How to get the best rates from business electricity providers in WA - Amanda Energy See what you could save


How to get the best rates from business electricity providers in WA

If you operate a business in Western Australia which consumes more than 50MWh of electricity per annum (equating to a spend of around $1200 per month) you can choose an energy retailer other than Synergy to supply your business electricity.

There are several electricity networks in Western Australia but most medium and small businesses operate in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), controlled by Western Power.  In the SWIS, Synergy is just one of numerous commercial electricity retailers (also referred to as electricity suppliers) you can use.  

By the way, Western Power is not an electricity retailer.  It is responsible for the network infrastructure, the safe transmission of electricity and for integrating new power technologies, such as solar PV and battery storage, into the network.

How do I get the best business electricity rate?

With so many energy providers, how can Western Australian business owners ensure they get the best outcome for their business electricity? 

Getting the right deal usually doesn’t come down to price per unit. Business owners need to compare the options available against the specific electricity usage patterns, contract requirements and current and future needs of their business. 

That said, it’s not a simple task for customers to assess the options and electricity plans in the market to determine if they’re getting a good deal or if they should switch to an alternative commercial electricity provider. There are many variables that influence the fees you pay for business electricity. Analysing these is time consuming and can be a confusing task for business owners (who usually have better things to do with their time). 

A good electricity retailer can help you get the business energy plan that’s right for you by analysing your energy usage and considering the needs of your business as well as your plans for your business.

What about energy brokers, are they the same as energy suppliers?

In addition to business energy retailers and suppliers, the market also includes electricity ‘providers’ or brokers, energy advisors or consultants and tender companies. Essentially, these are ‘buyer’s agents’ that act on behalf of a business and offer a comparison service for electricity rates, advising business customers on energy rates (predominantly on a ‘price per unit’ basis). 

On the face of it, this may seem to be a handy service for business owners to help you compare electricity rates, providing a much easier option than shopping around yourself and trying to understand the terms and conditions of each energy retailer. 

Only electricity retailers and electricity suppliers can access your historical and real time consumption data on the Western Power portal to provide accurate analysis. 

Is it really worth comparing electricity suppliers? How much can I actually save on business energy? 

Shopping around for cheap business electricity ‘price per unit’ rates may be a simple and short-term solution for small business but larger commercial electricity consumers can save significantly more on their energy bills – up to 35% more – by taking a holistic approach. 

The biggest power truth is, the best electricity rates are achieved when business owners and their management get a customised business electricity plan based on strategic actions that help work the electricity grid in their favour. 

A full analysis of your electricity usage will help you understand how and when electricity is being consumed. It will help to identify cost savings opportunities, such as reducing peak consumption charges, opportunity to shift energy usage to off-peak lower price periods and making improvements to energy efficiency within the business, while considering the future needs and expansion plans of the business. And if your retailer supplies energy from a range of sources, they can also help you assess whether a combination of electricity, gas and solar will help you reduce your overall business energy bills.

While this analysis may not be the easiest option for a business owner or senior management, if electricity is a significant cost for the business, it certainly is the best option. 

Generally speaking, Western Australia businesses in the SWIS grid who consume over 160MWh per annum or over $4000 per month on their electricity bills could make considerable cost savings. 

The types of businesses that may benefit from a deep analysis and tailored plan include: 

Food processingCold storage
SupermarketsShopping Centres
Commercial propertiesOffice buildings 

Key take-aways

Sometimes just getting a cheap unit price is not the full story or the best option for a business. Your energy retailer should understand your objectives and work with you to reduce power costs. 

A business energy supplier that takes the time to learn about your business and does a 360-degree energy analysis will help you find solutions to save much more than just cheaper peak and off-peak pricing.

Your energy retailer can help you get the right outcome by analysing your existing business energy supply contract, the rate being paid and electricity usage within the business. 

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