Why an energy consultant can cut energy bills more effectively than using an energy broker
More than 80% of businesses use a third party intermediary for energy procurement to help them source the best prices on the market for gas and electricity.
What is the difference between a broker and a consultant?
Some energy brokers have deals in place with certain suppliers and make recommendations based on these connections. An energy consultant will analyse your consumption data and business needs and use this to extract a customised price from the whole market on your behalf.
How does energy consultancy work?
Energy consultants have access to multiple suppliers and will have gathered in-depth information about the client’s energy usage before staring negotiations. This is important because certain suppliers may have gaps in their portfolios for a particular pattern of energy usage and will therefore be able to offer a better price based on specific consumption data.
Companies employ energy consultants as independent advisers to work on their behalf. An energy consultant may also be working on other efficiency measures within the business such as employee engagement initiatives, consumption and demand reporting, renewable energy schemes and energy efficient lighting. The conversation about energy bills may arise out of other discussions and could well be part of a wider review of energy spending and usage.
An energy consultant usually has in-depth knowledge and experience of the energy industry and this enables them to look strategically at budgets and behaviour. The consultant will adopt a feasibility approach to all areas of assessment, including energy procurement and this may sometimes mean that a review of the markets proves that the client is already paying the lowest rates.
How to choose an energy consultant
When selecting an energy consultant ask the following questions:
- Are they ethical in their approach to energy procurement?
- Do they have the experience and the relationships to negotiate the lowest prices?
- Do they show a genuine interest in your company and how it operates?
- Are they able to understand your company’s specific needs?
- Are they prepared to discuss customer satisfaction ratings for the companies they are proposing?
- Can they highlight the ethical credentials of their suggested energy company?
How to make sure an energy consultant is truly independent
Fully independent consultants can compare prices from all the energy companies and recommend the most suitable contract for your needs so it’s important to check that they are not tied to specific suppliers.
An independent energy consultant will be able to provide access to multiple gas and electricity suppliers in a short space of time due to the relationships they have developed with energy suppliers during their time within the industry. This saves you time and gives you the confidence you have secured the best price in the market.
An independent consultant will provide clear and honest information about the commission and fixed fees they receive from energy suppliers.
An ethical energy consultant will not present a client with a single option. They will present details of say the lowest three prices and explain the differences between these options before making their recommendations based on the client’s business. They will talk through the contractual differences so that the client can make an informed decision.
A good way of knowing if you have a good quality energy consulting acting on your behalf is how they deal with you after the contract is signed. If your energy consultant stays in touch during the duration of the contract and discusses the following you can feel confident they have your best interests at heart:
- Suggests ways in which to reduce and manage energy usage
- Provides ideas on how to generate your own energy via renewable sources
- Assesses your changing energy needs and recommends deals and/or services to help you reduce your bills
- Works with you to develop a long term energy strategy
- Highlights discrepancies with your bills and helps you correct them
PADD offers an independent energy procurement service that is tailored to providing constant analysis and recommendations on when to buy and for what period. This often includes developing risk management strategies to reduce exposure to market volatility.