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View Full Version : direct energy vs easy max vs other provider


jar_e
07-11-2011, 08:04 PM
To the braintrust of CP...

Myself and the fiance recently bought a home and move in to it in late August. This is the first home either of us have owned here in Calgary and we're not entirely sure on our options for utilities and am hoping for some input on which utility services (if there is even more than one option) are best.

Just surfing the interwebs it seems like EasyMax would be the easiest to have it all combined? But maybe not...

Also, since we're moving, I'm contemplating jumping ship from Shaw and head to Telus Optik for TV/Internet? I tried surfing the Telus TV thread but its way too freaking long.

FlamesKickAss
07-11-2011, 08:08 PM
We have both and its nice to only have 2 bills

Ace
07-11-2011, 08:10 PM
Enmax easymax without a doubt...you aren't locked in. Change whenever you aren't happy.

bringtheheat
07-11-2011, 08:42 PM
Go with Enmax, they are the easiest i have found, everything on one bill. as for telus and shaw, i have shaw, no contracts or anything, so you can get out of it really easily if need be. Telus as far as i know you have a contract and from what i have heard, you get less channels for more money with Telus.

I had a group of them (Telus) come to my house and try to get me to switch and they were offering a substantially smaller package for $20+ more a month.

SO personal recommendation, Enmax and Shaw

Shazam
07-13-2011, 03:13 PM
Enmax for gas.
Spot Power for electricity, because I'm curious as to their fees.

THE SCUD
07-13-2011, 03:15 PM
go enmax easymax for everything. Watch the fixed versus floating rate on their site monthly. I lock in for the months where it will be higher then go floating when it's lower.

very easy.

ken0042
07-13-2011, 03:23 PM
I think we should have a poll. What are the options, besides Enmax and Direct Energy?

Shazam
07-13-2011, 03:24 PM
I think we should have a poll. What are the options, besides Enmax and Direct Energy?
Spot Power.

Bigtime
07-13-2011, 04:08 PM
Anyone here tried Bullfrog for the "green" power?

Slava
07-13-2011, 04:35 PM
Anyone here tried Bullfrog for the "green" power?

It's not really different. Basically you just pay more to have green power....like a rider for your utility bill.

I-Hate-Hulse
07-13-2011, 04:42 PM
go enmax easymax for everything. Watch the fixed versus floating rate on their site monthly. I lock in for the months where it will be higher then go floating when it's lower.

very easy.

How much are you saving by doing this? Just wondering if it's worth the effort of monitoring and switching as necessary (yes I know that sounds lazy)

zarrell
07-13-2011, 04:55 PM
How much are you saving by doing this? Just wondering if it's worth the effort of monitoring and switching as necessary (yes I know that sounds lazy)

Doesn't sound lazy at all. Probably have more important things to do in life than change payment options all the time. Sure you'll feel good that you save that $2 the first month, but then you forget to switch it back when the price goes the other way and you end up in the hole $20. That's the way I see it.

Bigtime
07-13-2011, 07:28 PM
It's not really different. Basically you just pay more to have green power....like a rider for your utility bill.

That's what I gathered, but do you get to carry yourself around with a smug sense of entitlement for saving the earth? :D

Slava
07-13-2011, 07:39 PM
That's what I gathered, but do you get to carry yourself around with a smug sense of entitlement for saving the earth? :D

Absolutely, and it's worth every penny!:whistle:

4X4
07-18-2011, 04:22 PM
Have those of you that have switched from DE to Enmax noticed any increase or decrease in your monthly gas bill? All I really want to know is that I haven't agreed to pay more $$ for the convenience of having only one bill.

ken0042
07-18-2011, 04:30 PM
I'm trying to remember the exact number; but the BS admin fees were either $5 or $10 lower when I switched my gas over from DE.

