas Efficiency Programs

In New Hampshire, natural gas that’s needed to heat homes is usually in more demand than the electricity needed to cool homes. So it makes sense that the state utilities have energy efficiency programs for making improvements to reduce gas use.

Energy Audit Programs

If you want to know which energy efficiency improvements need to be made you can conduct a home energy audit. Some programs in New Hampshire will help residents with reimbursements or discounts for home energy audits.

Weatherization Assistance Programs

You can get assistance covering the costs of weatherizing your home through a few programs. If you’re served by Unitil or Liberty utility companies you could get kickbacks for energy audits and weatherization in addition to purchasing energy efficient equipment for the home. Some community action agencies also offer incentives for weatherizing a home.

Electric Assistance Programs

You may not be the one who sets electricity prices, but if you’re a residential customer that needs help covering the cost of your electric bill the New Hampshire Electric Assistance Program (EAP) is a valuable resource. Those who qualify can get a discount of 8-76% on their electric bill. How big the discount is depends on household income and size. The Electric Assistance Program is a 12-month program so recipients will need to reapply each year.

Gas and Fuel Assistance Programs

In the winter time in New Hampshire, natural gas and other heating fuels can really escalate in price. Unfortunately, natural gas and other fuels are absolutely necessary for keeping a home safely livable. That’s why the state and utilities offer a few different programs specifically for heating-related costs.

Gas Assistance Program

Liberty Utilities and Unitil-Gas customers can get the delivery portion of their natural gas discounted by 60% if they qualify for the Gas Assistance Program. Qualifying for the Gas Assistance Program depends on whether you qualify for other state assistance programs such as the Fuel Assistance Program.

Fuel Assistance Program

If you heat your home with natural gas or another type of fuel you may still qualify for financial assistance to offset heating costs through the Fuel Assistance Program (FAP). FAP is part of the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). In addition to getting $158 to $1,575 off fuel costs, the program helps provide emergency fuel delivery and can delay a shut-off.

Qualifying for FAP is a little more involved than other programs. In addition to household size and gross income, eligibility depends on housing type, energy costs and how many heating degree days there are for your area. If you need to replace or repair a tank for storing heating oil you may be able to get help covering the cost through the SAFETANK Financial Assistance Program.

Community Action Agencies

If you need help figuring out if you’re eligible for any of these programs, then contact your local community action agency. There are six community action agencies in New Hampshire that provide assistance to low-income families in an effort to combat poverty and uplift low-income communities. The agencies have their own energy assistance initiatives that are aimed at helping reduce heating and electric costs for those in need. They can also help residents learn about federal and state financial assistance programs.

Provider Power can help customers determine if they qualify for energy saving assistance programs on top of signing up for competitively priced fixed rate energy plans. Check to see which Provider Power New Hampshire energy plans are available in your area.

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Choosing an Energy Supplier in New Hampshire

Choosing a New Hampshire energy supplier is a benefit of living in a deregulated energy market. But that also means if you want to find the best energy plan you’ve got to do a little legwork.

Savvy energy consumers know that comparison shopping is the best way to get a plan that fits your budget, needs and preferences. Consider this your cheat sheet with the specific steps for comparing New Hampshire energy suppliers.

Step 1 – Read Reviews for New Hampshire Retail Energy Suppliers

One of the best places to start when you’re choosing any kind of service provider is customer reviews. The reviews will give you the best idea of what it’s like to be an actual customer. When you’re looking at the reviews, start with the most recent ones. Those are going to be the most accurate depiction of how the company currently operates. It’s best to stick with REPs that have a rating of at least three stars or higher.

One thing to keep in mind is the number of reviews a retail energy supplier has. If a company has a 3.8 rating after 7 reviews it’s not quite as good as having a 3.8 rating with 42 reviews.

Step 2 – Find Out If There Are Consumer Complaints With the New Hampshire PUC

Next, it’s time to look into whether or not there are consumer complaints against local retail energy providers. Check to see what the complaint was about and how it was resolved. Every state will have departments that regulate and oversee retail energy suppliers. Part of their job is handling consumer complaints.

