Energy is a significant part of many business budgets, and the choices available in today’s markets can be complex.
An effective energy procurement strategy can reduce costs while creating efficiencies and supporting sustainability goals. The key is to carefully shop for the right supplier that understands your business’s unique needs and can offer a comprehensive suite of services.
Know Your Options
Whether you’re a consumer looking for a new energy supplier or a business owner considering switching suppliers, you must know your options. Energy deregulation in many states allows consumers to choose from competitive energy suppliers offering various rates and incentives.
A good starting point is to review your recent energy bills to determine how much you’re currently paying and what the charge per kilowatt-hour (kWh) is for each unit of power you use. You can then contact a few different suppliers to compare their offers and find the one that best meets your needs and goals. Due to the deregulation of the energy sector in Pennsylvania, consumers are now free to select their electric provider from a wide range of options with the PPL electric rates per kwh in mind.
If you’re a more extensive commercial or industrial customer, selecting a supplier to help you reach your budget objectives is essential. That means a knowledgeable and dedicated account team who will work to understand your energy usage patterns, help you set benchmarks that acknowledge prevailing market conditions, assess your risk tolerance and make recommendations that meet your long-term business objectives.
Some suppliers offer flexible pricing options, such as variable-rate plans that change monthly based on energy market prices. This may be the right plan depending on your risk tolerance and budget. However, it’s essential to know that variable-rate plans can be expensive in the long run if your usage fluctuates too much.
Know Your Needs
In deregulated energy markets, your business can choose a supplier to supply your electricity or natural gas. This choice is designed to give you more control over your rates and savings while fostering competition among suppliers.
Choosing the right supplier for your needs is critical. The wrong choice could cost you money or jeopardize your ability to meet your business goals.
A trusted supplier should be able to provide you with the information, guidance and tools to help you manage your energy purchases. This includes detailed market data, ongoing education and a team of experts that can work with you to develop a customized energy procurement plan tailored to your unique business objectives.
For businesses with large energy portfolios and complex energy management needs, a trusted supplier should provide a dedicated account manager who can be your go-to source for energy purchasing advice, guidance and support. This person should be more than just a salesperson – they should have a deep understanding of the energy industry and a passion for helping your business reach its budget targets.
Another essential factor to consider is the tenure of your potential energy supplier’s account manager. The longer an account manager stays with a supplier, the more likely they will have the time and resources to help your business meet its energy purchasing objectives.
The process of shopping for an energy supplier can be complicated, but there are things you can do to help you make the right decision. These include asking the right questions and taking advantage of available resources to help you do so.
First, ask about the pricing structure. There are typically two pricing structures for electricity and natural gas – fixed and variable rates. Variable-rate plans can change based on market conditions, while fixed-rate contracts are locked in for a specific period.
Also, ask about the cost components included in your quoted price or passed through separately. These costs may include service charges, fuel supply fees and other related fees.
In addition, a good energy supplier will give you access to market intelligence tools and other data points that can help you manage your business’s energy usage more effectively. This includes historical and monthly usage, peak usage and billing details.
When shopping for an electric supplier, check that the company you choose is licensed by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC). You should also find out the “price to compare” (the price per kilowatt hour your electric distribution company will charge), the length and terms of your agreement and whether there are any fees or penalties for switching suppliers.
Make the Right Decision
When buying your business energy, choose a supplier that fits your needs. Ensure they understand your business’s energy profile and are experienced in helping you manage your total energy spend.
You’ll want to ensure that they offer a variety of price plans to meet your unique energy needs. These can be fixed-rate, variable-rate or a hybrid of both. Generally, these rates shift monthly based on market prices.
A good energy supplier can help you select the right rate plan for your business and then manage it with you. Considering your overall risk appetite, budget expectations, and prevailing market conditions would be best.
As you shop for a supplier, ask about their customer service experience. You’ll want to know if they’re willing to provide ongoing support and guidance for your entire team.
In addition, you’ll need to be sure the company is licensed to serve in your state. This is especially important if you have customers outside your geographic area.
You’ll also want to make sure the company is committed to sustainability. Many energy suppliers have a robust portfolio of renewable energy options. These include RECs, on-site generation and custom-sourced renewable power.