It is commonly said that small businesses are the backbone of the economy. Well, small businesses are important, but so are large businesses. In fact, large commercial businesses, otherwise termed “big business,” account for a slim 0.3 per cent of all businesses in Canada, and yet they still manage to employ close to 10 per cent of Canada’s total work force. That’s a pretty significant impact on the economy.
We’ve already seen what can happen when an economy like Alberta’s starts to lose the revenue of its big businesses—and the business doesn’t even have to close to create a serious impact on the economy. Simply experiencing enough of a slow-down that it has to start laying off employees is enough to cause damage to both the business and the marketplace around it. That’s why following strategies to keep costs low (like finding cheap energy rates for businesses) is so important—even for the big businesses that are perceived to have enough revenue coming in to cover those costs.
There is one undeniable truth: the bigger the business, the bigger the expenses.
The trick is to find the right strategies to save money in the areas that matter most—like energy savings. Finding a rate plan that allows you to pay a few cents less per kilowatt hour may not seem like much, but for a business that is consuming large amounts of energy over various locations, a few cents can translate into hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars in savings over the span of a few years. That’s money that can go into developing a different area of the business instead—like diversification, technological advancement, or even an investment in something like green energy that can provide your business with further returns. So what are the strategies for finding cheap energy rates for business? Look to the rate plans that are constructed with big business in mind.
A lot of energy providers have created natural gas and electricity rate plans specifically for big businesses. For instance, load following plans are designed to help big businesses and industrial consumers mitigate the risk of spikes in energy prices as well as changes in consumption. Load following plans calculate previous consumption in order to predict future consumption needs, allowing the business to pre-pay (when rates may be lower and are definitely more predictable) for energy that will be consumed over the next month.
Block pricing plans are also designed with big business in mind. It allows the business to buy a set amount of energy ahead of time at a fixed price and pay the current market price for the rest. It’s a good way to maintain predictability while still allowing your business to take advantage of dips, when the market price is offering cheap energy rates for businesses.
Of course, the plan you choose depends on what works best for you and your business. You may find it better for your business to choose a fixed plan to ensure that the cost of the energy you consume each month is predictable and easily to work into the budget, or you may find that your business is too inconsistent in its energy consumption, and would, therefore, best benefit from the regulated rate option. The most important thing to remember is that a plan is only going to offer you cheap energy rates for your business if it is compatible with the needs and features of your big business, too.