Direct vs. Using a Broker - Energy Procurement Guide 2024

Should you be using a broker, or going direct? We have weighed up the pros and cons of both for you!
Jayme Hudspith
July 3, 2024
-
4 min read
Two wing turbine engineers at the bottom of a turbine.

Energy procurement is the process of sourcing and purchasing energy, and it can greatly influence any business's operational costs and environmental goals. It is one of the most crucial aspects of running a business but it is often a time-consuming and complex aspect which requires a high understanding of the energy market. Companies face two options, risk going directly or trusting a broker to do all of the leg work for you.

What is Energy Procurement?

Simply put, energy procurement is the process of sourcing and purchasing energy, including power and gas. It also involves understanding individual energy needs, evaluating suppliers and negotiating contracts, and managing energy consumption. Effective energy procurement can lead to substantial cost savings and improved energy efficiency.

Buying Energy Direct

Buying energy directly means you purchase your energy directly from a supplier without any third-party involvement. This approach has both benefits and disadvantages which we will explore.

Benefits of Buying Direct

Cost Savings: By going direct, you will not have to pay broker fees, and you may be able to negotiate competitive rates directly with suppliers.

Control and Transparency: Purchasing directly requires a detailed understanding of your energy needs and usage, rates and contract terms often leading to greater awareness and control.

Direct Relationship: By going directly you may be able to build a better relationship with suppliers, leading to more customised service, responses, and communication. Suppliers may also offer additional benefits, such as energy efficiency programs and sustainability initiatives.

Market Insights: Direct buyers can gain a deeper understanding of the energy market, helping them make informed decisions based on market trends and forecasts.

Disadvantages of Buying Direct

Complexity: The energy market is volatile and complex, and requires a level of expertise and time investment to make informed decisions which will be beneficial for your business.

Risk Management: Direct procurement requires businesses to manage market risks, such as price changes and supply disruptions.

Administrative Burden: Managing contracts, supplier relationships, and regulatory compliance can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, particularly for smaller businesses.

Using an Energy Broker

Unlike shopping directly, choosing to go through an energy broker means that all of the complex and nitty gritty details are handled for you. Brokers will assess your energy usage and future energy needs to help source the best energy deals available. They will negotiate contracts with the supplier on your behalf, while still giving you control to make the final decision.

Benefits of Using a Broker

Expertise and Market Knowledge: Brokers are trained to have extensive knowledge of the energy market, they can leverage this expertise to secure the best rates and terms.

Time Savings: Brokers handle the entire energy procurement process for you, from data analysis to contract negotiations, freeing up valuable time and resources for your business.

Risk Mitigation: Brokers can help businesses manage market risks by providing insights and strategies to hedge against price volatility and supply disruptions.

Value-Added Services: Many brokers offer additional services such as energy audits, usage analysis, and sustainability consulting, helping businesses optimise their energy consumption and achieve their sustainability goals.

Disadvantages of Using a Broker

Broker Fees: Brokers charge fees for their services so it’s important for businesses to evaluate these fees against the potential benefits.

Reliance: Relying on a broker means businesses may not develop their own in-house expertise and market knowledge, which can be a disadvantage if the broker relationship ends.

Which is Right for Your Business?

Deciding between direct procurement and using a broker depends on several factors, including the size of the business, available resources, market knowledge, and risk tolerance.

When to Consider Buying Direct

Large Businesses: Businesses with substantial energy needs and in-house expertise may benefit from direct procurement due to the potential cost savings.

Dedicated Energy Management Team: Businesses with a team dedicated to energy management can navigate the complexities of the market and manage risks effectively.

Desire for Transparency: Companies that prioritise transparency and direct supplier relationships may prefer direct procurement.

When to Consider Using a Broker

Small to Medium-Sized Businesses: Companies with limited resources and market knowledge can benefit from the expertise and time savings offered by brokers.

Risk Averse: Businesses that are cautious about market risks and prefer professional guidance should consider using a broker.

Value-Added Services: Companies looking for additional services such as energy audits and sustainability consulting can gain from the comprehensive offerings of brokers.

Energy procurement is a critical decision-making process that can significantly impact a business’s operational costs and sustainability efforts. Whether buying energy directly or using a broker, each approach has its own set of advantages and challenges. By carefully evaluating their unique needs, resources, and goals, businesses can choose the most suitable procurement strategy to optimise their energy consumption and achieve their objectives.

