As a residential or commercial consumer, you might have heard the terms energy utilities and suppliers. They are often confused with each other but in reality, they describe two different entities.
In this guide, we will be explaining the difference between utilities, suppliers, and other major players in the energy market.
What is an Energy Provider?
An energy provider is a company that purchases wholesale electricity and gas from the generation plants. Then they sell this to the end consumer at a certain rate that is decided by the market trends.
These energy providers can be further divided into :
2- Energy Supplier
What is a Utility Provider?
A utility provider or a utility company is the default provider. It means if you do not choose a third-party supplier for your energy needs, then you will be automatically assigned the utility provider. They provide fixed energy rates and offer almost no flexibility.
Apart from providing energy to residential and commercial buildings, their main responsibility is the distribution and transmission of electricity and gas throughout the grid. They get revenue by transmitting energy to third-party suppliers.
What is a third-party supplier?
A third-party supplier purchases electricity from a generation company and provides it to you or your business. Third-party suppliers provide retail energy rates.
They market and provide their energy at rates that are based on market trends. Most often they are trying to compete with other suppliers, this allows better competition and benefits the consumer.
They also offer contracts that are tailored according to the consumer’s business needs. Allowing the consumer to employ different strategies to reap the most benefits. Businesses can sign contracts that last multiple years, allowing them to have more certainty.
Which One Is Better For You? Utility Provider or The Third-Party Supplier
Your choice will depend on several factors. Starting with whether your region has a de-regularised energy market or not. A de-regularised market allows third-party suppliers while a regularised market has only the Utility Company as the sole supplier.
Then it comes to the contract and purchasing of energy. If you happen to choose the utility company as your energy provider then you are at their mercy for the default rates. If your region does not see massive fluctuation in rates then you can go with the utility company otherwise it is not recommended.
On the other hand, a third-party supplier allows you to reap the benefits of a de-regularised market. They provide flexible contracts and market competitive rates. They can help you maximize cost avoidance on your energy bills.
What Is An Energy Procurement Firm?
Once you have decided that you will choose a third-party supplier for your energy needs, you must consult an energy procurement firm. An energy procurement firm offers consultancy and guidance on how to choose a supplier and helps you to negotiate a deal that works in your favor.
Energy procurement firms have contacts and relations with suppliers that help them to get discounted rates. They are also aware of the market trends and guide you to make an informed decision based on data and statistics.Utility Bidder is one such energy procurement firm, they offer unbiased advice to you when you are deciding between suppliers. They also make sure that you get a contract that is tailored to your needs and offers flexibility.