Don't say you don't have the time it takes to save money. Sure, shop-ping around to save a penny on long-distance phone charges or a half-cent per kilowatt-hour on electricity is time-consuming drudgery. But what if you could do it all in just a couple of clicks of the mouse? It's a deal that's hard to sneer at, and it can be found at a growing number of Web sites that aim to make shopping for utility services in a deregulated marketplace both fast and money-saving.
Case in point: LowerMyBills.com, which, at a recent glance, revealed easy ways to cut long-distance charges below 5 cents per minute and save a few bucks per month on electricity. It also offered up money-saving options for cellular phone accounts, auto insurance and credit cards. A real plus here: Just fax your bills to LowerMyBills, and its staff will hunt for smart money-saving deals that suit your specific circumstances. There's no charge for this personal service. Essential.com-which bills itself as "Your Energy and Communications Marketplace!"-offers much the same benefits, as does GetConnected.com.
Which is best? It depends on your geographical area. But if you want to save big bucks with just a few minutes' time, all these sites are worth a stop. Note: In most cases, both business and residential accounts can be provided through these energy portals, so don't forget to look for cost savings for both.