Thursday, May 26, 2016 ENERGY 101ENERGY BROKER
For individual consumers and large businesses alike, an energy broker is a personal, on-hand expert in all things relating to gas and electricity suppliers.
In those regions where the energy market has been deregulated (UK, some parts of Europe, and several US states, for example) suppliers must offer competitive rates and contracts to attract customers, and the resulting clamor for your business can become utterly bewildering and overwhelming.
As an experienced professional, who has freely chosen to immerse themselves in the complex world of energy supply and demand, an energy broker is able to navigate the market on your behalf. Acting as a middle man, a broker saves you from endless research, phone calls and paperwork, cutting through the sales pitches and industry jargon to help you make an informed decision about your gas and electricity contracts.
The main role of an energy broker is to provide price and contract comparisons between suppliers, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each option (in terms of real life and real savings, in plain English), and give their expert recommendations.
Energy brokers may offer different levels of service, ranging from a one-off telephone consultation or brief summary, to a thorough report of their market analysis and detailed findings. So you can decide whether you just want to dip a toe in the water with an overview, or whether you’re ready to dive in!
If you purchase an contract through a broker, they will usually take their commission, rather than charging a fixed and up-front fee. It is therefore important to check whether they have a relationship or agreement with particular suppliers or whether they are truly independent.
The best brokers work with a wide range of suppliers, comparing rates, offers and terms of contracts, so that you can be confident that you are getting a good deal. They know and understand the market and have direct contact with suppliers, saving you both time and money when it comes to researching your next contract. An energy broker is likely to have access to the most competitive offers and deals, and even to be able to negotiate more favourable rates and terms on your behalf.
Many energy brokers are also energy consultants, offering a more comprehensive and all-encompassing management of your energy consumption, with a view to putting sustainable plans and changes in place. Energy consulting is usually more of an ongoing relationship of advice and support, and includes a strong focus on efficiency and CSR, as well as cutting costs.