5 things to look for when choosing an energy supplier for your business

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Choosing the right energy supplier for your business may feel daunting, and you likely have a lot of questions. Here’s a list of some of the considerations to help as you make this important decision.

Consider what’s important and weigh your options.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential energy suppliers, rank them according to the following categories. This will ensure you choose the right supplier for your organization’s needs.

1. Alignment with your organization’s goals and values

Choosing a supplier that places importance on the same things your business does can really pay off down the road. Whether it’s helping you adhere to a corporate sustainability initiative by offering green energy solutions, giving back to the communities where your customers live, or simply operating their business transparently, working with a supplier who “gets” the things that are important to your business can really make it feel like they’re an extension of your team.

2. Customer service

Having someone you can trust who is available and responsive when you have questions or concerns is everything. Not only that, if they proactively contact you when a market opportunity arises, you can be positioned for future success while you stay focused on your business. Some suppliers may only contact you at the end of your contract, and there are a lot of things that can change from the time you sign the dotted line. A dedicated energy representative can make a positive difference on your energy future over the long-term.

3. Quality of solution

The type of product(s) available may help you achieve your goals. Are there additional benefits such as value-add bundles to help you control costs? Can the product be customized to help you take advantage of time-of-use rules or reduce peak demand costs? A supplier that offers flexible options can create added value in the short- and long-term.   

4. Reliability

Energy supply can be a tough and transient business for some suppliers due to ever-changing regulations and the unpredictability of the energy market. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to see mergers, acquisitions, and other drastic changes in the industry. That’s why experience is particularly valuable. Suppliers that have been around for a while have navigated a variety of market conditions successfully and can bring that same expertise to managing your energy needs. They’ve also likely built relationships with others in your same industry and can bring specialized knowledge to maximize your market position.    

5. Price

The cost of your energy will likely be a driving factor in your supplier decision. But did you know that there’s a lot more to a per kilowatt hour rate quote? A quality supplier will customize pricing to your facility’s specific usage and needs. For instance, does your usage vary significantly by season or time of day due to the specific nature of your business? Additionally, making sure the contract is completely transparent is key to avoiding hidden costs. Some suppliers may include pass-through costs, meaning you could be charged more for extreme weather (like the polar vortex) or unforeseen regulatory changes. So that "low" price could potentially cost you much more in the long run.

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