Choosing Suppliers

The pros and cons of taking on the services of an energy broker

4 min read

08 May 2018

Former special projects journalist

An energy broker helps businesses choose an energy provider, and is essentially a middle-man arrangement. A broker will scour the market for the best deals and negotiates on its clients’ behalf.

For some businesses, especially those with several buildings or particularly large facilities to operate, energy bills make up a large proportion of overhead costs and need careful consideration.

It’s important to make sure you are taking on not only the most cost-effective supplier, but also one that suits your needs. Does your business want to switch to 100% renewable energy? Do you want a fixed contact or something more flexible? For some business owners, it is simply easier to outsource this research.

Here, we explore the pros and cons of using a broker service.

PROS

• Get clued up – using a broker can make it easier to gain a big picture view of the market. There are few published prices in the business market, and price comparison sites rarely include all suppliers
• Improve your bottom line – brokers may be able to negotiate better prices than a customer would if they approached the supplier directly – suppliers know they have to keep prices competitive
• Advice and best practice – a broker will be able to provide you with advice on how to keep your energy bills to a minimum, and may even provide energy audits so you have a deeper insight into how you are using energy
• Safe hands for switching – some brokers will remind you when you are approaching your contract rollover deadline so you can decide if it’s time for a change
• Saving yourself time – it’s probably fair to say most business owners could do without the hassle of researching energy suppliers and products. Outsourcing to a broker means you have more time to focus on driving your business.

CONS

• It’s not fully comprehensive – a broker will not be able to compare every supplier on the market. They will have relationships with some suppliers, so you need to make sure they cover as many as possible
• You’ve got to cough up – you have to pay for the service. This goes without saying, but as with all kinds of outsourcing you need to decide whether the value an expert is bringing to the table is worth the cost
• Choosing a broker – if you decide to work with an energy broker, you still have to choose one. This means taking time out to do your due diligence and researching the options.

At the end of the day, whether or not a broker is worth the expense very much depends on your business.

If your energy bills are one of your main expenses, it is worth exploring all avenues that could help cut them down!

For more information on third party intermediaries and energy brokers for small businesses, click here.

Total Gas & Power are committed to better energy, and are the first supplier in the UK to provide green gas to a university, a trade union, cinema and pharma company. TheirEco-Energy product comes from 100% certified renewable sources and all customers receive a certificate to demonstrate their green credentials.