The other minor crappy thing with Easy Max; when you redeem your dollars it goes towards your next bill. I keep forgetting that, get a $400 bill in February and want to use my ~$100 credit. Then I get hit with $3-4 for a late payment.

jar_e
07-18-2011, 04:34 PM
Another thing I've been trying to figure out...can I sign up for EasyMax online the day I move in? Or is there a delay from when you sign up to when services are started?

Meelapo
07-18-2011, 04:43 PM
Another thing I've been trying to figure out...can I sign up for EasyMax online the day I move in? Or is there a delay from when you sign up to when services are started?

When I moved here at few years ago I signed up about a month before I actually took possession of the house (brand new house). I think they just started the billing when I told them to. It's probably best to call now and get everything set up so you don't run into any issues when you move in.

Teh_Bandwagoner
07-18-2011, 04:50 PM
Have those of you that have switched from DE to Enmax noticed any increase or decrease in your monthly gas bill? All I really want to know is that I haven't agreed to pay more $$ for the convenience of having only one bill.

Direct Energy is a rip-off. Their administration fees are through the roof. They're not even based in Canada.

I switched my gas over from DE to EasyMax a couple months ago, and have probably saved myself a cool $40/month so far, including the $100/year rebate they offer, which can be applied monthly to your bill. I even got a $64 rebate from DE for some reason after switching to EasyMax, of which Enmax did all the paperwork. I didn't even expect that!

Sign up for EasyMax, cast away DE, and take a hot shower to cleanse yourself of their stench. Then spend the money you saved on booze. Then all will be well in the world.

sparky69
07-18-2011, 05:47 PM
The other minor crappy thing with Easy Max; when you redeem your dollars it goes towards your next bill. I keep forgetting that, get a $400 bill in February and want to use my ~$100 credit. Then I get hit with $3-4 for a late payment.

This has happened to me to. I just called them up and they credit me back the late payment

Teh_Bandwagoner
07-19-2011, 11:26 PM
Or just apply the savings monthly so that you can just set it and forget it.

killer_carlson
09-11-2011, 05:28 PM
we're looking at changing who we are with. Currently there is a promo to lock in your rate at 8 cents per kilowatt hour for 5 years.

I'm debating the numbers and whatnot, but with all the various CP knowledge, I'm curious what people here are doing.

Julio
09-11-2011, 05:51 PM
Enmax for us both for gas and electricity. Direct Energy has in the past been kind of shady, having people door to door selling when the industry first deregulated for example. And if you are in Calgary, any profits that the company makes goes back to help down property taxes a bit.

Ducay
09-11-2011, 05:55 PM
EasyMax is a no brainer.

Go check the AB utilities website and their prices for both are usually below direct Energy; plus you get $100 off each year for nothing.

5 year locked in elec rates @ 8c is awesome, plus being able to swap to floating rate anytime is the icing on the cake. Who else lets you lock in at 8c AFTER they've announced the floating is higher?

ken0042
09-11-2011, 05:59 PM
Merged the threads.

Ironhorse
09-11-2011, 06:05 PM
Direct Energy is a rip-off. Their administration fees are through the roof. They're not even based in Canada.

I switched my gas over from DE to EasyMax a couple months ago, and have probably saved myself a cool $40/month so far, including the $100/year rebate they offer, which can be applied monthly to your bill. I even got a $64 rebate from DE for some reason after switching to EasyMax, of which Enmax did all the paperwork. I didn't even expect that!

Sign up for EasyMax, cast away DE, and take a hot shower to cleanse yourself of their stench. Then spend the money you saved on booze. Then all will be well in the world.
How easy is it to switch over? I don't mind cleansing off the stench.

ken0042
09-11-2011, 06:19 PM
If you have a copy of your bills in front of you; it's a 5-10 minute phone call. Most of that time you are listening to the CSR type away. Having your bills gives you the unique identifiers for your gas meter, etc.

Rathji
09-11-2011, 06:53 PM
I am not on Enmax, because they really handled a billing situation *very* badly with us and it infuriated me to the point of switching. I did vote for them in the poll though, so maybe that means I am calmed down about it enough now, and should consider switching back.

