By now, everyone has heard about the competitive (or deregulated) energy markets that exist in various parts of the country. These markets provide energy buyers numerous options when procuring energy. Want low cost, you can get it; want energy efficiency, no problem; want low risk, sign on the dotted line. Unfortunately all of these choices complicate the energy procurement process. So what can a company do?

This is where the “ABCs” (Aggregators/Brokers/Consultants) come in. These companies evolved to fill gaps in the energy markets where buyers do not have the expertise. ABCs provide knowledge and experience to help buyers navigate the available options and mitigate any risks related to these choices.

  • Aggregators– typically acts as a broker, representing a specific group or groups of buyers. Aggregators “bundle” groups of (usually smaller) like-minded buyers – franchisees, churches, etc. – to leverage the larger, combined usage to get a better price from the suppliers.
  • Brokers – typically act as middle-men or negotiators between the supplier and the buyer where price is the primary determinant. They can either represent the buyer or the supplier. In either event, their main driver is getting the deal closed quickly.
  • Consultants – typically work with the buyer to develop and execute an energy procurement and management strategy. This process best works for larger buyers with more complicated energy needs.