5 Things You Need to Ask Your Business Energy Provider
Are you looking to change energy providers for your business? Finding a business energy provider can be a daunting task. But, the choice is crucially important to your business and can potentially have a great impact on your bottom line. With so many energy providers to choose from, asking the right questions can be critical in helping you identify the right energy provider for your unique business needs.
Our team of experts has come up with a list of 5 questions to ask that will help lead you to the right decision.
1. What is your pricing structure?
Since you are forking over a substantial amount in exchange for energy to power your business, it’s extremely important that you understand the energy provider’s pricing structure. The first thing that you should try to understand in the energy provider’s pricing structure is the standard kilowatt per hour charge. Be sure that you don’t just stop there though. You should also understand if there are different charges for peak versus non-peak time, or if the energy provider assesses a surcharge if energy consumption increases in a given span of time. You should have a good understanding of any variances in the standard kilowatt per hour charge so that you aren’t on the other end of any surprises when the invoice arrives.
2. What type of energy contract does the energy provider extend?
In the world of business energy, there are two types of contracts that you may run into. A Market Retail contract is a contract where the energy provider sets the rate. Market Retail contract prices can change at any time depending upon market conditions. In a Market Retail contact the energy provide does not have to inform you of the price change In advance, provided they do so before the time of your next invoice. These sorts of contracts may seem to offer lower costs depending on market conditions, but can certainly fluctuate quickly and without warning.
Standard Retail Contracts are generally more fixed in nature. Standard Retail contract rates are sometimes set by the government depending on your locale, and while the price may seem higher at first glance than the prices offered by a Market Retail contract, prices can’t change more than once every six months. These contracts tend to be less risky overall and offer the business an opportunity to adhere to a set budget or to adjust to energy price fluctuations well in advance.
3. Do you offer real-time energy usage monitoring?
Most business energy providers will offer some level of monitoring service to help customers be aware of and control their energy costs. Many times, these monitoring solutions can be accessed over the internet so that business energy consumers can be privy to real-time information about their energy usage. Energy monitoring can be critical to controlling overall energy costs and can help in identifying any issues or abnormalities with energy consumption as they occur.
4. Can you provide a cost estimate based upon existing usage?
One preparation that you might make in advance of engaging a business energy provider is to determine what your current energy usage is. If you can provide information about your existing energy usage, this will not only help the business energy provider to gain a better understanding of your unique energy needs, but they may also be able to provide a cost estimate based on your usage history. This can be a great way to save time and to put yourself in a winning position by comparing estimates before making a final decision.
5. What are the terms and conditions of my contract?
It is incredibly important that you understand all the terms and conditions of your energy contract. Are there penalties for late payments? Are there incentives for early or on time payments? What’s the duration of the contract? Are there incentives for implementing energy-saving technologies or processes? Can you be penalised for installing solar energy? Be sure to always read your contract in its totality, and get a full understanding of what you agree to so that you don’t get hit with any unpleasant surprises.
You may have a list of additional questions that may be helpful in aiding you in your search for a business energy provider. But the above questions will go a long way in helping you get off to a successful start in finding your new provider.