viridian

Viridian Energy is a new company, founded in 2009, who offers a variable electric rate to customers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

Viridian Energy only offers a variable rate which can be dangerous if you are a customer.  There is really no limit to how high a variable electric rate can go up in any given month, and history shows that eventually the rates will increase drastically.  The main reason for this is the huge dependency that Viridian places on the wholesale market.  When the market behaves, Viridian can offer a rate that is slightly lower that the utility default rates, however when the market spikes they will be forced to pass on the extra costs to their customers.  I recommend finding a fixed electric rate that will lock in a rate for a set period of time.

Viridian Energy markets through “Direct Selling” or multi-level marketing.  They attract independent associates, who are often not well informed on energy prices and markets, to sell Viridian electric rates to their friends and family in hopes that it will cause these customers to stay loyal to them long term.

Viridian’s rates are not attractive.  Lower electric rates, both variable and fixed, can be found by comparing other electric companies’ offers to Viridian’s offers.

Besides the lower rates offered by these other companies, the important thing to note is that these offers are fixed.  Viridian’s offers are variable and can go even higher at any time.  Viridian advertises that they have “no contracts”, but when it comes to buying electricity, it is good to have a contract as it will state the exact rate you will pay assuming that the contract is for a fixed rate.  Without a contract you are truly at the mercy of the electric company.

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The purpose of this article is to briefly explain the different type of electric providers in the Pennsylvania PPL electric market.

With the competitive electric market in the PPL utility territory maturing, business and residential customers are starting to become more familiar with some of the 30+ alternative suppliers’ brand names.

With many consumers the idea of electricity choice is still a foreign concept, and difference between providers is minute.  In reality the difference between some electric providers can be vast.  To start, though all electric providers are selling the same end product, electricity, how and who they sell it to will determine if they can be a right fit for you.

I put the providers into three categories:  Level 1 (Bait and Switch), Level 2 (Fixed Rate), Level 3 (Large Business Complex).

Level 1 providers are providers like Viridian and Glacial Energy.  They present an easy and friendly way to switch showing an introductory rate that is less than current default rates.  There rate is a floating rate that can changed at anytime.  Their market is usually small businesses who spend less than $1,000 a month.  They attract a customer who is unwilling to sign a more complex contract that would allow them to lock into a low fixed rate.

Level 2 providers offer customers a true fixed rate that will not fluctuate during the term of the contract.  Their contracts are more complex than that of the Level 1 provider because they are essentially buying the power for the specific customer on the wholesale market in advance.  This is how they are able to offer a fixed rate.  Providers like this include Liberty Power, Con Ed Solutions, and Direct Energy.  Their target markets are businesses that have good credit ratings.

Level 3 providers are usually only willing to service large business customers.  They tailor their rate products and contracts for those customers.  Their contracts are usually the most complex and often the customer will benefit by having a licensed broker represent them in negotiating the contract with the provider on their behalf.  The complexity of the contract is however justified as the provider is making a large investment, by agreeing to buy a large block of energy, for the customer and in doing so can save the customer a lot of money on their energy expenses.  Though not always limited to these type of transactions, some of the providers that are more likely to fall into this class are Suez Energy, UGI Energy Services, and Constellation New Energy.

For more information on specific providers, feel free to leave a comment or send and email.

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