Just say no to lock in fixed rate gas prices.
How I lost $2,482.71 over 4 years by locking into a fixed rate gas plan. This is a long term comparison of the cost of purchasing a gas contract through Summitt Energy vs. Union Gas. Don't ask how I have such detailed info on this, or even why I'm writing on this, because I will unleash the fury I brought upon myself for signing something I didn't read.
Back in August of 2006 my wife and I purchased our first one and a half storey house. We were excited to finally move up in the world and out of the basement apartments we had been living in for the past 500 years.
We started renovations to gut and fix the entire house, and in the middle of the renovation we had a person come to the door saying they were a representative of the Province of Ontario and had to verify that the address he had on his paper/record was correct, and that this was required of all new home purchases. He seemed legit, mind you I was covered in drywall dust and sweat from head to toe, and had a face mask dangling from my neck so my brain probably wasn't filtering legitimacy properly. My thought was that he said he was from the Province, ok...I know about this Province, he then said that this was required, ok...he sounded authoritative. I thought, sign here and he'll be gone and I can get back to work. No account numbers were provided, no contracts were given to me, nothing but my name and address. If I had only known what that signature was going to cost me over the next 5 years I would have thought a little longer about it. Plus I would have given the guy a little motivation to get another career.
Over the next few years I tried to deal with the issue, and consulted with the Ontario Energy Board, which were helpful and very nice to deal with, which was quite the contrast of Summitt. It took me 6 months just to get a copy of the Contract I had signed and information on what it was for. All this being said I just gave up, which is statistically what they are hoping I will do. In one phone call I even told them that their representative at the door lied to me and was misrepresenting himself and what he was doing. The response was they were not responsible for the actions of their employees and that he was probably 'let go'.
So I have learned my lesson, a hard one at that. Don't be pressured to sign anything or any contract no matter how many pages of fine text it is, or how 'generic' the sales person says it is. Once you sign, you're up the creek without a paddle.
I am now glad to say that we have paid out of the contract with Summitt and are now back with Union Gas.
Here is a breakdown of my bills and gas usage over the last 4 years which show the difference in cost I would have paid if I had not signed with Summitt. (The costs do not include taxes, storage, delivery, delivery price adjustment or the monthly fee. Only the cost of the Gas, Admin Fees & Delivery to Union Gas.)
Here is one of our past bills. The area in red is what I used to calculate the rate for Summitt Energy. The Union Gas charges would apply whether or not I'm with Summitt or Union.
Here are the numbers I used to calculate the rates at Union Gas. Note the areas in red.
Here is the worksheet for the past 4 years. Forgive me if it's not 100% accurate, but I think it's pretty close. Note I only have the figures for the past 4 years and not the total 5 years of the contract. We also moved during the last year, so our usage went up a bit.
So be careful what you sign, and you may save yourself a few thousand dollars, many painful headaches and years of frustration.
Hope this post helps someone else avoid the same dumb mistake I made. Have you had a similar experience? Let me know, so we can sob together :)