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Is Enmax’s Choose Free really Free?

Is Enmax’s Choose Free electricity promotion really free?

You may have heard about this promotion happening right now and thought to yourself, “Hey, that sounds like a great deal.”  Before you jump in here are some things to consider

Here is the skinny on Enmax Free Power giveaway.

A. Conditions:

1. You must sign up for both Electricity (at 7.79 ¢/ kWh) and Gas ($5.99 /GJ or Floating + $0.99 /GJ) for 5 Years.

2. Administration Fees are $7.10 per month for Electricity and $7.10 per month for Gas.

3. The customer will receive electricity at 0 ¢ /kWh up to a maximum of $750 for one year: applied just to the energy portion of the bill. This applies to either the first or third year of a 5 year contract. (The $750 is not what the customer would receive, but rather this is a cap on what the offer is valued at. This is equivalent to a customer using about 802 kWh per month – to achieve the maximum benefit). Once the $750 credit limit has been reached the customer will continue paying the 7.79 ¢/kWh rate.

4. If the customer cancels the contract the penalty is $95 per Electricity Site and $95 per Gas Site calculated for the remaining term of the 5 year contract. (A double dip penalty – will be expensive!)

B. Analysis:

1. One year free electricity comes at a cost.  You must remain an electricity and gas customer of Enmax for 5 years and should

2. The administration charges per month are not $7.10 but really $14.20 (as the admin fee is applied to both Electricity + Gas).

3. Remember you must buy gas and possibly pay $5.99 /GJ. Over the last couple of years (including the spike in price during February of 2014) the average Regulated Rate for Gas which follows the market price was $3.08 /GJ. Using history for comparative purposes, then consumers signing up for gas at $5.99 would be paying almost 100% more for gas compared to what they would have paid if they were on the Regulated Rate.The average consumer using 8 GJ per month would be paying over $275 a year more for gas (which is $1,375 over the 5 year term in premium rates) compared to what they would be paying if they were on the regulated rate.

4. Hidden in the “Fine Print” take note that ENMAX has now implemented a cancellation fee which it never had before. If you want to try or need to get out of this contract it will be expensive. If you cancel at the end of the first year of free power the penalty cost would be $760. On an annual basis the exit fee is not $95 but rather $95 X 2 (for both commodities) = $190 per year remaining on your contract.

 

How does this compare to Park Power’s current Residential Value Rate?

1. On a 3 year contract you would pay 7.75¢/kWh for your energy and $6.50 for your admin fee. Lower than Enmax’s $7.10

2. The 5% interest you earn on your $200 deposit brings your monthly admin fee down to about $5.40.

3. If you want or need to get out of your contract with Park Power you may do so free of charge.  We only ask that you give us 10 days notice of the cancellation.  After that you receive your $200 deposit (that has been earning you a 5% annual return) back.

4. We are offering you a great rate on electricity with superior customer service based right here in Alberta, not in India like Enmax.  We also won’t charge you any exit fees should you have to cancel your service before your contract is up.

 

Don’t believe the hype it makes more sense to choose a lower rate of electricity from Park Power and stay on the Regulated Rate for natural gas.

Shop Local and Power Our Community.

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Offering Albertan consumers a better choice for electricity and natural gas. Lower rates, better service, profits shared with awesome local charities.

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