4X4
09-11-2011, 07:08 PM
Go for Easymax. Definitely more advantages than disadvantages...

Advantages:

- cheaper or the same price
- all your utilities on one bill
- Enmax is owned by the City of Calgary

Disadvantages:

- the MF computer that answers the phone when you call Enmax. By far the most FRUSTRATING computer phone answerer in the history of the universe.

Double_Dion
09-11-2011, 08:11 PM
I just signed up with E. NRG for 1 year at 6.5/kWh. I can cancel any time without penalty. I looked over the regulated prices from the last 7 years, and ~75% of the time is was at or above this price... A no-brainer for me.

As for gas, I went with DE, regulated rate. Again, over the past few years the price of gas has been much lower than the contract rates.

Have a look for yourselves:
http://www.ucahelps.alberta.ca/historic-rates.aspx

FlameOn
09-12-2011, 08:12 AM
If you have a copy of your bills in front of you; it's a 5-10 minute phone call. Most of that time you are listening to the CSR type away. Having your bills gives you the unique identifiers for your gas meter, etc.

So is it just a matter of calling DE for your gas meter number, telling them you're switching to enmax and then calling enmax to start up your service? Or is there something more involved I'd have to do on my end.

When I was setting up my bill initially I really wanted to go all enmax, but the enmax CSR told me I had to go DE the first time for the initial hookup for some reason

ken0042
09-12-2011, 08:47 AM
That is weird. No, I just called Enmax, gave them numbers from my DE bill, and about a month later I was switched over.

bizaro86
09-12-2011, 09:10 AM
So is it just a matter of calling DE for your gas meter number, telling them you're switching to enmax and then calling enmax to start up your service? Or is there something more involved I'd have to do on my end.

When I was setting up my bill initially I really wanted to go all enmax, but the enmax CSR told me I had to go DE the first time for the initial hookup for some reason

You can switch to Enmax online. You just need a copy of your DE bill which has your "site ID" on it so they know which meter to bill you for.

https://www.enmax.com/easymax/residential/signup/step1.htm

I signed up for easymax when my last bill had 12 cent electricity on it, and it took <5 minutes online (so no waiting on hold/calling during business hours)

Stranger
09-12-2011, 09:35 AM
Enmax all the way. I would never recommend DE.

GoinAllTheWay
09-12-2011, 10:57 AM
I just switched to Enmax for Alberta Engery & Savings LP. Siging with Alb E &S LP was the worst choice I ever made. Locked in for 5 yrs, everything was more expensive. I live in a townhouse with only 2 exterior walls and had bills in the winter time near the $500 mark.

Switched to Enmax as soon as the cancellation fee became reasonable and haven't looked back since.

Crazy Flamer
09-12-2011, 10:59 AM
People seem to think there are only two options out there: Enmax or Direct Energy.

Try checking out a company like Vector Energy. Their fixed rate is 6.5 cents/Kwh and if you want to stay on their floating rate, it too has been consistently lower than the Enmax floating rate. Both options allow you to cancel without penalty.

No, you won't be able to bundle your bills, but staying on the floating gas rate with Direct Energy is the better option price wise. Yes, EasyMax will give you a yearly credit of $100. But you pay that back and then some because the EasyMax floating rate for gas is higher than the DE floating rate.

FlameOn
09-12-2011, 10:59 AM
Well signed up for easymax now. Lets see what my next month's bill is going to be like! Hopefully I can get faster internet for the price difference and savings

red sky
09-12-2011, 11:17 AM
I'll be switching to Easymax as well once I get my new bill from DE. Should be soon hopefully. Have debated this for a while but it seems like the best choice.

