7 Questions to an Electricity Provider Before Switching
With the tight controls over electrical supply in Western Australia slowly relaxing, more and more businesses are able to take advantage of the opening market. Many businesses are switching electricity provider to not only utilise renewable energy alternatives but to cut electricity costs. This not only makes great environmental sense, it's also an excellent way to hedge against the rising electricity prices.
Before switching your electricity provider, you should be aware of the pertinent questions that need to be addressed.
1. How long will my contract be?
As with any other service provider you'll need to know how long you'll be locked under contract with your electricity provider for. Long term contracts will usually offer a slightly better rate for your energy supply.
2. Are there “take or pay” provisions in the contract where I’ll have to pay for energy I don’t use?
Some companies will insist you pay for a threshold usage of power every year. If you decide to complement your current supply with on-site solar panels or you increase the energy efficiency of your business you will still have to pay for energy you have not used. Slightly scandalous in our opinion, be sure to ask them about what occurs following a decreased usage of power.
3. Will you charge me additional rates if I increase my consumption?
The same can be true of companies that increase their power consumption, and thus place more demand on the grid. The penalty for an increased power usage may be levied as a flat fee or as an increase in your general tariff. This is particularly important for manufacturing businesses to be aware of; expansion of your productivity will often come with a hefty energy price tag, with some suppliers at least.
4. Will you penalise me for installing solar now or in the future?
As we addressed in the second question, retailers will be displeased if you decide to generate your own bit of electricity on-site. They especially don't like it if it's the solar option you've gone for. When assessing a new electricity provider be sure to push them to disclose their policies on this front.
5. Will you show me how to change my electricity consumption patterns in order to bring down my tariffs in the future?
The monitoring of your power consumption patterns can often reveal numerous ways in which your business could be made more energy efficient. There are also multiple operations that could be shifted to differing hours of the day in order to take advantage of the off-peak supply rate. If you can get a cast-iron guarantee that the provider will conduct such monitoring for you it can save you a lot of money in the long term.
6. How committed are you to renewable energy?
As you can imagine from a solar power firm, Infinite Energy are highly committed to the movement to renewable energy sources. Many other energy firms are firmly stuck on the fossil fuel fixation though. This is not only damaging to the environment but will also result in your energy prices steadily rising. As we've seen from previous questions, if you're stuck on contract to one of these suppliers, you won't even have the option of plumping for renewable energy on-site once prices rise.
7. Can you provide monitoring solutions so I can monitor and manage my electricity consumption?
Whilst monitoring is normally conducted by the power companies themselves there are also numerous on-site options which allow you to conduct energy audits in person. This can be invaluable to large businesses as you will often notice results of significance long before the less interested power suppliers do. If a provider refuses to supply an independent monitoring solution consider it a red flag.
As an emergent renewable energy company competing in a market that is regulated in favour of our competition we recognise that we need to offer unparalleled choice and flexibility. Why not call and find out what we can offer. Contact our friendly team today!