In New Hampshire the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) takes on that role. Energy consumers can file a complaint with the New Hampshire PUC by phone, email or mail.

The Better Business Bureau is another resource for consumers. You can find out if there are complaints against a company as well as other details like when the company was established.

Step 3 – Look Up Average Energy Rates in Your Area of New Hampshire

Knowing the average energy rates for your area is the only way of knowing which providers offer a fair, competitive rate. Energy rates vary from one market to the next, so even the state average may not be the norm for your area. For reference, the average electricity rate in New Hampshire in May 2022 was 22.41 cents per kilowatt-hour. You can check with for the latest state electricity and natural gas averages then drill down to your market.

There are a few things that influence New Hampshire energy rates:

  • The energy source
  • Type of rate (fixed or variable)
  • Incentives and programs that can lower the end cost

Step 4 – Visit the Websites of Local Retail Energy Suppliers

There are some websites that offer energy plan comparison tools. While these are a great way to figure out who provides energy in your market, it’s not the best way to choose a retail energy supplier. Those tools may not have the most up-to-date information or all of the plans that a supplier offers. They also don’t give you a feel for how the company operates.

Step 5 – Compare Energy Plans From at Least Three Suppliers

Once you’ve checked out the sites, it’s time to select your top three New Hampshire energy suppliers to compare them side-by-side. Who has the lowest energy rates? Who has the best customer service? Does a provider have special benefits or features?

Make a list of your needs and top wants. Now one by one see if a provider meets each criteria. In the end, you’ll want to have a clear idea of which provider checks the most boxes for your personal needs and wants.

Step 6 – Contact the Provider With the Best Energy Plan

After the comparison shopping is done you’ll know which energy plan is the best option for your situation. The final step is to contact the provider to verify all of the details and learn what you need to do next to get set up on an energy plan. They’ll be happy to help you through the process of signing up and getting your utilities set up.

At Provider Power we can make it easy for New Hampshire residents to sign up for a new energy plan or switch from their existing plan. Check out the current offers to compare our competitively priced fixed rate energy plans in New Hampshire.

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Who Sets Electricity Prices?

We all use electricity every day, and we pay an energy bill every month. But who is it that decides how much you pay for that electricity?

The answer to that question isn’t straightforward because it turns out there are a number of entities that influence electricity prices. By the time you’re given a retail electric rate, the electricity you purchased has already been bought a few times, and that impacts the price you pay at home. 

Let’s take a look at how electricity pricing is determined, starting with factors that can influence prices before electricity is generated.

Regulations Related to Energy Costs (State Government)

There’s one entity that plays a major role in the price of electricity long before it’s generated and delivered. The state government has a hand in electricity pricing no matter whether you’re in a deregulated or regulated energy market.

Each state has a public utilities commission (PUC) or department that’s in charge of overseeing the consumer energy market. One of their top priorities is keeping retail energy prices (what you pay) in check. Typically, PUCs will put a cap on transmission fees that utilities charge for delivering electricity. This helps to keep energy costs in check for consumers.

However, regulations vary by state. Some states have full regulation over wholesale and retail electricity prices. Other states don’t regulate generator fees or utilities at all.

The Cost of Energy Sources Used to Create Electricity (Fuel Providers)

Where your electricity comes from has a huge influence on the price. Electricity can be a natural phenomenon in the form of lightning, but it’s largely manmade. We’ve figured out how to generate electricity using a variety of fuel sources, and that’s where the costs begin. In order to create electricity one of the following is needed:

  • Natural Gas
  • Renewable Resources (hydropower, solar, wind, biomass, etc.)
  • Petroleum
  • Coal
  • Nuclear Power

So, fuel providers are the first to influence the actual price of electricity based on the rate that they charge electricity generators for their fuel. The fuel providers are setting their prices based on the cost of extraction as well as the current supply and demand for their fuel, which can be a global measure these days. Supply and demand is also heavily dependent on the weather.

The Cost of Generating Electricity – (Power Plants/Generators)

Fuels can’t produce energy on their own. They must go through a process to be converted to energy, and that requires expensive infrastructure. Power plants must be constructed, operated and maintained in order to generate electricity.

