If you are having a tough time understanding all of the ins and outs of buying electricity, then you should strongly consider hiring an energy consultant. Energy consultants offer a wide range of services and they understand that you have plenty of other things to do; like focusing on running other more important parts of your own company. Whether you are a small business or big corporation, your main goal is always going to be to focus on your core business. By hiring someone who’s a specialist in energy prices, you give yourself the relief that your energy bills are being handled with care.
Here is the process that you can expect when you hire an energy consultant. First, the energy consultant is going to take a look at your electric bills. They are going to, initially, take a look and see if you have any existing contracts in place. If you do, then the energy consultant will analyze your existing contract to see what terms he or she can improve for you.
If that person thinks that they can find a better deal in your market, then they will speak with you about those opportunities. Signing an authorization form with your energy consultant will allow that person to request the historical usage of your building(s) from your electric provider(s). They then will look at the meter’s account numbers and make sure that everything has been included in the historical usage information. Even though this is tedious work, it is very important to double check; the energy consultant will want to make sure that they know, with strong certainty, the range of energy that you consume on a monthly and annual basis. Once this information has been validated, then your consultant will begin approaching energy providers on your behalf.
Your energy consultant will ensure that all of the suppliers’ bids are apples to apples comparisons. This means that they will make sure that all charges are included inside of the energy price and that there are no hidden pass-throughs or surprises, like RMR, Congestion, or other ancillary charges. Once this has been reviewed, then the energy consultant will prepare a savings report that will show you your different options. The energy consultant will then discuss your savings report with you and report on whether there is an existing savings opportunity. They will work with you to pick a term and reserve the rate with your new supplier.
It’s important to understand that the pricing that you will see is will change daily, based on the commodity. This means that if you aren’t ready to make a decision that day, then in most cases, the price will be different when you are. The energy consultant will be able to get refreshes for you if you choose to wait weeks or months before you decide to pull the trigger. The market is going to move up and down all of the time. So, an energy consultant should have their eyes on the market and also be able to spot when there’s a dip in the market. If they do this correctly, then they will take advantage of the opportunity and present it to you so that you can purchase power at an attractive rate.
The right energy consultant for your company is going to be the one that makes you most comfortable about how their market knowledgeable, experience and relationships with energy providers will give you the best opportunity to achieve your energy procurement goals. It is important not to forget that finding the right energy consultant for your company will allow you to focus on issues that are more important to your company’s success.
Written by Josh Stern, President of JASMAHN Energy Consulting.