Here in Texas, businesses have the same rights when it comes to choosing an electricity supplier as individual residents do. Deregulation does not keep businesses in the dark when it comes to benefiting from the increased competition among retail electricity providers that the system was designed to foster. Whether you have a small business or a large firm with numerous locations, shopping for business electricity plans doesn’t have to be difficult. There are a number of tools available to business owners to make the entire process less complicated.
Taking the first step
Before you go any further toward choosing an electricity plan, it’s important to take a close look at your business’ historical electricity usage to develop the clearest picture of what your electricity needs actually are. Depending on your business’ normal use, there are options when it comes to rate structures that might help you to save money on the unavoidable costs of supplying your location or locations with electricity.
For some businesses, electricity plans with fixed rates may be the best option. For one, a fixed rate will allow your accounting department to better predict what your electricity expenses will be from one month to the next, particularly if you’ve historically used about the same amount of electricity each month.
If you operate a business that doesn’t use a lot of electricity regardless of what month it is, you may want to look into a plan with a variable rate instead. Variable rates can fluctuate depending on the overall conditions of the energy market, but that can work to your advantage. If market pricing goes down, your rates will go down and vice versa.
As with any other significant purchase, you need to shop around for business electricity rates. You wouldn’t buy a new fleet of vehicles or a new point-of-sale system without doing your homework, and the same should go for electricity plans. Get some offers to compare from a variety of reputable retailers. You can even select plans with different rate structures and do a little analysis before making a final decision. Your accounting department may be able to extrapolate some predictions based on the information you already gathered about your usage in the past.
If you don’t have the luxury of a dedicated accounting department to do the number crunching for you, don’t despair. With so many options available, shopping for the right electricity plan can be a little overwhelming. If you don’t know where to begin, you’ve already gotten off to a good start. Educating yourself on the process and your options is critical to getting the right electricity plan for your business.
There are even some services available to business owners that can help make the process easier. If you’re particularly pressed for time, brokerages can help take apart your usage history and search around for electricity plans for you. The advantages to enlisting the help of a professional are numerous. In many cases brokers have unique relationships with retailers, sometimes going back years. These relationships can help you get better deals on your electricity rates, and their industry experience can help you steer clear of retailers that don’t have the best reputation for service to businesses.
If you don’t have the funds in your budget for paying a private broker, there are other resources. Many independent websites today offer price comparisons online, allowing you to see the details of different electricity plans before you buy. In some cases these sites even have entire departments geared specifically to the needs of businesses with representatives who can help you negotiate deals with any retailer in your service area.
Securing the rate you want
Once you find an electricity plan that fits your business’ needs perfectly, sign up! There’s no reason to spend more than you have to on electricity, particularly if you are dealing with contract stipulations that limit the profitability of your business. Making a good decision on your electricity plan can result in positive ripples for your entire business, so take your time and find the right solution. Your bottom line will show its appreciation!