Energy deregulation across the country, particularly for commercial consumers, has led to more choice than ever–with no interruption to your service and the potential for substantial savings.
Yet the data can be overwhelming–where do you even start when it comes to choosing an energy provider?
Here is a simple guide to making a complex process a great deal more navigable.
Step 1: Understand Your Energy Bill
In order to really compare energy prices, which can be a bit like comparing apples and oranges, you need to understand your current energy expenses.
- What do you spend on energy, broken down by costs?
- What energy resources do you need (electricity, natural gas, etc) for which functions?
- What flexibility do you have, in terms of onsite resources or utilization (such as operating hour needs)?
- What are your future goals and expectations for energy usage, including your sustainability goals?
When it comes to comparing energy companies, not everyone will fit your needs, but that might be hard to identify unless you know what your current and future expectations might be. For example, the cost of the energy might look lower at company B, but the service or delivery charges might be higher, making the overall cost higher than company A. If you know what you pay, as broken down on your bill (and not just as a total), it will be easier to compare pricing structures.
As you take a look at your current and future predicted needs, you’ll also have a better understanding of what to ask in step two.
Step Two: Research Your Options
Once you understand your own needs, you can begin to discover available options. You’ll be comparing pricing, but also considering other factors of a potential new provider, including:
- Licensing, registration with your state and service area,
- Available energy sources (it may sometimes be cheaper to separate out natural gas, electricity, etc, but may also be cheaper to bundle with a single energy provider),
- “Hidden” costs such as cancellation fees, service provider change fees, etc.
- Possible incentives to reduce costs,
- Fixed versus variable rate options,
- Reputation of the company and customer service quality.
A company worthy of your business will be able to answer your questions about them, the terms of their contracts, and your expectations.
You should also discuss your growth needs and sustainability objectives, to determine if an energy provider will be able to fit your future needs (particularly when factoring in contract length).
Step Three: Get it in Writing
Verbal agreements and handshakes might be enough in some industries, but when it comes to your business energy solutions, get a written proposal.
Does it match what you were told verbally? Does it have a cancellation period if it doesn’t work out?
Before finalizing an energy contract, you’ll want to see a written sample of your future bill as well as a formal contract. Another best practice is to compare the written proposals of two to three of your top contenders for your future energy provider needs. Just as you would consider a couple of contractors before upgrading an office building, a side-by-side comparison of energy providers will ensure you are getting the best solution for your energy needs.
Bonus: Consult the Professionals
Sifting through the fine print of energy contracts, comparing incentives and hidden costs, setting and meeting sustainability goals of clients and partners, and many other factors can make the process of choosing an energy provider complicated.
Fortunately, at Energy Professionals, we work as independent energy brokers, partnering with you as total energy solution providers.
Contact us to find out how you can start saving money on your energy bill.
This articles was originally posted at: https://www.energyprofessionals.com/energy-news/how-to-choose-an-energy-provider-in-3-steps/ on