Tips for Choosing a Good Energy Consultant
As the cost of energy continues to increase, and with carbon tax in the picture, it is ever more crucial to seek the best price for energy for your facility. A lot of businesses are resorting to procurement partners to help them in choosing the best energy supplier. A well-reputed consultant can assist in securing a suitable contract, but it can be challenging to decide whom to select.
When in search of an energy consultant, take the following into account:
Transparency and Comparative Quotes
Pick a partner that is transparent, providing all the details necessary for you to decide wisely with respect to your needs (a consultant may only make recommendations). Also remember that the cheapest deal is not necessarily the best option; there are several other factors you should consider, from environmental charges to operational charges to contract terms and more.
Clear Commission Structure and Payment Rules
Be aware of your costs upfront. Choose a partner who receives the same commission from every single energy providers in the area – this makes sure that there will be no favoritism. Furthermore, they should not collect commissions or any form of payment from multiple stakeholders for their services (there are consultants who will charge you as well as the retailer). Either the retailer pays them a commission or you make the payment, direct.
No Quotas Avoid consultants that work with quotas from providers.
They may have a hard time staying objective or neutral, which is necessary for effective energy consulting. Usually, when a consultant provides no more than one “best option,” he is only trying to meet a quota.
In certain states, the Public Service Commissions/Public Utilities Commissions provide certification to professionals in the natural gas and electric industry, such as brokers, marketers, and aggregators. If you hire an energy consultant who has been licensed or certified by state regulators, you can be assured that they have the technical, financial, and managerial means to give you top-tier energy consulting and procurement services. Hiring an energy consultant who has ties with industry groups and access to government programs like Energy Star will also be beneficial.
Another reason to hire a certified energy consultant is that you need to work with someone who is always updated on industry developments. Such changes may be technological, legal, regulatory or in the form of new market opportunities.
Finally, there are retail electricity contracts that do not consider carbon costs – instead, they have clauses allowing adjustments when the carbon price is introduced. Always insist on a carbon-inclusive contract to avoid unanticipated price hikes because of carbon prices.