inner_banner_vector abstract graphic

Why Hiring an Energy Consultant Could Save You Money in the Long Run

Whether large or small, your business consumes plenty of energy, especially with central air conditioning reaching all office spaces in the summer and a furnace or boiler supplying warmth during the colder months. You also strain your local energy grid when you add a computer, coffee machine, television, or other appliance to your workspace. If this sounds accurate, consider hiring an energy consultant.

If you need a top energy consulting firm with industry expertise that has aided more than 30,000 commercial clients, including KeyBank, Subway, and Zaremba Management, Navigate Power has years of experience. Below, we’ll explain why professional guidelines and proven energy management strategies from expert consultants are best to increase energy efficiency and lower environmental impact. 

What Is an Energy Consultant and What Services Do They Provide?

Just as marketing consultants provide creative ways to reach your target audience and legal consultants advise you on the appropriate relations and decisions, energy consultants have specific knowledge of energy consumption. Whether you’re receiving assistance from an in-house or outsourced team, consultants save your organization money by finding more cost-effective ways to run it. 

By studying company and employee habits and uncovering high energy-consuming patterns, they then work to find effective solutions that lower monthly bills and your carbon footprint. In other words, they make your company more efficient by troubleshooting, negotiating with utility providers, seeking out government incentives, and connecting you with leading suppliers, to name a few methods.  

How Can an Energy Consultant Help You Save Money?

Between an energy consulting expert’s energy industry-specific knowledge and their awareness of additional resources that can aid your company, they can save you money in the following ways.

By Identifying Energy Inefficiencies in Your Home or Business and Recommending Cost-Effective Solutions

With a full-building analysis, commercial energy consultants determine what factors draw the most electricity and where you can opt for substitutions. For instance, if your monthly bills are larger, you may search for answers in office technology or equipment that employees left on, never thinking of the most obvious. By using incandescent bulbs and not commercial LED lights, you’re burning up to 30% more. 

Energy modeling pinpoints issues like incorrect bulbs and the most effective solutions to alleviate them. These models use simulations that predict how and where the building burns electricity and then design strategy simulations to show how to alter them for energy savings. Specialists also use thermal analyses, which determine heat levels produced by devices to understand which burns the most electricity.

Consultants also do the following to better grasp your energy demands and how to meet them while reducing energy costs:

  •  Identifying patterns: By breaking down energy costs on utility bills, experts find patterns that show peak consumption quarters where you burn more electricity than usual. For most, it’s during the summer and winter when HVAC units are on full blast. A slightly higher consumption standard is expected during these periods but should still be lower than your current payments. 
  •  Methodical savings: Unlike switching light bulbs, some changes, like going solar, may not show immediate drastic improvements but positively impact your company in the long run. Especially with a higher upfront installation cost, you may have placed panels on the back burner. However, they allow you to rely on natural renewable energy rather than solely on your energy grid.

By Helping You Take Advantage of Government Incentives and Rebates for Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Opting for solar energy and low energy-consuming appliances also results in tax cuts and exemptions from the government, depending on your state or district legislation. As the government encourages residents and business owners to go green by choosing more energy-efficient systems, they often give rebates and other incentives, rewarding individuals for their lower demand for disappearing fossil fuels. 

Some government assistance from which you can reap the benefits if you have business energy consultants include the following:

  •  A rebate or retroactive incentive is a small refund you receive from a distributor or manufacturer after a completed transaction. For instance, if you’re filling out a rebate incentive application for utilities, apply for the credit before installation. A spreadsheet analysis reveals your refund and savings over the next year. 
  •  Tax credits are also incentives with which the IRS rewards business owners like you by providing credits or discounts on the tax amount you owe after purchasing green products. Fill out an energy form and submit it with your return to receive biodiesel, biofuel, solar energy, fuel efficiency, or renewable electricity credits for a dollar-for-dollar match to reduce what you owe. 

