Are Unlimited Electricity Plans Worth It?

Inspire Clean Energy

14 min read

category: Clean Energy 101

Unlimited Electricity Plans: Frequently Asked Questions

Today, we are faced with many choices when it comes to our energy suppliers and the resources they use. When choosing energy from a supplier, we are typically given two options: fixed rate plans or variable rate plans. Regardless of which option we choose, we are likely to feel like we are gambling as we try to choose the plan that is most cost-effective.

Unlimited energy deals and renewable energy

We live in a time with multiple choices, and the average consumer typically has an increased awareness of their personal carbon footprint. We now know that the burning of fossil fuels is damaging to our planet, and many of us are making decisions that will positively impact our planet. We also know the harm that unsustainable energy sources can do to our health, and we are trying to adjust our lifestyles to reduce this. Thankfully, many energy companies are striving to meet the demand for sustainable energy sources, and an increasing number of renewable options are arising.

With the increase in renewable energy options available comes an increase in the number of plan choices. Whether we opt for a company that uses wind energy, fossil fuels, solar power or hydroelectricity, we must decide which type of plan to go for depending on our intake. There are even unlimited energy plans available, but what are they, how do they work, and are they worth it?

Are unlimited energy plans worth it?

With an unlimited electricity plan, customers usually pay a flat fee to their supplier each month and receive unlimited electricity in return. In other words, whether they use ten kWh per month or a thousand kWh, their bill will remain the same. This fixed price is often attractive to those on tight budgets, such as large families, students, or older couples on set pensions.

The only tangible downside of unlimited energy plans is that if the market prices fall and you are committed to a long-term contract, you are still obliged to continue paying the same amount even though energy prices have gone down. Many contracts include a clause that dictates that the customer must pay a fee if they terminate the contract early, which means that some money will be lost either way, should the market price fall dramatically. However, Inspire never changes an early termination fee offering a great solution for your energy plan.

However, if you’re getting unlimited clean energy from solar power, wind farms and the like, then there’s absolutely no harm in using an unlimited amount of energy. In fact, you’re increasing demand on clean sources, which will help encourage more clean energy farms to be built!

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What is unlimited energy?

Unlimited energy is a tariff that offers customers an unlimited amount of energy use for one fixed monthly price. For example, you may pay $100 for your plan, no matter how much you use.

Unlimited energy deals work the same as most unlimited cell phone contracts today; regardless of the number of calls or texts you make, the price stays the same. Some particular unlimited electricity plans are price-cap-proof in that they protect the customer against the price of energy rising.

The concept behind unlimited energy rates is that it offers a predictable energy service to customers that may be concerned about energy prices. Provided that these energy companies use renewable energy sources, this can be an excellent choice for those who don’t want any surprises when the bill comes.

Is it possible to have unlimited energy?

It absolutely is possible to have unlimited energy, it just depends on the provider you choose. Some companies will require you to install a smart meter and will ask you for your current annual energy usage and bills. The company will then give you a set price for the next year, based on your previous usage. The less attractive part of this is that even if you make an effort to use less energy at home, you may still be charged for your previously estimated price.

Others will offer genuine unlimited usage. It is worth checking the terms and conditions of the plans you’re looking at; there’s always the risk that a company will only allow you unlimited energy to a certain cut-off point. It’s always a good idea to do some research before making a decision, and see if anyone on the plan has faced additional unexpected charges. If you decide to switch to Inspire, you get the advantage of a truly unlimited energy subscription with access to 100% clean energy.

Which energy plan is the cleanest?

Some people would argue that an unlimited energy plan is not conducive to using energy responsibly. This is because customers who may not have been inclined to use large amounts of energy are encouraged to use more energy than before, just because they can.

However, when an energy company uses clean energy sources, the environmental damage high energy use does is negated. Our own unlimited clean energy plan is one of, if not the cleanest available in the US. We only buy our energy from clean sources, such as energy produced by wind farms. This means if you unexpectedly need to use more energy, you can rest easy with Inspire knowing the energy is always clean. If you would like to find out more about making the switch to clean energy, click here.

What is the dirtiest energy source?

