Congratulations, you’re off to college! You’re starting the next chapter in your life. With it, comes a lot more responsibility, like getting your utilities set up at your new college apartment. According to US News, “The College Board estimates that the typical living cost for a full-time student attending college during the 2016-2017 academic year was around $11,810 on a low budget.” WE GET IT…We understand most college students are strapped for cash. But what’s the best college electricity plan? Should you look at prepaid electricity plans or Short term electricity plans? We’ll cover all the electricity plans that will keep the most money in your pocket!
Best College Apartment Electricity Plan?
Once you find your new apartment and you’ve signed the lease they likely will require to set up electricity. There are tons of electricity plans to pick from, but what’s the best college electricity plan, for a student with a small budget?
Some of the things you will need to keep in mind are to avoid signing up in the summer for a 12-month plan. You’ll also need to decide if you’re going to want to go with a short term electricity plan or pre-paid electricity plans. Let’s dig further into what’s best for you…
Are Short Term Electricity plans the Best College Electricity Plan?
Students generally move into their apartments or duplexes over the summer. However, signing up in the summer when rates are typically higher doesn’t make sense to lock in for 12-month electricity plan. Additionally, with college students and living situations always changing, this also presents a problem. 12-month plans also come with high cancellation fees if you leave the contract early. So, scratch 12-month plans in the summer off your options as a candidate for best college electricity plan.
If you’re wanting something fixed and your moving into your apartment in the summer, we recommend a short term fixed rate plan. The best way to do this would be to sign up with a 3-month plan around the end of summer. Then, when the plan is nearing its expiration mid-fall (when the rates are better) you can renew a 6 or 9-month plan to get you through the rest of your apartment lease.
It’s important to note that any fixed term, whether it’s short term or long-term, will likely require a credit check. Which, for a college student may be an issue since you don’t have much credit built up. The same goes for international students attending college without a social security number. However, if you do receive a deposit you have two options. First, you can pay the deposit amount, which is often refunded once the plan ends. Second, you can look into signing up with prepaid electricity plans.
Prepaid Electricity Plans (Pay as You Go Electricity Plans)
Another candidate for best college electricity plans are prepaid electricity plans. This plan can also be referred to as a “pay as you go” type plan. We mentioned earlier that many college students don’t have established or built up credit. The reason prepaid electricity plans are a great option is that they allow a student to pay as they use electricity.
College Students can put down any amount (Ex. $50) to start the account. As they start using electricity at their house. Their usage will pull from the initial amount they put down to initiate service at their apartment or duplex. Once their balance starts running low. They will get a notification usually by text or email, that they need to put more money into their account. At that time the student can then go into the prepaid electricity plans account and load more funds.
There are two major uses for prepaid electricity plans:
The first reason prepaid electricity plans are a candidate for best college electricity plan is that there is no cancellation fee. Since prepaid electricity plans have no contract term length, students can leave the contract whenever they wish. This works great for students who are unsure about their living situation and for students that have roommates with unstable budgets.
The second reason these plans are very desirable is that they don’t require a credit check. This makes it a great option for international students studying at an American institution. They will still be able to get electric services started at their residence without a US Social Security Number.
Are Prepaid Electricity Plans Better Than Short Term Electricity Plans?
Both of these options are great for college students. If you have established credit or don’t mind paying a small deposit, go with a short term fixed rate plan. However, if you don’t have credit built up, or you’re an international student and don’t have a social security number…Then prepaid electricity plans would be the preferred option.
How to Pick and Set Up Electricity
Hopefully, this gave you a better understanding when it comes to setting up electricity as a college student. You’ll be saving money with either of our recommendations for the best college electricity plan. Now you’re probably wondering where can I sign up for an electricity plan? UtilityHound.com allows users to sign up for electricity plans online. Their platform offers several providers and plans to choose from. They can also help you sign up for internet and TV.
College students across the country are using UtilityHound. It gives them the ability to get everything connected in one place, online. Saving them tons of time and money for better things like…partying. Or studying if your parents ask!