Three Pricing Components Used By Energy Suppliers

Every year, there are numerous dramatic changes in the cost of energy. One of the most significant of these changes was the recent decision by several states to increase their “net metering” rates, which allow a homeowner to receive electricity even when they are not using or producing electricity. Although many people characterize net metering as a way for utilities to collect income without actually providing electricity, this can lead to a decrease in the reliability of the grid. The result can be disastrous for appliances like your air conditioner, as well as your home and the safety of your family. If you would like to learn more about this issue, feel free to read on.


There are two basic factors

that govern the price of domestic energy. First, the price is established by a contract between an operator such as a utility or a dealer, and the customer. Second, several factors exist independent of contracts that impact the price of domestic energy. These factors include supply and demand, which can change from time to time, and naturally fluctuate over time-a phenomenon known as the business cycle.


When determining prices

for retail and commercial markets, companies will consider several different factors. Some of these factors are historical, meaning that the factors are generally stable, whereas others are volatile. Historical trends tend to run across most industries, as well as over time but are particularly prevalent in the business energy contracts sector. Volatile factors include any event or occurrence that causes a contract to terminate prematurely (such as natural disasters or other negative events).


One type of pricing component

that can significantly affect the price of domestic energy contracts is the “spread” (or difference) of the premium between units. This is a mathematical term that indicates the profit for every unit that an energy supplier will charge. Contractors who are pricing their contracts to compete with each other will typically adjust the spread of the premium, which means that they will charge more for certain units and less for others. An example of this would be a natural gas supplier that has two transmission providers, where the contract will assign a greater weight to the revenue that each of the providers will generate, which will cause the contractor to charge more for the energy contracts that have the highest level of usage.


One other pricing component that

is important to all business energy contracts is the level of efficiency achieved through the project. A company that can complete projects that bring about efficiency increases can greatly reduce its cost of doing business. For this reason, it is often necessary for contractors to evaluate the efficiency level of each of their proposed projects before submitting a bid on the project. Energy efficiency is not only a positive consideration for customers; but also for energy suppliers and electric transmission companies that are trying to meet the standards set forth by the governments that dictate how their electricity is produced and distributed. Energy efficiency should be considered even after a company has decided to submit a bid on a project, as a third party may offer significantly lower prices if the project meets these standards.


These three pricing components

are not the only ways to determine the cost of doing business, but they are the most common. Each of them should be carefully analyzed to determine which option is best for a given project. For example, an energy supplier that has a large number of wholesale customers is likely to use the wholesale price to determine its competitive rate. This may prove to be a profitable move, but the customer may not be willing to pay this amount for the electricity that it provides. Therefore, the fixed rate option is often chosen when the amount of wholesale energy that a company will purchase is relatively low.

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