As an analyst in the industry, I have seen many consumers suffer at the mercy of the flexibility available in the competitive energy markets. Unfortunately, one thing many consumers do not understand is lowest price does not mean the best choice. And, unfortunately, many brokers do not communicate this to their clients. If you are buying energy (either electricity or natural gas) in competitive energy markets, an Energy Consultant can help you maximize your opportunity and limit your risk.

Often, many energy brokers merely shop around for prices for their clients and then move them to the wayside until a few months before the next contract expiration date. Strategic planning, contract terms, and supplier reliability are not top priorities for many “small shop” brokers. While many small clients can get by with this, as savings on small energy usage are limited, for larger clients, this could mean thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost savings or penalties. Unfortunately, not all brokers have clients’ interests in mind – they are more concerned with making a quick commission and moving on.

Long term fixed rate or heat rate? Demand response? Float the market?

How do you ensure your energy broker is working for you and not your commissions? They are more than just your broker; they are your energy consultant. They get to know your business so they can help educate you as to what is the best solution based on your company’s needs. They ask not only about getting you the best price, but also about your company’s tolerance for risk and what contract terms work best for you. They know the industry, know the suppliers, and work for your best interests.

Energy competition can benefit any company’s business plan. If used poorly or incorrectly, it can also hurt it. Hiring the right adviser will help you realize the full potential of energy competition – just make sure they are working for you!