Budget Plan Takes the Guesswork out of Monthly Bills
See if it’s right for you.
The Budget Plan takes the amount you usually pay on your Rhode Island Energy bills in a year and breaks that amount into twelve balanced monthly payments to help offset the traditionally high winter heating and summer air conditioning peak bills. You will still pay only for the total amount of energy you use in a year, but the Budget Plan makes it easier to anticipate your monthly energy costs and plan your household budget. For more information please see our brochure, Even Payments-Making Budgeting Easier [Spanish version]
While the Budget Plan makes your bill more predictable, there are factors, such as extreme weather, energy prices or lifestyle changes (such as more or less people at home impacting how much energy you use) that may cause a change in your monthly budget payment. That’s why we continue to read your meter. These factors are reviewed every three to six months and an adjustment may be made to you monthly payment amount at that time so that a large end of the year discrepancy is avoided. The answers to these frequently-asked questions below may help you decide if The Budget Plan is an option to help you manage your monthly energy bills.
Yes. Customers whose accounts are in arrears (meaning bills that are 30 days or older) must first agree to enter into a deferred payment arrangement which helps you pay off the past due balance. Descriptions of these plans are available here.
If you’ve just paid a bill, it can take up to three days for your payment to clear and your account to become eligible for budget billing. Please check back in three days. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Yes. However, the lack of your personal energy usage in that home may lead to monthly payments that could be adjusted every three to six months until your specific usage pattern is developed. We set the amount of your monthly Budget Plan amount based on the homes past energy usage during the previous year. We estimate that usage to determine your average monthly payment. Your energy use could be different requiring periodic adjustments.
A lifestyle change, such as the number of people living in your home or a change in the appliances you use in your home can increase or decrease your energy use. That usage will be used to calculate actual costs to date. If those costs differ greatly from your budget amount, there may an adjustment during the review period to avoid a larger discrepancy at the end of the budget plan year.
Warmer or colder temperatures will change the amount of energy it takes to cool or heat your home which could also cause your monthly budget amount to change.
You may enroll any time of the year. The Budget Plan is a 12-month plan, starting with the month you join. If your bills tend to be higher/lower at certain times of the year you may pay more or less when you start your Budget Plan payments. This is not a discount program, but helps to take the “peaks and valleys out of your bills.” At the end of the 12 month period, you will only be charged for amount of energy you used during the year.
If you receive a single bill from Rhode Island Energy with both your Rhode Island Energy Distribution charges AND your Supplier charges your Budget Bill Plan will cover your total charges. If you receive a separate bill from your supplier, only your Rhode Island Energy delivery charges are included in the Budget Plan.
We look at your usage and the cost of the energy being used every six months to make sure it is as accurate as possible and may make adjustments to reflect that in your bill. You will be notified on your bill a month ahead of time if your plan needs to be adjusted. That way, there are no surprises at the end of each month or the year.
Although we do check your usage and make adjustments throughout the year, it could happen that we have overcharged or undercharged you by the end of the year. We treat the 12th month of the budget plan as a “settlement month” in such cases. If you paid for more than you actually used over the plan year, we will reduce that month’s bill to reflect your credit. If you didn’t pay enough to cover usage for the year, you can choose to either pay the amount over the next 12 months or pay one lump sum in the 12th month.
*NOTE: If you have not lived at your address for 12 months, the usage the plan is based on may not be consistent with your actual usage. We recommend at least 6 months of service at an address to help ensure the stability of your budget plan.