The cost of doing that is factored in with the price of the fuel source to determine the rate the electricity generator charges local utilities and retail energy providers. This is what’s known as the wholesale price of electricity.

The Cost of Getting Electricity to a Home or Business (Retail Energy Providers and Utilities)

Once the fuels are sourced and the electricity is generated there’s still more to do, which means there are more costs involved that increase the price of electricity. There are one or two primary players involved at this point: utilities and retail energy providers (REPs).

Regulated Energy Markets

In a regulated energy market there are no retail energy providers. Consumers have to simply go with the energy plans offered by the local utility that’s based on the rates they negotiate with electricity generation companies. That means the electricity prices that all consumers in the area pay is largely dependent on what the utility pays.

You’ll see another fee on your electric bill from the utility company. The utility company will charge a delivery fee or transmission fee. This is an additional fee that all consumers pay to cover the cost of maintaining power lines and distribution systems for delivering electricity.

Deregulated Energy Markets

In a deregulated energy market there are retail energy providers that work with consumers to establish electric service instead of the local utility. Each provider negotiates with electricity generators to get the best rate possible. The rates they pay are the basis for the rates they offer on consumer electricity plans. This model helps to increase competition and encourages REPs to secure the lowest rate possible.

Consumers in deregulated markets will also have to pay the utility delivery or transmission fee. That’s a set price that should be the same every bill no matter what electricity plan you choose.

Energy Plan Comparison Shopping (Consumers)

In a regulated market, consumers aren’t going to have much of an influence over electricity rates. They have to simply accept what the utility has to offer, but that isn’t the case in a deregulated market.

In deregulated markets, consumers are going to have an impact on the electricity price they pay because they have the ability to comparison shop. They have the power to pass up REPs that are charging high rates and look around for the best price per kWh. Ultimately, consumers in deregulated markets help determine retail energy prices based on what they are willing to pay. The more consumers comparison shop the lower rates will be because the REPs have to compete to attract customers.

As you can see, electricity prices are a moving target because there are so many variables and people involved. What one entity pays up the line will have an impact on the prices others pay further along in the distribution process.

It’s time to play a role in the electricity prices you pay in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine! Provider Power energy plans offer a fixed rate so you know what you’re paying every month. Use your zip code to start comparing energy plans!

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Save on your electric bill by making improvements to your home Insulation

When you are trying to reduce energy use it’s a good idea to increase insulation. Even if your home already has insulation, there could still be ways to add more or increase the efficiency. If you want to know which home insulation improvements you’re most likely to notice on your electric bill then keep reading. 

Audit Before You Insulate

As the Department of Energy suggests, it doesn’t hurt to start with a home energy audit. This will tell you where your insulation is adequate and where it can use improvement. The audit is great at helping you prioritize improvements, especially if you’re insulating on a budget

Check Out the Attic First

Did you know that the attic is where most heat loss occurs in a home? That’s why adequate attic insulation is an energy efficiency essential. If there’s no insulation then that’s a clear indication it’s needed. But even if you have attic insulation it still night not be enough.

A rule of thumb is that the insulation should be up to the top of the rafters. You could also go one step further by using spray foam insulation to fill in gaps and corners. The Department of Energy has a handy Home Energy Saver tool to help you figure out how much insulation you need.

Upping the R-Value

You may have insulation in your attic, but what is the R-value? R-value indicates how well insulation keeps the heat in or out. The higher the R-value is the more insulation it provides. 

R-value is partially based on the thickness of the insulation. What the insulation it’s made of and density also make a difference. R-value is per inch. So if you’re aiming for an R-value of 50 using insulation with an R-value of 5 you need 10 inches of insulation. But if the R-value of the insulation is 10 per inch you’d only need 5 inches of insulation. 

Placing Insulation Over the Attic Door

The square opening to the attic isn’t that big, but it can allow a lot of cold and hot air to seep inside a home. When you add insulation in the attic make sure to affix insulation to the door as well. 

