How partnering with the right supplier can help you manage your costs

Annette Durnack, Director of Retail Energy, PPL EnergyPlus

Energy is one the biggest costs for businesses, and failing to find the right plan to meet the needs of your business can prove to be a costly mistake.

But partnering with a comprehensive energy supplier can help your company find ways to reduce its costs and manage fluctuations in usage, says Annette Durnack, director of retail energy at PPL EnergyPlus.

“Too often, businesses just use the supplier that they always have, and pay the bill each month as it comes,” says Durnack. “But energy is too big an expense for businesses for management not to take the time to find the right partner for their energy needs to help them manage their costs. Taking the time to analyze your needs and then finding the right plan to meet them can provide a huge advantage to your company.”

Smart Business spoke with Durnack about how to save money on your energy supply and find a plan that is right for your business’s needs.

How can businesses be sure they are reaping the most savings on their energy         supply?

Pennsylvania’s competitive electricity market, and the ability to choose your electric generation supplier, create opportunity for businesses to save money. For many companies, electricity is a major cost of doing business, and reducing that cost can help make you both more competitive and more profitable.

The first step is to seek a solid, comprehensive energy supplier that can provide electricity to your business at a competitive price, consult with you about products and services that may meet your specific energy needs, and help you navigate market trends with expertise to leverage fluctuations in the market prices to your advantage. Understanding how market fluctuations affect what you pay for electricity, based on the products and services you’ve selected from an energy supplier, can have a significant impact on your budget.

Products and services are available from suppliers in the competitive market that, when aligned with your specific energy consumption needs, can not only save you money but also can produce revenue from your electricity use.

What types of products should businesses consider to help save electricity and money?

Each business uses electricity differently, so it stands to reason that each business has a particular product or service that is best suited for its needs. For example, some businesses use more energy at night than they do during the day. Others may use large amounts of electricity for short periods of time. For instance, ski resorts have different energy needs than industrials, and office buildings have different energy needs than bakeries.

Because all businesses use energy differently and have different needs, PPL EnergyPlus offers a core set of products and pricing structures, as well as customizable products, to help businesses achieve the most energy savings with changing market trends. One specific type of service that some energy suppliers offer is demand response, a service in which your business earns revenue based on your ability to curtail electricity use during certain times of the year when energy demand on the grid may be at its highest point. Demand response programs can turn the electricity that powers your business into a marketable commodity and a potential revenue stream.

What are the potential savings benefits of participating in a demand response service?

PPL EnergyPlus’s partnership with one of the leading demand response service providers can bring you the benefits of a demand response program. There are a variety of programs available, some of which allow for voluntary curtailment and others in which a business is required to curtail energy when called upon by the transmission grid operator. The financial benefits of each program vary based on the amount of load that a business can curtail, whether participation is voluntary or required, and the price of energy during the curtailment period. One program in particular requires customers to commit to reducing electricity use by as little as 100 kilowatts, which some businesses can accomplish by making minimal changes in their operations.

The key to finding the program that best suits your business’s needs is to talk to an energy supplier that understands the market and can explain the programs to you and help you determine which program best meets your needs.

What other services can businesses couple with demand response for greater savings?

Many energy suppliers will offer compatible services to help your business. PPL EnergyPlus offers several products and services that are carefully tailored to match your unique energy usage needs. Its dedicated team offers customers a personalized approach to understanding which energy supply products and services, coupled with demand response service from an industry expert, offer the most benefits to help your company’s bottom line.

Annette Durnack is director of retail energy at PPL EnergyPlus. Reach her at (610) 774-3182 or [email protected]