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What to Ask When Selecting an Energy Provider

Retail energy choice gives large retail businesses the chance to access innovative products and services, and potentially lower energy costs.

But with retail choice comes the responsibility to select the provider that will best meet your needs. When researching energy providers, be sure to ask these five questions:

Question 1

5 questions to ask when choosing a retail energy provider

How have you helped other large retail businesses like mine manage energy costs?

Why ask? Your supplier should have a track record of servicing customers of your industry, size and business model.

What should I listen for?

checkmark icon

 Challenges the provider helped the customer overcome 

checkmark icon Products and services used

checkmark icon Specific results

Question 2

What kinds of tools do you have to help retailers navigate energy markets and control costs?

Why ask? Your supplier should empower you with information to make smart energy decisions.

What should I listen for?

checkmark icon Market trends and forecast reports

checkmark icon Historical volume data

checkmark icon Benchmarking data 

Question 3

5 questions to ask when choosing a retail energy provider

What products and services do you offer to help our retail business lower demand for energy—and costs?

Why ask? A provider should be committed to helping you use less energy and cut costs.

What should I listen for?

checkmark icon

 Demand Response program

checkmark icon Energy efficiency solutions

checkmark icon Alternative energy products

Question 4

What kinds of products do you offer for retailers that want to explore market-based pricing?

Why ask? Your provider should tailor their offerings to suit your budget goals and level of risk tolerance.

What should I listen for?

checkmark icon Fixed price/firm-variable price and hybrid supply products

checkmark icon Advisory services to help execute purchasing

checkmark icon Assistance with building benchmarking 

Question 55 questions to ask a retail energy provider

How do you structure your pricing, and how would a monthly bill break down for a retail company like ours? 

Why ask? It's vital that you understand how you'll be charged for energy.

What should I look for?

checkmark icon Clear indications of costs that are charged separately (e.g., capacity, line losses)

checkmark icon Costs charged by contracted volume vs. consumption

With due diligence, your retail business can find an energy supplier offering the right product mix and the expertise to help you manage your energy bills while ensuring a comfortable environment for customers.

To learn how Direct Energy Business can help large retail businesses like you

Download our FREE eGuide: Total Energy Management for Large Retailers

1 ENERGY STAR®, “Retail: An Overview of Energy Use and Energy Efficiency Opportunities,” retrieved March 2016

2 Fraser, Mike and Adam Siegel. GreenBiz, “Retail energy management: The $3 billion opportunity,” June 12, 2014

3 U.S. Small Business Administration, "Energy Efficiency for Retail Stores," retrieved March 2016


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