Add Insulation Around Pipes

Heating up water drives up electric bills, especially in the winter. You don’t have to settle for increased energy use when it’s cold out. Insulating the pipes helps decrease the workload since the water inside is up to 4 degrees warmer. Focus efforts on insulating pipes in the basement, garage and exterior of the home. 

Insulate Around Long Ducts

When the air leaves your furnace it’s nice and warm. As it travels through the ductwork it can become cooler providing less heat once it reaches the living spaces. One easy fix is to add insulation around long ducts. These long stretches are where the most heat is lost. First patch up any air leaks in the ducts before adding the insulation. 

Insulate in Crawl Spaces

If your home is built in a pier and beam system you may have noticed that the floors are cold even when the heater is on. It’s often an energy efficiency problem in older homes. Cold air underneath the home can make the house feel cooler inside. But if you have access to the crawl space you can add insulation to make it feel warmer. 

However, don’t make the mistake of thinking you just need to focus on the underside of the floors. Use rigid foam board around the walls of the foundation to keep the cold out. 

Go the Extra Mile With Insulated Electrical Plates

If you’ve already insulated the attic and are looking for other ways to up the insulation factor take inventory of the electrical plates on the walls. There are insulated outlet plates and switch plates that seal up the tiny cracks in the walls that let cold and hot air from outside seep inside. It might not seem like much, but each insulated plate adds up. All you have to do is switch out the old plates with insulated plates and add a little spray foam to eliminate heat loss.

Make your energy payments more predictable with a fixed rate electricity plan from Provider Power. With a fixed rate plan it’s easy to know when home improvements have a positive impact on your bill. See which plans are currently available in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. 

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How Much Does it Cost to Charge an EV at Home?

Auto industry experts at BloombergNEF estimate that by the year 2040 around 70% of new cars will be electric vehicles (EVs). It’s a change that isn’t just transforming the way we drive. It’s also changing energy demands at home. 

Today the question isn’t whether electric vehicles are the future. The question is, how are we going to power all those electric vehicles? 

If you’re in the market for an EV one of the first things that probably crossed your mind was how much it would cost to charge the car at home. Sure, you won’t be spending money at the gas pump, but what’s going to happen to your electric bill?

Let’s take a look at what affects the cost of charging an EV at home and how to estimate what you’ll end up paying to power your electric vehicle. 

The Biggest Factor – Your Price Per kWh Rate

The single biggest factor for how much it will cost to charge an EV at home is right there on your electric bill. The kWh rate is going to be the determining factor in how much you ultimately pay to charge up your battery. 

Something to factor in here is whether or not the rate fluctuates. Time-of-use plans base the kWh rate on the time of day. With this type of electricity plan you could strategically plan when the EV is charged to minimize the cost. Of course, that also means if you need to charge up during the peak demand hours you’ll end up paying a premium price to fill up your battery. 

How Much You Drive

The next biggest factor is how much you drive. It’s the same exact concept as a gas-powered vehicle. The more you drive, the more you’re going to have to fill up. In the case of an EV, you’re filling up the battery with electricity.

Size and Efficiency of the EV’s Battery

Last but not least is the size of the electric vehicle’s battery. In other words, how many kilowatt-hours is a full battery. This is also related to the number of miles you get when the battery is fully charged. These details determine how much electricity an electric vehicle uses

Few drivers are aware of how wide a range there is in EV battery size. The battery can be as small as the Smart EQ Fortwo’s 17.6 kWh power supply or as big as the new Hummer EV’s 200 kWh battery.

Calculating the Cost to Fill an EV Battery

Let’s say you plan to purchase a Tesla Model 3. It has a 75 kWh battery with a range of 310 miles. You drive approximately 1,200 miles a month. That means you need 3.87 full battery charges, which works out to be 290.32 kWh. Your current rate is 12 cents per kWh.

1,200 miles / 310 mile range = 3.87 full charges

75 kWh battery capacity x 3.87 full charges = 290.32 kWh of power

290.32 kWh x 12 cents per kWh = $34.84 electricity/mo

You’ll definitely notice a difference in your electric bill, but you’ll also see a difference in your monthly budget since the gas bill will be gone. For instance, if you bought the Tesla to replace a 2015 Camry with a combined 30 miles per gallon you’d need 40 gallons a month to go 1,200 miles. If gas is $3.19 a gallon you’ll pay $127.60 at the gas pump. 

