Across the United States, a growing number of states are creating energy choice programs, particularly for commercial consumers.
Energy choice represents deregulated markets — where the energy supply and delivery can be separate brands. In such markets, energy consumers for electricity, natural gas, or both, are permitted to shop for the energy supplier who will best meet their service, budget and sustainability objectives.
Here’s a quick, 3-step guide to determining your best commercial energy solution.
(For markets without energy deregulation, skip ahead to items 2 and 3.)
Exploring Your Options
In deregulated markets, you have the most choice. While the infrastructure of power lines, pipes, etc does not change, the brand of your energy supplier can. Best of all, this occurs with no interruption in service–often you pay the same bill but reap the benefits of the lower cost.
Energy choice programs have also created healthy capitalist competition in markets, which have resulted in such benefits as:
- The potential of lower energy costs as companies compete for your business.
- The possibility of loyalty rewards so that energy suppliers retain their customers.
- Improved customer service of suppliers and delivery utilities, as they compete for your business.
- Improved incentives, such as energy suppliers providing energy upgrades at no cost to consumers, or public energy funds reimbursing the cost of energy upgrades.
With so many potential benefits, there’s never been a better time to explore your local energy options.
Investing in upgrades
Upgrades do represent an “investment” in sustainability, in longevity and in energy stewardship, but that term can be a bit of a misnomer — energy upgrade investments do not necessarily cost the consumer!
Assessing and upgrading energy usage can be paid for in 3 ways:
- By tax incentives at city, county, state or federal level–or in some areas of the country, by all of those governing bodies! That’s because utility bills generally include an “Energy Efficiency Charge” (sometimes called an Energy Conservation Charge or SBC/RPS). That money goes to a fund designated for energy upgrades, as do some other tax-based programs (depending on taxes in your jurisdiction). These funds will generally reimburse upgrade charges.
- In some areas, you do not need to wait for reimbursement–an energy provider may upgrade your energy usage infrastructure at no cost to you, as part of their incentive programs.
- With a smart energy evaluation, one can quickly determine the energy upgrades which will best maximize return on energy savings for your particular industry and facility needs. Such upgrades can vary tremendously–from modern insulation techniques to smarter appliances and thermostats–a professional evaluation can help determine the ROI of all of your upgrade options.
In these 3 ways, energy upgrades offer measurable value.
In conjunction with the options listed in step 2 above, it is possible to generate or store onsite energy for commercial energy purposes.
Onsite storage has greatly improved with newer battery technologies. Unlike cumbersome and expensive generators of the past, batteries do not require fuel storage, are virtually maintenance-free, and can provide additional energy during times of peak usage (not just during a power outage.
Modern batteries can also be connected to commercial solar panels–allowing businesses to regulate their energy usage (reducing peak energy or “energy demand” charges), as well as generate some or all of their electrical needs.
Start with Energy Professionals
At Energy Professionals, we partner with our clients to make smart energy decisions–from better energy management to meeting efficiency and sustainability objectives.
As independent energy brokers, we work solely for the benefit of our clients. Contact us to find out more and to start saving money.