A utility broker is a person who buys and sells energy contracts, such as gas and electricity. In the United States, most utility companies are independent of each other and operate through brokers. A utility broker helps you find the best deals for your home, saving you money and helping the environment at the same time. The main job of a utility broker is to find you an energy contract that gives you the best price for the service you are getting. He is in the business to make money, and when you sign a contract with him he is making a commission off of that amount. There are a few ways for you to find a utility broker who can help you save money on your energy costs.
When looking for a good utility broker, the first place to check is the Internet. Most people are savvy enough to know that when looking for an online broker they should be careful, because not all of them are as good as they claim to be. Make sure to do a little research and find out which brokers have good reviews, are experienced and have a good reputation. You can usually learn about this information by reading the Better Business Bureau’s site or contacting the local attorney general’s office.
Once you find a list of potential candidates for your utility broker needs, it’s time to contact each one individually and ask about their rates and services. If you are uncomfortable asking, it’s okay – it’s your problem to solve. When you discuss rates, ask each broker the following questions: do you charge extra for weekend hours? Do you charge extra for those who are on holiday?
Are you licensed? Does your broker to work with a local agency? What are your policies on late fees? Ask yourself these questions to establish if you feel comfortable with your broker. Often, when you ask questions, you get an immediate response because you don’t know what to expect.
Don’t be afraid to let the utility broker know that you are shopping around. Most will be willing to discuss rates and options. Don’t be afraid to tell them how much you can afford and ask for a detailed rate quote. Some utilities will offer this service at no cost to you, while others will charge a fee. Know what your options are before making a final decision.
When you find a utility broker you are happy with, be sure to keep in contact. A good broker will always be ready and willing to help you understand your needs. They should always be willing to answer your questions, no matter how trivial. The worst they can say is no. You don’t want to be attached so tightly to a utility broker that it ends up being more of a chore than a job.