Join the ranks of thousands who have revolutionised their energy consumption.

More of Our Blogs

Blog Details Image

Should you be using a broker, or going direct? We have weighed up the pros and cons of both for you!

Energy procurement is the process of sourcing and purchasing energy, and it can greatly influence any business's operational costs and environmental goals. It is one of the most crucial aspects of running a business but it is often a time-consuming and complex aspect which requires a high understanding of the energy market. Companies face two options, risk going directly or trusting a broker to do all of the leg work for you.

What is Energy Procurement?

Simply put, energy procurement is the process of sourcing and purchasing energy, including power and gas. It also involves understanding individual energy needs, evaluating suppliers and negotiating contracts, and managing energy consumption. Effective energy procurement can lead to substantial cost savings and improved energy efficiency.

Buying Energy Direct

Buying energy directly means you purchase your energy directly from a supplier without any third-party involvement. This approach has both benefits and disadvantages which we will explore.

Benefits of Buying Direct

Cost Savings: By going direct, you will not have to pay broker fees, and you may be able to negotiate competitive rates directly with suppliers.

Control and Transparency: Purchasing directly requires a detailed understanding of your energy needs and usage, rates and contract terms often leading to greater awareness and control.

Direct Relationship: By going directly you may be able to build a better relationship with suppliers, leading to more customised service, responses, and communication. Suppliers may also offer additional benefits, such as energy efficiency programs and sustainability initiatives.

Market Insights: Direct buyers can gain a deeper understanding of the energy market, helping them make informed decisions based on market trends and forecasts.

Disadvantages of Buying Direct

Complexity: The energy market is volatile and complex, and requires a level of expertise and time investment to make informed decisions which will be beneficial for your business.

Risk Management: Direct procurement requires businesses to manage market risks, such as price changes and supply disruptions.

Administrative Burden: Managing contracts, supplier relationships, and regulatory compliance can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, particularly for smaller businesses.

Using an Energy Broker

Unlike shopping directly, choosing to go through an energy broker means that all of the complex and nitty gritty details are handled for you. Brokers will assess your energy usage and future energy needs to help source the best energy deals available. They will negotiate contracts with the supplier on your behalf, while still giving you control to make the final decision.

Benefits of Using a Broker

Expertise and Market Knowledge: Brokers are trained to have extensive knowledge of the energy market, they can leverage this expertise to secure the best rates and terms.

Time Savings: Brokers handle the entire energy procurement process for you, from data analysis to contract negotiations, freeing up valuable time and resources for your business.

Risk Mitigation: Brokers can help businesses manage market risks by providing insights and strategies to hedge against price volatility and supply disruptions.

Value-Added Services: Many brokers offer additional services such as energy audits, usage analysis, and sustainability consulting, helping businesses optimise their energy consumption and achieve their sustainability goals.

Disadvantages of Using a Broker

Broker Fees: Brokers charge fees for their services so it’s important for businesses to evaluate these fees against the potential benefits.

Reliance: Relying on a broker means businesses may not develop their own in-house expertise and market knowledge, which can be a disadvantage if the broker relationship ends.

Which is Right for Your Business?

Deciding between direct procurement and using a broker depends on several factors, including the size of the business, available resources, market knowledge, and risk tolerance.

When to Consider Buying Direct

Large Businesses: Businesses with substantial energy needs and in-house expertise may benefit from direct procurement due to the potential cost savings.

Dedicated Energy Management Team: Businesses with a team dedicated to energy management can navigate the complexities of the market and manage risks effectively.

Desire for Transparency: Companies that prioritise transparency and direct supplier relationships may prefer direct procurement.

When to Consider Using a Broker

Small to Medium-Sized Businesses: Companies with limited resources and market knowledge can benefit from the expertise and time savings offered by brokers.

Risk Averse: Businesses that are cautious about market risks and prefer professional guidance should consider using a broker.

Value-Added Services: Companies looking for additional services such as energy audits and sustainability consulting can gain from the comprehensive offerings of brokers.

Energy procurement is a critical decision-making process that can significantly impact a business’s operational costs and sustainability efforts. Whether buying energy directly or using a broker, each approach has its own set of advantages and challenges. By carefully evaluating their unique needs, resources, and goals, businesses can choose the most suitable procurement strategy to optimise their energy consumption and achieve their objectives.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.