As consumers in this fast-paced world, we have to recognize that when a deal appears too good to be true, it probably is. Energy and electricity companies that offer free nights and/or free weekends are not doing so to lose money on the deal, so you need to be aware of the tradeoff you’re agreeing to.
We want to be clear that not all ‘Free Night and Weekend’ promotions are bad – some will offer you an incredible product at an amazingly discounted rate. Most are not trying to scam you but merely make money and thrive like any company. You simply need to be an informed enough consumer to know the difference in something that looks like a good deal versus something that authentically is a good deal.
MYTHS About Free Night and Weekend Energy Plans:
- Everything is Truly ‘Free’ – “Free” is a human’s favorite word, but there will always be hidden costs involved. This marketing technique is as old as time because advertisers know that we as humans consistently respond to free stuff. As Psychology Today puts it, “when offered a free item, people typically have lower expectations regarding its quality, and these lowered standards are easily surpassed.”
- The Savings Are HUGE - The energy companies will list your kilowatt hours (kWh) as being free for designated durations, such as nights or weekends. However, the catch will be a slightly raised fee during hours outside of these ‘free’ time-ranges, to make up the difference they have lost. “The average rate you pay during non-night and weekend times is often over 20¢/kWh!” It can add up quickly and be a very small savings margin indeed.
- It’s a One-Size-Fits-All – these ‘Free Night and Weekend’ plans can save some people a wonderful amount of money, but they can also cost people money if their schedule does not allow them to reap the benefits of this plan. Some people work during nights and weekends and may only be home during daylight hours. This is when kilowattage will be significantly more expensive, so it may end up costing this person even more in the long-run. Weigh it out against your schedule and lifestyle to determine if the savings are there for your individual case.
BENEFITS of Free Night and Weekend Energy Plans:
- There are true savings if you actually can use energy during the free hours and readjust your schedule around these distinguished hours. As Home Guides puts it, “In general the peak hours, and therefore the most expensive rates will be during the busiest part of the business day which is about 1 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.” Utilize the free hours and there is plenty of money to be saved!
TIPS for Selecting Energy Plans:
- Understand Your Day and Non-Weekend Rates - Check your hours that are not designated under, ‘free,’ and see if the fee seems fair. If it seems inordinately high in comparison to other energy companies, this will be the first clue that they are trying to pull one over on you with the ‘Free Nights/Weekends,’ promotion.
- Educate Yourself on Kilowattage – Determine where power is being most-used in your home and what is costing you the most money. Allocate that to be done during free hours and track this digitally through your online account.
- If Using the Promo, Do It Right! - Use more power during these free-designated hours and get the most out of it to make it worth your while! It’s really up to you how much savings you can compound using the free nights and weekends. It will depend greatly on how regimented and restricted you’re willing to be with energy use during all afternoons and weekdays. Do your laundry, dishes, charging phones, and peak electricity chores during the free hours.
- Don’t Be Wasteful - Also be careful not to be wasteful or overdo the amount of energy you would normally consume. No need to encourage wasteful practices.
- Do the Math - When a product or service that is listed as free, is not really free. If you are paying less in some capacity, you are most likely paying more in another. Figure out where the additional funds are being taxed on and determine from there if the deal is fair.
Most of these ‘Free Night and Weekend’ plans can save you quite a bit of money. Perhaps just less than you are being led to believe. Read the fine print and understand what you’re locking yourself into and for how long you will be committed.
Contact us to learn more about your energy practices, how to save hundreds in your energy plan, and experience a high-quality energy plan that is not trying to cheat you. We care about our customers, offer a quality guarantee, and work to create the finest quality product at the lowest price possible.