It won't come as a surprise to anyone who runs a business in Connecticut that managing energy costs is a challenge.
"Because of Connecticut's reliance on natural gas as a fuel for most of our electricity generation, coupled with the fact that we are served by often constrained natural gas pipelines, Connecticut remains one of the most expensive states for electricity," says Tom Guerra, director of CBIA's Energy Connections program.
"That's why it's important to use a trusted advisor when going to market."
CBIA Has a Solution
For nearly twenty years, CBIA Energy Connections has helped members procure electricity and natural gas supply contracts, giving them budget certainty at competitive prices and helping them navigate what has become a very complex energy landscape.
"When Connecticut's electricity market was deregulated in 1999, CBIA became one of the first four broker/aggregators registered with the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority," says Guerra.
"Today, there are over 150 registered agents and an unknown number of unregistered companies that continue to solicit business in the state.
"We help our members make sense of it all by explaining all the variations in the market so they understand what's behind the myriad offers and options that are out there."
In addition, says Guerra, participating in CBIA Energy Connections has a broader benefit for Connecticut businesses.
"When you choose to do business with CBIA, you're directly supporting our mission to champion pro-business change at the State Capitol," he says.
Here's how the program works:
The Energy Connections electricity program consists of three options for member companies, depending on their size and energy profile. We work with up to 12 suppliers at any given time.
- Custom pricing for small to midsize accounts up to 1M kWh. These are individually priced contracts based on customer size and load profile, executable anytime throughout the year.
- Aggregation for small to midsize accounts up to 1M kWh. This is a group program that aggregates up to 50 companies at one time to lower costs by taking advantage of economies of scale and other favorable pricing dynamics. By establishing a common renewal month and a shortened timeframe for executing contracts, we can combine the load of all enrolled companies and present the group to the supplier for group prices.
We help our members make sense of it all by explaining all the variations in the market.
- Auction for large electricity accounts. Using this approach, CBIA serves as our customers' exclusive agent. We constantly monitor overall market prices to identify favorable pricing conditions, advise members on the various types of available contracts, and take each member to market, based on their own requirements and profile. Once in the market, we use a unique auction process to secure bids from the supplier community. In most cases, eight to 12 suppliers provide bids on a specific day and time in a process that is completely transparent to our customers.
- Auction for all gas customers. The auction process used to put our gas customers' profiles out to bid is identical to the program used for electricity. Natural gas suppliers are far fewer in number than electricity suppliers, however, we invite all the major gas suppliers to participate in these auctions. We typically recommend a supply contract for our gas customers only if they use natural gas in their manufacturing processes rather than facility heating applications.
The CBIA Energy Connections Difference
Unlike other brokers, CBIA:
- Monitors the market daily
- Has no agreement or contract with any supplier
- Vets supply contracts to ensure that hidden or "clawback" clauses, which can hurt a client, are identified and removed if possible
- Has no obligation to send customers to any supplier
- Advises our customers to go to market when conditions are most favorable
Since our service began, we have always tried to do what is best for our members, even if that means sending them back to utility when market prices are disadvantageous.
"Since our service began, we have always tried to do what is best for our members," says Walsh, "even if that means sending them back to utility when market prices are disadvantageous."
"Although many of our customers are manufacturers, our clients range from small to large companies in just about every industry sector," adds Guerra.
"In fact, we are procuring electricity and natural gas contracts for several major Connecticut utilities' service locations; they're buying through us because of the transparency and integrity of our processes."
Want to learn more about how your company could benefit from CBIA's Energy Connections Program? Contact Tom Guerra at 860.244.1160.