However, upgrading your old furnace or installing a heat pump isn’t enough for qualification if you don’t base your rebate on the property cost. The rebate must also derive from the seller, whether they’re a manufacturer, installer, or distributor. Also, while you can include labor costs, preparations, and installations as eligible expenses, used energy properties don’t count. 

By Negotiating Better Energy Rates with Utility Companies on Your Behalf

Just as importantly, business energy consultants sniff out when higher bills aren’t your fault. Utility companies comprise fallible individuals that charge you accidentally for services you didn’t receive or were not in your original contract. Some also round your bill up, squeezing extra funds from their clients whenever possible to pocket the extra cash, but hiring a consultant eradicates this. 

Rather than argue with the utility company yourself without the appropriate evidence to back your claim, trust that a consultant will act as a detective, auditing your bills monthly to uncover incorrect charges. In some cases, it’s not just about the occasional spike since your usual rate may also prove higher than it should be. 

An energy specialist finds a fair rate and ensures you pay this lower cost instead by examining and negotiating on the following matters:

  •  Payment terms: Depending on your preferences, a consultant can negotiate shorter payment windows if your state government allows, so you pay lower numbers during each billing cycle, but late fees can also prove heftier if you miss a payment. 
  •  Fees for early energy agreement termination: When you partner with an energy company, you sign a supply contract or agreement where you determine how much energy you need so the company can buy it in advance from the market for you. However, early termination of this agreement forces them to resell the unused energy, charging you a fee a consultant can lower. 
  •  Adding and deleting meters: Large or small companies only stay one size for a while. If you’re growing your small business by adding multiple locations or removing one from a given location, you must add and delete meters, respectively. However, not all suppliers provide an add or delete clause, making this hard and sometimes resulting in penalty fees. 
  •  Using more or less bandwidth than predetermined: Most suppliers penalize clients who use more or less energy than written in their contracts, resulting in higher bills, especially if you go above. A consultant determines whether your supplier offers unlimited bandwidth or can negotiate the amount you can use, alongside how much more you pay for it. 

They Give You Access to Leading Suppliers

Sometimes, if commercial energy consultants cannot negotiate a fair agreement or price with your current supplier, they’ll begin comparing gas and electric suppliers to find the best deals. At Navigate Power, our five-star team uses NEX (the Navigate Exchange) to compare leading suppliers of all fuel types after inputting your commercial information, including utility rate codes, start periods, and usage habits. 

If your commercial business requires one million kWh per year, NEX generates bids in about 15 minutes in real-time, which is vital in a market that changes every 24 hours. However, matching you with the appropriate bid may take three to seven business days if your larger, more energy-consuming business requires over one million kWh to function. 

Since the NEX design keeps customer satisfaction at the top of its priority list, it uncovers the lowest pricing options available, providing a one-stop shop to save you time and increase energy efficiency. Once we find the bid that best suits your needs, the supplier sends their contract via email so you can sign it without delay and start saving immediately. You can also lock in the new rate before it changes.

Additional Read: Energy Consultants Are The Real Hero Of Home & Business Performance

Navigate Power: The Only Power Move You Need to Make!

Energy procurement isn’t difficult if you know what you’re looking for, how to alter energy inefficiencies, and how to talk to your supplier so they know they can’t take you for a ride. Partnering with a reliable professional can help you get the information you need to make a smart decision.

At Navigate Power, we have years of experience completing energy audits for large and small companies and working with state-of-the-art equipment like NEX, successfully lowering energy costs for all clients. In doing so, our skillful team has made us the proud recipients of the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company Award in 2017, 2018, and 2019, especially since we work with leading suppliers to optimize customer satisfaction. If you want to avoid being one of 80% of business owners overcharged on monthly utility bills and want to increase energy efficiency by 20% or more, contact us.

Contact 888-601-1789 in Chicago, IL, 312-462-3675 in Upstairs, OH, or 312-462-3675 in West Chester, PA, or complete our online form to learn about energy consultant costs. Each of our consultants specializes in providing utility bill audits and other energy services, so call today to start reaping the benefits!