Though there are plenty of energy sources that can be considered “dirty”, coal is the worst. Coal currently produces around 44% of US electricity, yet is the source of 80% of all US power plant emissions. Chimney sweeps in Victorian Britain would often die young due to all the soot they breathed in while working. It produces smog, acid rain, contributes to global warming, and even produces waste products like sludge.

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What are the different types of energy plans?

The main energy plans are fixed-rate, variable-rate, and indexed-rate. Each of these plans has different features that make a big difference when it comes to your monthly costs. While there are a few other types of plans, these three make up the majority of the market. Therefore, people need to know how each plan is different in order to choose the best one for them.

  • Fixed-Rate: Prices for electricity change based on the time of year, because changes in temperature cause changes in how much electricity is used. So, with a fixed-rate plan, you know that the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) will stay the same for the length of your contract. Choosing shorter contracts allows you to check out the other price options and lock them in for savings. 
  • Variable-Rate: The variable-rate changes monthly at the discrepancy of each provider, with no other factors determining the rate. Retail electricity providers make money on this style, as they have complete control and use it to their advantage. Furthermore, some plans may start with a low rate for a month or two, but they typically jump to a higher rate later.
  • Indexed-Rate: With an indexed-rate, the price of your electricity is directly tied to an index, which is usually the price of natural gas. Think of it like the stock market; the rates change with the market average. Indexed-rate plans are uncommon, and REPs do not usually advertise or offer them.

What are the different rate structures for energy plans?

  • Stable Rate: Your rate is stable when you pay the same amount for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) you use. People often choose this option for simplicity and consistency even though they cannot utilize lower prices in moderate seasons.
  • Flat Rate: Flat-rate pricing is when you pay the same amount of money no matter how many kilowatt hours you use, up to a certain point, based on how much you have used in the past. But if you use more than usual, you might have to pay more.
  • Tiered Rate: When a provider sets up different rates for different amounts of usage, you get a tiered system. For example, the first 1,000 kWh may cost $100, but if you reach 2,000 kWh, they will charge you another $75. If you find yourself consistently moving into the next tier or higher, you may want to consider another option.
  • Time-of-Use Pricing: This plan is technically a fixed plan with set prices because your contract sets the price you pay. However, your provider may offer different prices at different times of the day or week. These plans are good for flexible people who can reduce energy during peak hours.
  • Bill Credits: Bill credits are a way that fixed-price plans reward you if you use less than a certain amount of energy that month. Your provider will decide which usage bucket gets credits, which will stay the same for the length of your contract, making it a fixed-plan option. With a normal usage range, this rate can save money, but if your usage changes often, you may spend more. 
  • Variable Rate: Rates that change depending on how the energy market moves. Like with the stock market, when there is a lot of demand, the price increases, while lower demand translates to a price reduction. Your provider decides how your rate will change, with little control on your end, but it offers a bigger payoff.

What length of energy contract is best?

Most consumers can choose between several contract lengths for energy plans. Also, these contracts affect whether or not you will be subject to early termination fees in the event you decide to cancel.

  • Month-to-Month Contracts: Most of the time, month-to-month terms are only available for variable-rate and indexed plans, so energy companies can maintain control. This option gives you the freedom to change your plans but does not give you much stability. 
  • Quarterly or Biannual Contracts: People who rent or do not mind switching plans a few times a year should consider three- to six-month plans. These plans help with seasonality, but you have to put in more work, as you need to shop around often.
  • Annual Contracts: Plans for 12 months are similar to plans for 3 or 6 months, but they give you more time between shopping. People who do not want to change plans often but might move in the next year or so will like these plans. 
  • Two- to Three-Year Contracts: Fixed rates are the only option for 24- to 36-month plans, which give homeowners and long-term renters the most price security. If you cancel before the term ends, you will have to pay fees, but you will not have to worry about market changes for a few years. These are the best options, as you do not need to shop around. 

Can you prepay for your energy plan?

Most energy companies offer the option to prepay or postpay. With prepaid, you can pay a certain amount up front; when the money runs out, you pay another large sum. If you are trying to save money or just want to use less energy, this could be a good fit for you.

