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August 6th, 2008

Save Money: Shop Around for Cheaper Utilities

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From the 2008 Consumer Action Handbook:

In many states, consumers can choose their telephone and energy service provider. Contact your state utility commission to find out whether you have a choice. Some commissions will provide you a list of service providers and advice on making a choice. Most state utility commissions will also take any complaints you have concerning utility sales and service.

ELECTRICITY AND NATURAL GAS

If you have a choice of suppliers, ask:

  • How much will it cost? How long can I depend on this rate? Are there any other fees I will be charged?
  • Are there any other terms or conditions? For example, is there a fee if I cancel my agreement before the service period is up?
  • Who do I contact if I have a problem? Do you have a local customer service office?
  • Want to save money on your energy bills? The U.S. Department of Energy offers an energy saver guide.

    WATER

    The majority of consumers rely on local utilities to provide a safe and ample supply of water. Your local water agency is responsible for sending you an annual Consumer Confidence Report that should list the source of your water, what contaminants may be in the water, and information on the safety levels of contaminants and their effects on health. For more information call the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or visit EPA’s website.

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    About the HSH Blog

    HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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    Tim Manni

    Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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