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Unlike one-year and two-year plans, six-month plans have historically followed a unique seasonal pattern that depends on whether the contract will include summer months. Typically, the more summer months included in the six-month plan, the higher the average price of the plan.
The same pattern was evident in 2012, with the average price of six-month plans steadily rising all year until July. 2013 has also proven this trend so far, with price increases lasting until July and then decreasing.
This chart shows the average price for a six-month fixed-rate plan (excluding 100 percent green energy plans).
Interestingly, in all but three months last year, the average price of six-month plans was lower than the average price of one-year plans. Customers in 2012 who paid the average price for two, consecutive six-month plans would have saved money compared to someone who paid the average price for a one-year plan.
That may prove to be true again in 2013, but there are no guarantees. Prices for six-month plans may be higher six months from now than one- or two-year plans are today. Still, for the savvy shopper willing to manage their purchases closely, six-month plans may be worth considering.
Average monthly costs as shown are based on a customer who uses 12,000 kilowatt-hours per year. See "About the Index" in the right column to learn more about how the Index is calculated.