Shop Smart

Michael McGuire

My first ever utility bill confused me. All the rest did to. I couldn’t comprehend analyzing rates and charges and figures about usage – I just scrolled right to where it told me what I owed and when I owed it.

I was a lazy, wasteful and uninformed consumer.

So I decided it was time to become a smart and thrifty shopper. As you all know, we now have options regarding who provides our electricity and natural gas. NYSEG is no longer the only game in town. Since around 1998, smaller firms referred to as Energy Service Company’s (ESCO’s) have taken-up part of the market share and we can buy our energy from them. We might get cheaper products, we might not. The whole point is to shop around.

So I did. I was sick of being a bystander in my own energy existence.

I compared offers from a number of the different ESCO’s eligible to operate in our region, including Mirabito Electric and Gas, NYSEGSolutions (“we’re separate from NYSEG” a rep claimed), Agway Energy Products and even far-off MX Energy Inc., of Annapolis, MD.

It took some time and a little elbow grease, but I was finally able to find a really great deal.

It was with a little mom and pop ESCO called McGuireAdvantage LLC. This company is great. Not only do they give me a substantial discount on my monthly heating and electricity bill (almost nonexistent supply and delivery charges) but they also provide value-added services above and beyond anything offered by the other guys. Yeah the others might fix my furnace and give me deals on fuel oil, but McGuireAdvantage already does all of that plus they provide a laundry service, continental breakfast, lunch and dinner, full lodging and in-house movie and cable plans (Netflix, HBO, Showtime), all at no charge whatsoever. They keep asking me if I would like to sign up for a fixed service rate, or a month-to-month term agreement, but I assured them I was extremely satisfied with our current business arraignment.

I did a bit a research, and I’m not sure how McGuireAdvantage can afford to give me such great deals. It appears they have to purchase all the products and services they give to me at the same price as everyone else in the energy racket. They use NYSEG’s wires and pipes (sounds like they are freeloading to me), but I don’t see how that gives them a competitive advantage over other ESCO’s or even NYSEG, because they get to use those pipes and wires too. But they say it all works out, and that in the end we, the consumers, are better off. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I know my life is pretty sweet now that I am a smart, responsible, and realistic consumer. Thanks deregulation, thanks McGuireAdvantage LLC.