Since energy is a large and unavoidable business expense, and companies that fail to make informed purchasing decisions can cause financial harm to themselves. The industry for competitive energy supply has taken off as more companies realize they can improve their bottom line. Most companies simply do not have the time, staff, or understanding to successfully manage the competitive supply process. Companies cannot afford to spend hours upon hours reading contracts, filling out paperwork, and managing supplier relationships. This is where an energy broker comes in.
Now that competitive energy markets have grown so large, there are many different pricing options, term lengths, and contract variations offered by an extensive group of suppliers. It is no easy task for business owners to decide the best option for them. That is why energy brokers exist, to give these decision-makers the guidance of an energy professional who is working on their behalf. Energy brokers offer dedicated energy advisors and other analytical tools that will evaluate your energy accounts and contracts and will guide you through the procurement process.
Working with an energy professional provides many advantages:
- Brokers can often secure pricing that is more competitive
Many businesses want to ensure that are not overpaying for their energy, which is the key reason you should be working with an energy broker.
Energy brokers have relationships with multiple suppliers and will work with them to secure the most competitive rate and contract terms available to minimize their clients’ long-term energy costs.
Competitive energy means that suppliers are competing against each other on price and contract terms to win a client’s business. Therefore, increased competition drives down the prices offered to clients. Energy brokers heighten competition and will negotiate with suppliers on your behalf to get the best price possible. It is not uncommon for a supplier to offer a lower price to a broker, as opposed to a business working directly with a supplier because they are aware that they are competing against other suppliers’ prices.
- Brokers have industry knowledge and expertise
A broker has extensive knowledge of the energy procurement industry. Energy procurement requires time and experience to understand all the intricacies of the market and to comprehend the fine print in an energy contract.
- Brokers are more cost-efficient
The work that an energy broker performs is a full-time job. Like many other jobs that are typically outsourced, like legal counsel, customer service, or IT support – it is difficult to find candidates that possess the ability to manage the responsibility. Even if finding a candidate with this specialized knowledge and experience was easy, it is far more cost-efficient to work with a broker than it is to hire an employee.
- Brokers can provide a strategy
Securing the best price is expected of an energy broker, although the best advisors develop an energy purchasing strategy for each client. The most successful strategies are customized around a company’s needs, goals, risk tolerance, and usage patterns.
To formulate the most effective strategy, an advisor will take the time to analyze how a business operates, including how much energy it uses, and when it’s used – historically, currently, and in the future. After thoroughly understanding all this information and more, a consultant is able to recommend the best supplier and product offering that will meet their client’s needs.
Suppliers typically offer a variety of pricing strategies, which include fixed and variable pricing, block pricing, peak, and off-peak pricing, and hybrid strategy of these combined. The goal is to select the supplier and contract that will save a business the most money over time, instead of just finding you the cheapest price that is available at the time.
- Brokers understand the complexities of the energy market
Knowing and understanding the many product offerings and contract terms of many suppliers is not the only complex task required of an energy broker. They must analyze and understand the energy market in as much detail as possible to provide the most beneficial option for their clients.
Timing is very important when securing an energy contract. That is why you want an energy professional on your side when the time comes. Brokers must have extensive knowledge of wholesale gas and electricity prices – including historical and current prices, while also understanding how upcoming factors and events may affect future prices.
It is not enough to understand energy prices, monitoring the market is critical. They also must constantly keep up with trends and research intelligence to be successful. Since energy prices are extremely volatile and constantly rise and fall, a dip can make a difference of thousands of dollars for some businesses. The most successful energy brokers have market intelligence resources that allow customers to lock in at the most advantageous times.
- Ongoing support and assistance
The relationship between you and an energy broker does not end after you sign an energy contract. A dedicated advisor should be responsible for monitoring your supplier contract and when it ends, to secure future contracts. They also analyze bills to ensure you are not being overcharged. In the event of a dispute between your business and a supplier, a broker will help resolve the matter on your behalf.
Brokers also stay ahead of the fast-changing world of the deregulated energy market by keeping track of regulatory changes, the latest technological advancements, and new pricing structures to help businesses use less energy and cut energy costs.
If you are interested in these benefits and would like to speak to an energy professional about competitive supply, we encourage you to do so.
Unlike most brokers, Patriot Energy looks at the whole picture of energy management, far beyond procurement. Their products, combined with procurement strategies, will maximize value. Their approach transforms energy management from a short-term expense into a long-term investment and aims to save you more money on your future bills over time.
In addition to all these benefits, Patriot Energy also offers a suite of energy efficiency and management options that will improve the facility environment and production and reduce your business’s energy consumption. These products include a variety of energy efficiency solutions, solar energy storage, green power solutions, and facility management.
To lower your energy costs, we suggest you begin the process with a complimentary Energy Analysis. Patriot Energy will analyze your consumption profile, financial goals, and perform a utility bill audit to best advise you on the many supplier contract options.