Your company is always looking for new ways to stretch dollars, especially if it's a small business on a shoestring budget. If you're an entrepreneur, you try to make make the most of limited resources by working and spending smarter.
Getting smart about energy - one of the top expenses every company faces - can save you a bundle. Wondering how to get started? Check out these tips for increasing your buying power and shrinking your energy spend.
To maximize savings, you'll need to start by choosing the best electricity plan for your company's needs. Do your research, and look for programs designed for small businesses. With the right fit, your electric bill will be one less thing to worry about.
Partner Up to Qualify for Wholesale Energy Rates
Find out if there are commercial aggregation programs in your area. Aggregation allows businesses to combine their energy load requirements and shop for rates as a group. The larger load increases the group's buying power and often leads to better prices. Commercial aggregation is currently available in Ohio, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Texas, and New Jersey.
Lock in a Long-Term Rate
Many businesses opt for a variable rate or short term plan so they can pounce on lower prices when they occur. While you can save with a variable rate plan, keep in mind that you'll need to ride both the highs and lows to see a net benefit. Also be aware that you'll have to spend time tracking daily fluctuations.
Consider a fixed-rate plan instead. Though it may not give you lowest possible rate, it will guard against price volatility and give you budget certainty, especially during hot summers and cold winters.
Get Paid for Investing in America’s Energy Future
If you've thought about making energy efficient upgrades but reeled at the cost, check out the the Small Business Association's (SBA) website. The agency offers programs that help small businesses modernize their buildings and operations.
Find out if your business qualifies for commercial energy efficiency programs. Keeping a tight ship will slash your energy load, and might even earn you tax credits and other incentives. Act fast, though, since many credits expire at the end of the year.
Putting it All Together
When it comes to energy, there's no magic bullet that works for everyone. The key is to get up to speed on your options, and match them to your business requirements. That means shopping around and consideringing longer term, fixed-rate plans. If you work in a state with commercial aggregation, join forces with partners to make suppliers compete for your business. Finally, always be on the lookout for provider incentives and government sustainability programs that can do much of the heavy lifting for you.