Tips for Choosing a Good Energy Consultant
With steadily rising energy costs and the introduction of the carbon tax, making sure you get the best energy price for your facility is more crucial than ever. A lot of businesses are resorting to procurement partners to help them in choosing the best energy supplier. An experienced energy consultant can help secure an appropriate contract, but it can be hard to determine whom to choose.
When in search of an energy consultant, take the following into account:
Transparency and Comparative Quotes
Select a partner that believes in transparency, that is, by giving you all the pertinent information to help you make smart decisions regarding your needs (some consultants will provide no more than their recommendations). Also keep in mind that the cheapest price isn’t necessarily your best option since many other issues have to be factored in, like operation charges, contract terms, network tariff optimization, and so on.
Clear Commission Structure and Payment Rules
Be aware of your costs upfront. Make sure the partner you choose gets the same commission from all the energy providers in your area to avoid favoritism. Additionally, they must not charge more than a single stakeholder for the initiative (some consultants charge both their client and the retailer). It’s either the retailer pays them, or you do directly.
No Quotas Avoid consultants that work with quotas from providers.
This can make it difficult for them to stay neutral, which is essential to good energy consulting. In most cases, a consultant who only gives you one option – what he will present as the ‘best option’ – might only be trying to fill a quota.
In some states, the Public Service Commissions/Public Utilities Commissions provide certification natural gas and electric brokers, aggregators, and marketers. An energy consultant who is certified or licensed by state regulators may be expected to have technical, financial, and managerial wherewithal to provide quality energy consulting and procurement services. You should also consider hiring an energy consultant who has an active relationship with industry groups and has access to Energy Star and other energy-related federal programs.
Another reason you should choose a certified energy consultant is that you want someone who is always in the know when it comes to the latest developments in the industry. Such changes may come in the form of new technology, new regulatory guidelines, new laws, or new opportunities in the market.
Finally, note that in some retail electricity contracts, the cost of carbon is considered, although some clauses permit adjustments as the carbon price is introduced. Be sure your contract is carbon-inclusive so you can avoid unpredictable cost increases related to carbon prices.