What Your Energy Supplier Can Do for You

CI.EN.DG CBF Article 4

In this rapidly changing energy landscape in which we’re all working, finding an energy partner that you trust — one with proven experience and the solutions customized to your business’ unique needs — is a game-changer. As market volatility continues and energy prices rise, no longer is "buying energy" just a simple factor of doing business. And working with a partner that can help you build an effective energy strategy can free up your business to grow, thrive, and innovate.

Let’s take a look at what an energy partner can provide.

Risk protection and price predictability

Your supplier can look at your previous utility bills to evaluate your facility’s unique energy usage profile. This helps develop a plan toward achieving goals specific to your business. Suppliers typically hedge energy based on your chosen term, risk tolerance, and market conditions. (And the best suppliers work with you to determine just what your risk tolerance is.)

Working with an energy supplier that can customize pricing may help you better plan for energy costs, giving you more peace of mind and reliability when it comes to budgeting for your operating expenses.

Of course, “stability” means different things to different businesses. The right energy partner will take the time to evaluate your unique usage and understand what you’re hoping to achieve. From here, they’ll recommend the best blend of products and services to help you succeed, while also maximizing favorable market conditions. Learn more about creating an energy strategy to mitigate risk here.

Market expertise

It’s an understatement to say the energy market is complex. And now, as the U.S. energy grid is in the middle of a massive transition, it’s more important than ever to work with a partner who understands how to make the right short- and long-term decisions for your business.

Solutions that meet future needs

Sustainability may not be one of your organization's goals today, but as options expand and become more price-competitive, it may make sense to explore what “going green” could mean for your business. Working with a supplier that has experience in on-site solar generation, renewable energy credits (RECs), carbon offsets, and efficiency solutions can be incredibly beneficial as you plan for your energy goals one, five, and even 20 years down the road.

What to consider when choosing an energy supplier

Whether exploring options for a small business or for an industrial company with a large footprint, here are five questions to guide decision-making.

1. What's the right energy strategy for my business?

The energy market can be very unpredictable. There are many things out of your control — from weather patterns and changing regulations to technological innovation — which makes managing energy a challenge for both large and small businesses. It’s important that you work with a partner with a wide variety of products, services, and contract options that can be customized to help you meet your organization's goals while managing operating expenses.

2. How important is transparency to my energy supplier?

Before agreeing to a long-term partnership, you'll want to be certain that your energy supplier is open and honest about every detail of your contract. Things like regulatory changes, swing, material deviation and force majeure can potentially alter the agreement you've signed. Be sure to insist that a representative from the energy supplier you're considering is willing to sit down with you and go over every detail in the document.

3. Does my supplier have a reputation for excellent customer service?

Before making your choice, make sure the supplier is willing to assign a dedicated representative to your business. The right supplier can serve as a trusted extension of your team, helping you navigate the market.

4. How financially strong is my supplier?

A stable supply of energy is essential to ensuring your business' operation. Before entering into a long-term agreement, you need to be sure that your energy supplier is reliable and financially healthy. Before signing a contract, consider requesting audited financial information from the supplier.

5. What's my energy supplier's company structure?

Many suppliers are subsidiaries of larger international companies and may not have the time or ability to focus on your industry or local market. Privately held companies are often more flexible, with dedicated teams for each customer. When researching energy suppliers, look for one that’s privately held and domestically based.

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