We all want the ability to choose what we can control. For example, we control what we eat, where we shop and how we spend our free time. But, are all choices the same? Do we truly know which door to choose? The problem is that this isn't a gameshow where there is a prize behind each door, this is business and making a poor choice will hurt in the long run.
Often times we decide to do nothing instead of making an informed decision. We find that most businesses don't understand the difference between working with an energy broker versus a supplier versus a fiscal consultant. It's human nature to avoid making a decision when you don't understand the pros vs cons.
An Energy Broker is exactly what it sounds like. They broker your electricity and natural gas suppliers, finding great rates for your company. The positive to working solely with an energy broker is that they only focus on energy, and know a lot about the market. However, energy brokers typically don't have multiple relationships with suppliers, and usually keep the relationships that benefit their business in the end, not yours. Suppliers pay energy brokers either up-front, or on a residual basis and since getting paid up-front is easier for their business, they keep relationships with suppliers that only pay up front. Thus, you only get to see half of the good prices you're offered, and not knowing any better, choose the best price out of the worst pool of suppliers.
Suppliers are companies who purchase a commodity like electricity or natural gas, and sell it to consumers. They can either sell through energy brokers and consultants, or sell direct to consumers. Suppliers have vast knowledge and their websites are filled with great information on tips to save money and current market trends. The downside to choosing to work direct with a supplier is that you don't have a choice on price. You can't choose from 3, 5 or even 130 different suppliers and are stuck with the price you get from that supplier.
Fiscal consultants are typically going to be your best choice when managing operational expenses in your business. The difference between an energy broker and a fiscal consultant is that a consultant has relationships with up to hundreds of suppliers and sits on your side of the negotiating table. Also, consultants offer other benefits like LED Lighting rebates and incentives. A true fiscal consultant will work with you to reduce your total cost of energy, including reducing use in order to put money back in your pocket. TPI Efficiency not only reduces your operating expenses, but they also come up with purchasing strategies, notify you of fees you shouldn't be paying on your bills (help you recover that $$$), and keep you informed of market trends and updates.
Making the best decision for your business is critical, and you need to do your own research when deciding to choose an energy broker, supplier or fiscal consultant. In the end the worst decision you can make is not making a decision at all.