- Fiscal Responsibility: Commercial energy consumers don’t have time to be experts in everything. As with mortgages, legal matters or insurance, it’s a big portion of a budget and it’s important to ensure good fiscal decisions. Mistakes can be very costly.
- Save time, effort, energy: A broker takes the burden off the shoulders of the client. Energy contracting matters can be very time consuming for the inexperienced.
- Due Diligence: The decision makers are often responsible to a Board or Management team. By hiring a knowledgeable broker, you ensure that you will end up with the best and most suitable contracts for your needs.
- The proper fit through careful analysis: A broker will advise on right type of contracts for your company based on your risk tolerance and management style and strategies. They will look carefully at your company profile, data and consumption, plus analyse your needs, risk tolerance etc. to recommend the most suitable contracting opportunities. But you still make the choice.
- Meaningful interpretation and side by side comparison: The devil is in the details of how information is presented by the various retailers in their offers. It can be difficult to compare one company’s offering to another as they will use non-standard benchmarks. A good broker will convert the information into a format you can fully understand and can compare with consistency – a true “apples to apples” comparison so you can clearly evaluate your options.
- Full customer service: A good broker will follow up and resolve any issues, and will fully support their clients, all as part of the basic service. Every client is valued no matter how small or short a contract.
- Additional Analytical Capability: Your broker should have a thorough knowledge of the market, the many retailers and their various offerings. They should be able to offer an even more sophisticated level of analytical expertise as needed. Access to a Chartered Financial Analyst ensures the broker has the most respected and recognized professional standards of excellence available to their team.
- Transparency and Integrity: A reputable broker works with ALL major retailers with transparency and has no special interests or preferred retailers. This ensures you access to the most competitive opportunities in the market place. This is most easily demonstrated by the broker keeping their fee the same regardless of retailer – they have no incentive or private agenda to drive you in a certain direction. Their fee will be declared up front so there are no hidden surprises, and no deals done “behind the scenes”. Every part of the process will be upfront and clear.
The Bottom Line – Hiring a broker is a wise decision when you are dedicating a significant portion of your budge to energy costs if you do not have the time or expertise to follow the market. But be sure to ask questions to determine that they have the knowledge base, analytical capabilities and a clear commitment to your best interests. The above eight points will help you ask the right questions.