Postpaid plans are the most common payment option.  You pay the bill when it arrives or by its assigned monthly due date. Your company will send you a bill at the end of each month, after figuring out how much you have used. Unless it says it is a prepaid plan, almost any plan you choose will have you pay after the fact.

What is the best option for clean energy?

The best clean energy option is the one you can afford and that allows you to live your life comfortably. Take a look at the main options. 

  • Complete Renewable Energy Plans: For the planet and all living creatures, 100 percent of energy from clean sources offers better health and leaves a better planet for future generations. With 100-percent renewable energy plans, your home gets its power directly from renewable sources, like the sun or the wind. 
  • Buyback Programs: Some companies have buyback plans for people who have solar panels or wind turbines in their homes. If your solar panels or wind turbines make more energy than you need, your energy company will either buy it back from you or give you credits toward higher bills in the future.
  • Credits for Renewable Energy (RECs): Renewable energy credit options allow a company to make up for the amount of energy it uses by buying enough credits from green energy sources to make up for that amount. With this program, your home's energy may or may not come straight from renewable sources. 
  • Offsets for Carbon: Carbon offsets are like renewable energy credits because they cancel out the energy you use. Under a carbon offset plan, the energy that powers your home may come from fossil fuels, but the electricity company will invest in projects that reduce CO2 to make up for that.

Is clean energy becoming cheaper?

Renewable energy sources used to be expensive, but as they become more common, the prices are decreasing. In fact, they have gone down by up to 62 percent. Also, renewables, in general, are getting more popular and are starting to look like good alternatives to traditional forms of energy. As prices go down, we can also see a shift toward better sources for our health and more competitive prices. 

One reason to switch from nonrenewable to renewable energy sources is to save money. All current forms of electricity, including those used in homes, are made for the way things are done now. To use renewable energy, new ways will need to be set up, which will raise costs for consumers initially, but these costs will decrease with market and government support. 

Is using clean energy a good investment?

One of the most obvious ways renewable energy can save money is by cutting down on energy costs, making it a fantastic investment. Furthermore, using clean energy does not just save money, it saves lives and the planet. Instead of buying something that is running out, you could use a source of energy that is always available.

You can also sell energy from renewable sources to the grid, which means you could make money from energy companies. Falling energy costs can help you keep more money in your pocket, and they can also make your life safer and less complicated. Lastly, over time, using green energy makes everyone's health better, as well as the health of plants and animals. This means better food and fewer health problems.

Additionally, the government will be more likely to use renewable energy sources if customers want them. As people learn about the benefits of renewable sources and more affordable options become available, the demand for renewable energy will force the government to make positive changes toward renewable energy. 

What is a 100% Renewable Energy Plan?

With every renewable energy plan, your supplier buys enough renewable energy credits to match the proportion of your energy consumption that is generated by renewables. Providers purchase from producers of renewable energy to help finance more green energy initiatives and help to deliver the energy to customers. The energy can come from wind, solar, hydroelectric, and other renewable sources.

How can I get unlimited energy?

Unlimited energy is available from most energy providers today. As a customer, you have lots of companies to choose from, depending on your priorities and personal budget. If you don’t want to increase your carbon footprint and potentially cause more harm to the planet, you’ve got to be careful. Fortunately, we offer a completely clean unlimited electricity plan that you can use guilt-free.

With Inspire, your price is calculated using information about the size of your home, your previous energy usage, and/or our forecasted projections. We use this information to calculate the approximate price for your custom monthly subscription or your fixed-rate plan. Our unlimited clean energy subscription starts at just $39.99 per month so you can opt for a sustainable, responsible energy source while having the peace of mind that your energy bill will be the same every month, no matter what.

The more households that use the clean energy we provide, the greater the reduction in damage to the ozone layer. This will help to improve our air quality and reduce the damaging effects of climate change, CO2 emissions and consequent global warming. We at Inspire have been working towards a totally clean energy grid since 2014, and we plan to make even more progress by 2030. We prioritize our planet equally to the customer experience, and we are committed to providing an energy-efficient service that is clean, renewable, and predictable.

To make the switch to an unlimited clean electricity plan today, click here.

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