*Sponsored by Flow Power
THERE’S no doubt about it — energy is a hot topic in Australia at the moment. Between the frantic search for a solution to South Australia’s energy woes, debate surrounding the proposed five-minute settlement rule, and a general nervousness around the stability of our energy future, electricity has been propelled into Australia’s collective top of mind.
With prices set to surge over the next year, many business owners have been left wondering why there isn’t a better way to buy electricity.
Currently, all electricity retailers buy their electricity directly from the market, but, offer their customers a fixed price that’s calculated to allow for expected fluctuations in the National Electricity Market that “might” happen in the future.
The cost of electricity, which climbs and drops as demand does, is recalculated in Australia every 30 minutes, and the fixed rates that retailers offer during peak, shoulder, or off-peak periods, do not necessarily reflect the actual day-to-day movements in the market. In other words, the amount you are charged for your electricity isn’t necessarily affected by how much your retailer paid for it.
This is set to change, however, with businesses across Australia now able to buy wholesale power for themselves. New kid on the block and B2B electricity retailer Flow Power offers this solution, allowing business customers to buy their electricity right off the market.
“We recognised very early on that a great way to save customers money was to open up customers to the wholesale electricity market,” says Managing Director and Founder of Flow Power, Matthew van der Linden.
The Flow Power approach to buying electricity puts customers in the driver’s seat, allowing them to choose when they use their electricity. Consumers can then take advantage of low power prices when demand drops, and limit their usage when demand rises and prices escalate.
Opening up the wholesale electricity market to Australian business owners might seem like lifting the curtain on electricity pricing, and in a way it is. By giving consumers a means to buying their electricity directly from the market, the process of purchasing electricity suddenly becomes one of greater transparency.
Power customers not only know exactly how much their electricity costs, but they also know precisely how much they’re paying for their provider’s service. Furthermore, there’s the certainty in knowing that there aren’t any overheads, hidden fees or other nasties built into your electricity rate, as is the case with traditional electricity retailers.
With many businesses proceeding into panic mode due to fixed price contract price hikes that are projected to occur over the next 12-months, perhaps wholesale electricity offers a unique solution. Allowing business owners to take back control of their electricity bill, consumers can make the most of price decreases as they happen, instead of hoping that their retailer will pass them on.
“Unfortunately, the [retailers’] fixed-rate contracts blur market pricing signals, meaning the customers usually miss out on the benefits of the market,” says van der Linden.
In a time when looming price rises may well push large manufacturers to consider a move offshore, greater control and transparency around buying electricity will become more valuable than ever. And with prices expected to rise by up to 30 per cent in some areas of Australia, it’s no secret that this could have a crippling effect on already struggling businesses — particularly those who rely heavily on electricity, such as manufacturers and food producers.
“The benefits of switching to wholesale power are really exciting,” says van der Linden. “You have the option to set an optional ceiling price on your electricity rate, and, you still get access to the lows of the market. Plus, you’ll have a team of experts at hand to guide you through the process and advise you on the best solutions for your business, at that exact moment.”
Indeed, wholesale power seems like a step in the right direction towards the democratisation of affordable electricity for Australians. And while Flow Power’s approach to buying and selling electricity is almost certain to ruffle a few feathers, perhaps this is just the shake up that the electricity market needs.
In a sense, it allows for a greater conversation about electricity usage, and the direct effect that this can have on the market — an issue which consumers have largely been sheltered from until now.
“We are changing the way that businesses in Australia purchase electricity,” states van der Linden.
“We want to make buying electricity on the wholesale market simple, so that any business owner can be a master of their own electricity.”
To find out more about switching to wholesale electricity, or for more information on the solutions offered by Flow Power, visit flowpower.com.au or call 1300 08 06 08.
*Sponsored by Flow Power