Many businesses use an energy broker to shop for commercial electricity. An energy broker can show you prices from multiple electricity companies and help you quickly find the best rates. If you’re wondering, “Should my business work with an energy broker?” here’s information that can help you decide.
What’s the Difference Between an Energy Broker vs. Energy Consultant?
First, it helps to understand, what is an energy broker?
Energy brokers are intermediaries between clients (like you) and electricity suppliers. They don’t work for just one electricity provider, so they can present you with offers from different retailers. They are compensated by the retail electricity providers that they work with.
Energy consultants usually provide other services like energy efficiency audits or billing audits in addition to energy procurement. Municipalities, universities or other entities that need to conduct a public bid use energy consultants. Your business will pay a fee directly to the energy consultant for these procurement services.
Why Work with an Energy Broker for Business Electricity?
You can absolutely buy commercial electricity on your own. Check our guide to how to shop for business electricity if you want to go that route.
But, this is one case where you may want to have an expert by your side.
Businesses typically use a broker when making a large purchase of something you don’t buy that often. Just like you can use a real estate broker for your commercial leasing, or an insurance broker to shop for health insurance? You can use an energy broker to shop for business electricity.
Some reasons to work with an energy broker in Texas include:
- Online Access. You’ll have convenient access to electricity pricing for small business. Most electricity companies don’t publish business rates online, making it hard for you to shop. An online electricity broker shows you commercial electricity rates in one place.
- Custom Quotes. Business electricity quotes for medium or large business. You can get custom pricing based on your historical usage and load factor.
- Easy point of contact. You’ll be able to easily compare electricity quotes for your business. You can avoid the endless loop of filling out forms and requesting callbacks.
- Credit Access. Brokers are great for a new business with limited business credit. Energy brokers know which providers will set up electricity for new businesses with no deposit.
- Regulatory experience. An energy broker knows what fine print to look for in the contract, like ancillary services. And they’ll know what city inspections are needed when setting up electricity at a new location.
- Familiarity with the market. Texas commercial electricity is different than anywhere else in the US. You can’t set up service through the utility. An experienced broker can help you short-cut the process if you are from out of state.
In summary, the main reason businesses use an energy broker? With an energy broker, you can quickly work through the business electricity options available to you.
What’s the Process of Shopping Online with a Business Electricity Broker?
We do just about everything online now. Buying electricity for your small business isn’t any different. ElectricityPlans.com lets you shop online for business electricity with just a few steps:
- Enter your address and start month for the electricity contract.
- Review commercial electricity rates from multiple companies.
- Confirm your load factor. We show rates for low load factor as the default, since this is the most common load factor. You can also view rates for high or medium load factor, if they apply to you.
- Select your electricity plan.
- Complete an electronic contract using Docusign.
- Upload your 2 most recent electricity bills for credit review.
- When the electricity provider reviews your contract, they’ll confirm your meter information, load factor and credit information.
You’ll get a confirmation email from your new electricity company. And our back office team will contact you if there are any issues. This is the fastest way to shop for your small business that spends under $2500 monthly for electricity.
How to Work with a Broker for Medium and Large C&I Electricity
If you spend more than $2500 on your monthly electricity bill, you qualify for a custom commercial electricity quote.
We will listen to you, to understand your type of business, your current contract and your risk tolerance. We’ll find out your current electricity provider and pull your historical electricity usage. Then we’ll talk about whether you want traditional or renewable energy.
And with that information, we’ll go to work finding you the best electricity rates for your C&I electricity.
What Kinds of Companies Work with an Energy Broker?
Companies of all types and sizes work with energy brokers. Why? Because buying electricity can be harder than buying other commodities. Electricity rates change daily, aren’t published online and can vary based on the size and type of your business.
Here are examples of the types of companies that ElectricityPlans has worked with as a licensed electricity broker in Texas:
- Medical facilities (hospitals, clinics, medical offices, standalone ERs)
- Oil Field Services
- Commercial Real Estate
- Car Washes
- Convenience stores
- Car dealerships
What are the Requirements to be an Energy Broker in Texas?
Before September 2019, anyone could call themselves an energy broker in Texas. The Public Utility Commission of Texas now requires that energy brokers register with them. Retail Electricity Companies can only work with brokers that are registered.
There are over 1300 energy brokers in Texas. And here’s a list of them. But the reality is, even with this regulation, there are very few requirements to be an energy broker in Texas.
That’s why it’s important to look at the qualifications of your energy broker.
ElectricityPlans.com has been an energy broker since 2017. Our online electricity shopping site lets you review business electricity plans to find the best offer. And we partner with one of the largest energy brokers in Texas for our back office. That’s how we can offer low online electricity rates for small business, and custom energy ratefor medium and large businesses.