Ben_in_Canada
09-12-2011, 12:21 PM
When I was setting up my bill initially I really wanted to go all enmax, but the enmax CSR told me I had to go DE the first time for the initial hookup for some reason[/QUOTE]

You have to go through DE initially as they own all the pipes or something.

killer_carlson
09-12-2011, 07:43 PM
Thanks. This saved me a tonne of time and gives me yet another example to my skeptical spouse that CP is the source of endless valuable information.

octothorp
09-12-2011, 08:04 PM
I once made the mistake of listening to one of the Direct Energy door-to-door salespeople, and deciding to give them a try; the offer sounded pretty good, and I had a week to opt out. So I signed up. By the next day, I had done enough research to realize that the deal I signed up for was actually awful compared to what I was already paying to Enmax. So I called Direct Energy and told them to cancel my plan, which they agreed to do. If that had been the end of it, I wouldn't have carried any grudge.

About three months later I get a gas bill from Direct Energy. Turns out they cancelled my electric but not my gas, which means not only to they felt that I'm locked in with them for three years, but I'm also locked in at a higher, unbundled rate. Took me several weeks of angry emails before I found out about the Alberta Utilities Consumer Advocate organization, and once I escalated the problem to them it was resolved quickly, and was released from my contract with Direct Energy, who did not receive a penny from me.

I'm polite to pretty much everyone who comes to my door, from the JWs to the crazies (we get a fair number of both), but I can't help getting into the Direct Energy door-to-door people about what a crappy company they work for.

Dizzyedge
10-11-2011, 01:00 AM
Hey I'm thinking of switching over to Enmax, I was wondering if someone could list the fees that they're charged on their electricity bill, since the actual rate is sometimes only half the bill.

For example for Direct Energy:

for Aug 5 - Sept 5, 380 kwh

Usage: $62.33

Admin fee: $3.25
Transmission Charge $6
Dist Charge $13.30
Rate Rider $1.97
Local Access Fee $7.31

GST: $4.71
Total: $98.87

Which actually makes me think I'm getting ripped off as $62.33 / 380 kwh = $0.164 per kwh.

Does anyone have an Enmax bill with similar usage?

Ducay
10-11-2011, 09:08 AM
Hey I'm thinking of switching over to Enmax, I was wondering if someone could list the fees that they're charged on their electricity bill, since the actual rate is sometimes only half the bill.

For example for Direct Energy:

for Aug 5 - Sept 5, 380 kwh

Usage: $62.33

Admin fee: $3.25
Transmission Charge $6
Dist Charge $13.30
Rate Rider $1.97
Local Access Fee $7.31

GST: $4.71
Total: $98.87

Which actually makes me think I'm getting ripped off as $62.33 / 380 kwh = $0.164 per kwh.

Does anyone have an Enmax bill with similar usage?


Trust me, even us @ Enmax are "actually" paying nowhere near 8c/kWh once all the fees and riders are included. Your admin charges etc actually look quite a bit lower than my Enmax ones IIRC

justkidding
10-11-2011, 12:51 PM
Hey I'm thinking of switching over to Enmax, I was wondering if someone could list the fees that they're charged on their electricity bill, since the actual rate is sometimes only half the bill.

For example for Direct Energy:

for Aug 5 - Sept 5, 380 kwh

Usage: $62.33 38.64 (483kwh at 8cents)

Admin fee: $3.25 7.12
Transmission Charge $6 7.62
Dist Charge $13.30 13.67
Rate Rider $1.97 ?
Local Access Fee $7.31 9.08
Balancing Pool Allocation -.99
DAS Adjustment Rider .11
Trans Access Defer Acct Rider 3.36

Total is $78.61

GST: $4.71
Total: $98.87

Which actually makes me think I'm getting ripped off as $62.33 / 380 kwh = $0.164 per kwh.

Does anyone have an Enmax bill with similar usage?

I also get some money back each month on the total bill because of easymax.

Dizzyedge
10-11-2011, 03:22 PM
I also get some money back each month on the total bill because of easymax.

EasyMax is about 100 bucks back a year right?
So that would almost cover the ~$10 extra in fees Enmax seems to charge (this is assuming those fees are completely flat, they may be a bit higher due to your bill having an extra 100 mhw).

I think I'll switch to Enmax, partially just due to the business being owned by the city.

