In deregulated energy markets energy brokers are responsible for working on behalf of clients to assist them in securing the best energy rates possible. Also called energy consultants, energy managers, or energy analysts, energy brokers are considered the middleman in the process of energy procurement. Here we will give you some essential tips for choosing the energy broker that is right for you.
Energy Broker’s Job Description
Energy brokers are trained to understand the way the energy consumption and industry rates work. For companies that do not have a dedicated energy manager on their team, energy brokers are able to monitor energy usage and assure that the company is not paying too much for energy. Their primary function is to shop for energy rates on behalf of their clients; providing constant feedback on the various contracts, terms, and prices available.
Choosing the Right Energy Broker
There is no shortage of energy brokers in the energy consulting industry today. So, how can you be sure you are selecting the right broker for the job? There are a variety of things you want to ask and look for to make sure you make an educated decision.
You want to start by doing some necessary homework on your broker. Making sure a broker is qualified to address your specific needs is paramount to this process. Can this company advise you on hedging strategies and complex products? Do they deal with companies of your size and in your industry? How is the user feedback online about the broker’s firm? Get the answers to these questions before looking deeper to find out if the broker is right for you.
Understand the Services Offered
When vetting your broker, ask to see a copy of their Service-Level Agreement (SLA), illustrative contract or comparable document that explains the firm’s service offerings. This document should clearly state the firm’s services, length of service, and list all associated charges. This information lets you cut to the chase, and get straight to the heart of the matter.
The charges outlined in the contract should detail the level of support over the duration of the agreement. For example, an elaborate service package may include the involvement of various experts over the lifetime of the contract, whereas their basic service may merely be contacting a couple of providers on your behalf as a one-time effort. Make sure you are aware precisely what you are paying for.
Understand the Fees
The way brokers charge in the industry varies. Some energy brokers will charge a one-time service charge, and others will add a commission to the cost being charged by the energy supplier. A broker may charge a simple fixed fee or a more complicated performance-related charge. Be clear about all expenses related to the contract.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right energy broker, and you definitely want to take your time and look over all of the documentation, suppliers list, and online feedback from previous clients.