Technology is continuing to advance, and it is modernizing the energy broker sector at the same time. When energy deregulation first happened, energy brokers had no choice but to perform many manual processes. These processes are tedious and take time away from other important tasks. Now, the software has streamlined operations while making the markets more efficient. Let’s learn about some of the new opportunities energy brokers have with the advent of the digital age.
How Can Technology Help With Pricing and Suppliers?
Energy brokers used to operate a lot like stockbrokers. Sending manual price requests to suppliers and negotiating margins over the phone was a part of everyday life. The development of new software platforms has allowed energy consultants to streamline their operations and become more efficient. Many of the new energy brokers technologies out there allow for the following:
Digital display of matrix prices from many suppliers at once.
Digital communication with suppliers for custom quotes.
Additionally, some energy brokers now operate websites that allow customers to sign up with suppliers directly. While traditional energy brokers prove their worth to their customers through boutique services, these sites are focused on one thing: the best price. Some of the bigger sites have interfaces with retail energy suppliers, which are also known as APIs.
APIs allow suppliers to update their prices and have the new figures show up on the energy broker’s website in real-time. And since customers enroll online, there is no need for a manual deal submission. The supplier receives the information directly through the API instead.
How Can Technology Help With Contracts and Templates?
Energy brokers who have been in the business a while may remember a time when it was necessary to give customers a written quote, followed by getting their signature on a paper contract. If any adjustments or changes had to be made prior to the signing, precious time was wasted. The advent of energy broker technology now allows for:
Digital customer quoting.
Electronic signature of customer contracts.
The best part? Many of these energy broker software come with preloaded templates for quotes and contracts. All the energy broker has to do is input the right numbers, and they have a clean, professional document ready to go.
How Can Technology Help With Customer Service and Data?
Traditionally, an energy consultant’s role was that of a salesperson, making sure that their customers were set up with electricity and natural gas. That has changed in recent years, however, and now the best energy brokers are energy advisors too. These innovative energy brokers bring their customer's alternative energy solutions like demand response or renewables.
For example, demand response is the process by which a customer can reduce their peak energy load in times of high demand. They usually receive a cash incentive for doing this, and it is done by utilizing software components that send signals to their breaker board. These signals turn off certain motors when a high-demand event occurs.
It’s things like this that put the most successful energy brokers ahead of the game. Not only are they providing top-tier customer service, but they are also using the data and technology at their disposal to make their customers’ lives easier. As a bonus, these solutions are relatively easy to integrate into existing operations.
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