That said, I think I should investigate any possible refunds from DE due to overcharging before doing so.

THE SCUD
10-11-2011, 03:23 PM
There is no over charging, other than justkidding is on the fixed $0.08 rate with enmax, you appear to be on some variable amount. The variable amount is governed and should agree to the posted variable rates for AB.

Dizzyedge
10-11-2011, 03:29 PM
There is no over charging, other than justkidding is on the fixed $0.08 rate with enmax, you appear to be on some variable amount. The variable amount is governed and should agree to the posted variable rates for AB.

You're right, I'm on the "Regulated Rate" which now is purely a monthly market rate.

But that said, from Direct Energy Regulated's historic rates:


Billing Period Residential
From To $ per kWh
1-Oct-11 31-Oct-11 0.12513
1-Sep-11 30-Sep-11 0.08161
1-Aug-11 31-Aug-11 0.13079
1-Jul-11 31-Jul-11 0.09754
1-Jun-11 June 31, 2011 0.07146
1-May-11 31-May-11 0.0721
1-Apr-11 30-Apr-11 0.12095

There's no indication why I should have paid ~ 16 cents per kwh

I'll have to look into it and make sure they didn't put me on some inflated fixed rate without my approval.

It's tough to figure out as DE's billing doesn't list anywhere what type of rate nor the rate itself you're paying.

The previous two months seem very close to the posted rates, with a slight difference due to each billing period including 5 days of the subsequent month. Looks like the Sept bill may just be a billing error.

ken0042
10-11-2011, 03:52 PM
So that would almost cover the ~$10 extra in fees Enmax seems to charge (this is assuming those fees are completely flat, they may be a bit higher due to your bill having an extra 100 mhw).

Well, to start with- those fees are not all flat. A few are based on your usage.

The most important point- he is paying $20 less per month for 27% more usage.

Dizzyedge
10-11-2011, 04:03 PM
I figured it out. I'm with Direct Energy, not Direct Energy Regulated services.
So DE is the "competitive" brother of DERS.
The difference in historic prices seems to tend to be up to 25% less in the summer, and as much as double in the fall and winter. Great deal.

What's interesting is if you average out the year, it is about 8 cents per kwh, like Easymax, but if you look closer due to the amount of energy usage in the winter you're not at all paying that on average of all the Kwh you've used during the year.

off to Easymax!

Rathji
10-11-2011, 04:08 PM
It's tough to figure out as DE's billing doesn't list anywhere what type of rate nor the rate itself you're paying.

The previous two months seem very close to the posted rates, with a slight difference due to each billing period including 5 days of the subsequent month. Looks like the Sept bill may just be a billing error.

Just last week I spent an hour on the phone with them trying to get them to explain my bill to me and they refused, saying they could send me out a summary of the charges but could not explain it on the phone. I was furious that they just couldn't tell me what I was being billed for as the numbers didn't make sense, much like your bill. It didnt help that every one of my last 3 bills has a different length billing cycle - ranging from 21 days to 40+ days.

After that call, I signed up for Momentis by Just Energy instead. Probably the same BS in the end (it always is, isn't it?) but I am paying a bit less for gas than I am now and a little bit more for electricity, which I think will balance out in the end if my usage numbers are what I think they are.

If anyone is interested, I can send you a link with the details to sign up for Just Energy. They do mostly direct marketing that I have seen - ie some door to door, some internet marketing, just send me a PM. I will make a donation to CP for everyone who signs up through the link.

Ironhorse
01-17-2012, 11:16 AM
Looking to switch my DE gas to EasyMax this week (already have Enmax electric).

Anything in particular I should know?

ken0042
01-17-2012, 11:20 AM
It is helpful if you have both your gas an electric bills in front of you; as there are meter numbers that they need. If not they can look it up.

I would lock in electric at 8, and let gas float. Other than that- it takes a few weeks for the account to move over. Quick and painless, $5 less per month in admin fees, and then $100 per year as a bonus.