Yes, your utility will not treat you any differently if you purchase your electric form a different supplier. If you are experiencing a power outage or a brownout, you will need to contact your local utility to report the problem.
You can contract with a different supplier at any time. The contract, however, would be from the end of your current contract period for the specific period that you want quoted. As long as you notify your supplier prior to the anniversary of your current contract that you are no longer going to use their services beyond the current terms you are fine.
In most cases the answer is yes. Most suppliers have language in their contracts that if you leave early then there are fees associated with leaving your contract before the contract term is up.
In most cases there is a significant savings over what you can be saving from what you are paying with the utility. In most cases, you can be saving 15-25%. Depending on when you last contracted with your current supplier, if you are with an alternative supplier, electric supply rates are at eight to ten year lows. So there is a significant savings that could be saved from what you are currently paying vs. what you would be paying beyond your current contract term.
Depending on the supplier, a consolidated invoice will be offered either by the supplier or on your utility invoice. Some suppliers will invoice you for your commodity and the utility charges would be invoiced by your local utility.
Payment terms will vary from supplier to supplier. Most have a net twenty days to pay some have net ten and for governmental bodies thirty days or forty five days are given.
Yes, there are several different programs that can be offered to you depending on what you want to accomplish with the purchasing of your electric needs. A program will be tailored to meet your needs.
Not all states are deregulated. Depending on where you are located you might be able to purchase electric from an alternative supplier. If you are located behind a municipality or a cooperative you at this time do not have a choice of purchasing your electric needs from an alternative supplier.