Minimizing Cost of Electricity: How Mid-Sized, Large Businesses Can Lower Bills

In Ontario, mid-sized and large businesses rely on large amounts of electricity for effective operations; it makes sense, then, that finding ways to lower energy costs is at the top of many business owner’s list of priorities.

The fact is, Ontario businesses with a peak demand of 50 kilowatts or more pay the wholesale price for electricity.  To explain, the wholesale price of electricity changes hourly based on demand and the availability of supply.  Factors impacting demand include changes in weather, time of day, economic conditions and consumer behavior.  The wholesale price is only one part of the total commodity cost for electricity. Businesses are also required to pay the global adjustment rate on their consumption for the month.  With global adjustment rates on the rise, these charges can account for a large part of an organization’s electricity bill. 

Whether you own a factory or a large restaurant, there are some steps you can take to cut energy costs and increase your business’ efficiency.  Read on.

Search for the right utility plan

Searching for the right utility plan depends upon two factors: the electricity suppliers available in the area and the offers they have available.  Businesses may choose to enter a fixed-price contract with an electricity retailer; this can be ideal for owners who value cost certainty and who want to know what to expect each month. Be sure to shop around for the best hydro companies in your area because each provider can offer you totally different options. 

Manage electricity costs

As mentioned, the commodity price for electricity changes throughout the day, week and year, providing businesses an opportunity to adjust their energy use to take advantage of lower prices.  Although not always feasible, for example, businesses can opt to shift their operations to cheaper times of the day, or even overnight to help to reduce energy costs.

Learn how to read utility bills

Before you can lower your bills, you’ll need to learn more about your businesses’ energy consumption.  What machines or appliances are taking up the most energy?  What’s your average kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage? To find the best plan, you will need to know more than what your average utilities cost, but also how to read the main terms of your energy bill.

Since some details can change depending on where your business is located geographically, a good place to start would be to call your energy provider.  Their customer service representatives can help you break each item down and explain what you are paying for.  

Make simple upgrades

Although making upgrades and improvements to your business sounds costly, it can save you money on your utilities in the long run.  Start simple by checking for air drafts.  Install proper insulation, new filters, replace windows etc.  These simple fixes could help lower your monthly expenses.

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