7 Questions You Should Ask
Before You Hire an Energy Adviser
1. Are you a consultant or just a broker?
True consultants or advisers provide value beyond price. Most brokers, while they may have relationships with multiple suppliers, often steer clients to the supplier that pays them the highest fee. Because STEP Resources is NOT beholden to any supplier, we only advise our customers transact with suppliers considered Market Makers.
2. Do you negotiate directly with utilities and regulatory bodies on my behalf?
It’s important you get a “Yes!” answer to this question but unfortunately most “so called” energy consultants will have to say no. They want to make a quick sale and don’t have the necessary expertise and relationships to deal directly with utilities and policy makers, or they have a conflict of interest.
3. Can you help me manage my energy spend, plan for the future and find ways for me to reduce costs?
Most brokers will hem and haw about this but they really can’t help much. Some will offer to help, but will take as much as half of the savings they identify. STEP Resources looks at your usage in conjunction with facility operations to identify patterns that can identify opportunities to control your overall utility cost
4. Will you analyze my usage to make sure I’m getting the best rate while minimizing extra charges, such as for demand or reactive?
When purchasing a commodity it’s all about managing your energy spend; the majority of advisors are nothing more than brokers who just want to make their commission from the sale and move on. STEP Resources will analyze your situation and guide you based on our years of experience in the industry and understanding of the available options. STEP doesn’t sell energy – we help you buy it smarter.
5. Do you recommend different kinds of products or do you rely on fixed price kinds of deals?
Fixed price products have the highest costs to clients AND highest profits for suppliers and brokers. That’s why they promote these products. At STEP Resources we strive to minimize both your costs and your risk and therefore, when possible, steer clear of fixed price options.
6. How are you compensated?
Most advisors and/or brokers collect fees from both the customer and the supplier. It is virtually impossible for you to determine how much of your energy cost goes to those fees. Conversely STEP Resources discloses all fees up front with no hidden costs in the energy price. We are 100% transparent.
7. When is the best time for me to enter into a commodity contract?
Most any time is best. The worst time is a few months before your current agreement expires when your options may be limited. Even if you’re in an agreement now you can start procuring energy from any supplier for when your current contract expires. STEP Resources often helps clients prepare in this way.