Driving Without a GPS
Mar 13, 2014

Driving without a GPS is like buying energy without a plan.

You’re sitting in your car. You know where you want to go, but you haven’t got a clue on how to get there. What you really need is a GPS; delivering information to help you make the best choice to reach your destination. The same is true for the energy procurement process. You know what you want: the lowest price, greener energy, a fixed rate, but you don’t know how to get there.

Driving Without a GPS - Alternative Utility Services, Inc.

Your GPS energy guide is Alternative Utility Services, Inc. (AUS). Like the GPS in your car providing multiple routes, AUS provides a range of options, from reverse auctions and online bidding to account analysis and aggregation, to help you find the best solution to your energy needs. Similar to your GPS’s traffic reports, AUS continually monitors the energy markets to advise on potential opportunities. And like those suggested pit stops, AUS can suggest an array of components to complement and better serve your energy needs.

Before You Reach Your Destination

Your energy needs are unique, so before you even get on the road, AUS will analyze your current energy situation to see what you need to reach your intended destination. Considering such things as your facilities’ capacity costs, rate and tariff analysis, recent or planned energy efficiency projects or renewable energy integration can help you achieve enhanced energy savings, collect additional revenue, and improve sustainability. By looking at the complete picture – the entire roadmap – AUS is then able to develop a holistic energy management plan; customized to fit your specific needs and goals.

Beginning the Journey

Once on the road, AUS offers multiple procurement strategies to ease the way. AUS begins with online bidding or an RFP to help gauge supplier interest in a particular client. Online bidding consists of soliciting bids from multiple suppliers through the Internet on behalf of a client. Suppliers are inclined to provide their best possible bid because they don’t know how many or which other suppliers are also bidding. And, they don’t necessarily know how close the client is to contracting. Not supplying their most competitive bid could cost them the contract.

Where enhanced supplier interest is indicated and the client is committed to contracting, online bidding is just the first qualifying step. For large users, a reverse auction may be used to drive down prices even lower. A reverse auction is a powerful instrument that brings multiple energy suppliers together to bid on your energy in real time. Each supplier bids progressively lower, until the lowest price possible is achieved. The whole process takes roughly half an hour, and you have a contract at the end of the process.

However, in situations with smaller energy needs, a traditional RFP or online bidding is likely to produce better pricing than a reverse auction, so the process ends there. Contracts can be agreed upon after the initial bidding or future online bids can be scheduled.

Navigating the Way

Regardless of the process you choose to help procure your energy, you won’t receive optimal results if the timing isn’t right. And to get the best results you not only need to time your bid correctly, but you also need to organize your needs/request in an efficient and smart manner to suppliers. AUS has extensive experience in analyzing utility accounts to present the best communication style and delivery. Our RFP has been universally accepted by suppliers, who often instruct other brokers to use our exact format. Paying attention to things such as load factor, usage, demand, capacity, and utility tariffs, AUS can find ways to make your energy more coveted by suppliers, which will in turn give you a better price.

Driving Without a GPS - Alternative Utility Services, Inc.

Getting the Most Out of Your Trip

Once you get on the highway towards fulfilling your energy needs, AUS looks at ‘other stops’ along the way, helping to optimize your energy purchase. From reviewing usage variance allotments (swing), to contract terms, to billing options and dozens of other items, AUS helps you identify and refine the components that are most important to you.

The Final Destination

By the time you reach your destination you’ll still have plenty of fuel, food in your stomach, and money in your wallet. And you’ll be wondering what you ever would have done without your trusty GPS; Alternative Utility Services, Inc.

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