If your business is in a deregulated market, you may have various energy provider options. Gather details about your company’s current provider and competitors, including rates and any extra perks offered.
Look for providers with low per kWh electricity rates and positive customer feedback. Consider negotiating for long-term contracts to reduce the risk of pricing fluctuations that can impact your bottom line.
Know Your Options
Various factors go into evaluating electricity rates, including plan type, fees, promotional offers, and contract length. It’s also important to consider additional services that are available from energy suppliers. For example, some providers offer green energy plans, ideal for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Some electricity providers Dallas offer a fixed rate, meaning the energy price will not change over time. Others offer a variable-rate plan where prices are based on the market and will change monthly. Many businesses lock in a fixed rate because it allows them to budget more easily and eliminates uncertainty.
If you’re considering switching to a new provider, ensure the new supplier will save your business money compared to your current electricity costs. Look at your Price to Compare number on your utility bill, which will be expressed as a cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh). If you’re already in a fixed-rate contract, ensure no early termination fees are associated with leaving your old provider before shopping around for a better deal.
Larger electricity consumers often have more negotiating power, but even smaller businesses can use deregulated markets to procure natural gas and electricity supplies that meet their needs. Consider engaging energy brokers who can help you navigate the energy procurement and negotiate competitive kWh rates.
Know Your Contract
Many businesses take the contract they are given by their energy provider in stride, assuming that it’s impossible to negotiate. However, in states with deregulated energy, business owners can use their power to get a better deal on electricity rates. To start, gather information on suppliers and compare their per kWh electricity rates and any additional perks or services they offer. Once you have done this, shop for a provider to meet your needs and budget.
When negotiating, remember to be honest. Don’t bluff; only threaten to cancel your service if willing. If a customer service representative claims they don’t have the power to reduce your rates, politely ask for their supervisor and work your way up the chain of command if necessary.
When negotiating, it’s also important to understand your contract and what fees you may be charged when you cancel or change your plan. Many providers have different contract terms, and choosing a provider that fits your business’s needs is essential. For example, if you’re interested in green energy options, you should look for providers that source their electricity from renewable resources such as wind and solar. It would help if you also considered looking for a provider that offers long-term contracts, as these may have better pricing structures than those with short-term contracts.
Know the Competition
Depending on where you live, your electricity market may be deregulated, and you can shop around for the best prices. Start by identifying your current and potential competitors and gathering details about their energy-rate offerings, perks, and promotions. Are they wooing new customers with lower introductory rates, rebates, and extra services? If so, this can give you leverage in your negotiations.
It’s also important to know if hidden fees and terms, such as late payment, processing and renewal fees, early termination charges, and more, can affect your bottom line. Be sure to research each provider’s customer service reputation and ratings.
One of the most common ways for an unscrupulous energy supplier to make their profits is by increasing your per kWh electricity rate at the end of your initial contract term. They can often align this increase with peak season to maximize the impact. This is unfair to your business and can lead to major bill spikes that can significantly impact your finances.
You can find out if an energy supplier is legitimate in many states by checking with the state public utilities commission or similar agency. The agency vets and screens each supplier, ensuring they fit their territory well. You can also look for providers that offer green energy options, which can help your company save money and reduce its environmental impact.
Know Your Limits
Once you understand your current usage and tariff, it’s time to start shopping around. Check out online energy comparison websites to see what providers are offering. Look for plans with lower kWh rates than your Price to Compare number. Check contract terms and incentives to see if providers offer discounts, rebates, or loyalty bonuses.
A good supplier will negotiate for competitive kWh rates and try to add value to your relationship. For example, a good supplier will give you a lower rate for the first year of your contract if they know you will likely stay with them. They’ll also align the initial low kWh rate with your peak season to maximize their profits.
Tiered energy rate plans are another way to lower your kWh rates, but you should know that these plans are only cost-effective for those with below-average consumption. The best way to reduce your per-kWh rate is to use less energy. This can be done by using energy-efficient appliances, shifting energy usage to off-peak times, and charging electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles overnight or after 3 p.m.
Energy contracts can be complex, and it is important to consult with an expert. A professional energy broker can help you determine the best options and strategies for negotiating your electricity rates.