You’ll pay for the increase in electricity use, but it’s a lot less than what’s paid in gas every month. Another thing to consider is that electricity prices have remained more stable over the years than gasoline. 

No matter what time of day you charge your EV you can count on Provider Power to provide a reliable supply of electricity across the North East. Our plans are made for the energy needs of modern families today, tomorrow and well into the future. See what Provider Power energy plans are available in your area. 

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Smart Device Use in the United States

What smart devices do we use the most in America? How prevalent are smart phones in our daily lives? Let’s find out more about smart devices in the U.S!

United States of Smart Devices: 

The Pew Research Center has been carefully tracking device use in the U.S. for years. We’ve always loved our electronics and innovative technology, so it isn’t surprising to find that Americans are often early adopters that go all-in with device use.

In the Internet of Things (IoT) era, smart devices have quickly gained traction to become an important part of everyday life. And we’re not just talking smart phones. That device has been the catalyst for a wide range of other smart devices that are able to connect and operate using your phone. 

All of these devices use a fair amount of energy. They use so much electricity for charging that the Energy Information Administration (EIA) added small electronic devices as a specific item in the Other Uses category on the 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey.

All of these devices add to your electricity bill, which made us wonder how many people in the U.S. have smart devices. And what is the state of smart device use in the United States today? Let’s find out!

What Types of Smart Devices Are We Using?

Which smart device is an American most likely to own? It’s safe to say we have somewhat of an obsession with our smart phones, but there are a lot of other smart devices that peak our interest. 

Smart Phones 

This is clearly the largest segment of smart devices. Although nearly all Americans have had a cell phone for some time, in 2011 only 35% of people had a smart phone. In the Pew Research Center’s latest survey they found 85% of Americans had a smart phone at the start of 2021. Just two years ago, 81% of people had a smart phone. 

Given that 97% of people own cell phones, clearly there is still room for growth that will likely happen. 

Smart Home Devices

There’s a broad range of smart home devices, because people are buying them. A recent survey by ValuePenguin discovered that 65% of Americans now have at least one smart home device. 

But that number will likely grow substantially in the next few years. Between 2018 and 2026 the smart home device market is expected to grow by an astounding 25.3%. By 2025 smart home devices will be a $135.3 billion dollar industry. 

Fastest Growing Sectors of Smart Devices in the U.S.

The devices above have become common, but in a market that’s growing rapidly there are sure to be more game changing smart devices around the corner. Here’s a look at a few smart devices that you’ll see in more homes moving forward. 

Smart Locks

Home security has always been a top priority for homeowners in America. It was only a matter of time before smart locks became common, and it seems that time has arrived. Industry experts estimate that the smart lock market will grow by 12% in the U.S. between now and 2026.

The experts cite several reasons for the growing adoption of smart locks. First and foremost is growing concern over home safety. However, the rise of home automation, IoT and general awareness about the products is also increasing the number of smart locks that are installed. 

Smart Devices for Energy Management

There is increasing consumer demand for smart devices that allow for energy management. Already we are seeing an uptick in smart HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) devices and automated heater controls. Many new builds include these types of features to attract buyers. But based on consumer interest, we may soon see smart devices for whole home energy management beyond the HVAC system and refrigeration. 

Smart Plugs

One of the smartest new devices is actually used to power up your smart devices. The use of smart plugs is expected to grow right alongside the smart devices that plug into them. It only makes sense given that control is a top concern for consumers, and a smart plug lets you turn the power supply on or off from anywhere. 

As Internet access is expanded and more people begin using smart phones, we can expect to see smart device use increase in the U.S. It’s something that the energy sector is watching closely since it will surely have an impact on energy consumption in the U.S. moving forward. 

Want a reliable energy plan to power all of your smart devices? Provider Power offers fixed rate energy plans that make rates more reliable no matter how many smart devices you own. Check to see if Provider Power plans are available in your area!

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