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Energy brokers

Definition. Energy Brokers are at times confused to be thought of as the entity that supplies the energy, however, they are typically a middle-man assisting clients in procuring electric or natural gas rates from energy wholesalers/suppliers. Since electricity and natural gas are commodities, prices change daily with the market. It is challenging for most businesses without energy managers to obtain price comparisons from a variety of suppliers since prices must be compared on exactly the same day. In addition, the terms of the particular contract offered by the supplier influences the price that is quoted. An energy broker can provide a valuable service if they work with a large number of suppliers and can actually compile the sundry prices from suppliers. An important aspect of this consulting role is to assure that the client understands the differences between the contract offers. Under some State Laws,[1] such as Maryland, they use the term “Suppliers” to refer to energy suppliers, brokers, and aggregators, however there are very important differences between them all.

Energy brokers do not own or distribute energy, nor are allowed to sell energy directly to you. They simply present the rates of a wholesaler, or supplier. More experienced brokers offer a true consulting service.

In the USA, the energy industry is becoming flooded with MLM (Multilevel Marketing) companies where people call themselves energy brokers, but they lack the proper training to offer any kind of useful consulting service.

Who do energy brokers serve? In the USA, energy brokers can serve residential, commercial and government entities that reside in energy deregulated states. In the UK, and some countries in Europe, the entire market is deregulated.

Fees. Energy brokers typically do not charge up front fees to provide rates. If an entity purchases energy through a broker, the broker’s fee is usually included in the rate the customer pays. Some brokers will charge a fixed fee for their consulting services.

Pros of using a broker

Supplier Networks Energy Brokers provide access to multiple electric and natural gas suppliers which allows them to provide rates much faster than if a consumer were to shop for rates on their own. Since prices must be compared on the same day, this is a very useful service to clients.

Advice on contractual differences between suppliers Since the contract language directly affects the energy price, a good broker can explain the differences between contract offers, such as swing or bandwidth.

The potential to obtain better prices, provided the broker represents a large number of suppliers.

Aggregation Energy brokers may have the ability to bundle, or aggregate, clients who have a similar demand and usage profile to obtain additional leverage over the suppliers when it comes to negotiating rates.

Consulting Not all energy brokers are consultants; However, the energy brokers who are also consultants will perform a more detailed analysis of a consumers’ usage pattern in order to provide a custom rate, which typically results in more cost savings for the consumer. Typically, they do not need any more information than that of an energy broker, because they can pull usage information from the local utility company. There are some national energy brokers that use auditing teams to verify their client’s invoices.

Earthquake swarm in remote Nevada region intensifies


An earthquake swarm that started rocking a secluded region in northwest Nevada this summer intensified over the past week, geology officials said on Wednesday.

The swarm, centered just off the state’s northwest border some 40 miles (65 km) southeast of Lakeview, Oregon, started July 12 and is being caused by stretching of the Earth’s crust, said Graham Kent, the director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The laboratory said in a statement that two magnitude 4.7 quakes, and over 50 magnitude 3 or stronger temblors have occurred over the past week, representing more seismic activity than in recent months combined.

“I’ve talked to people whose houses are very near this epicenter, and they are already getting shaken up,” Kent said, though he added that the area is sparsely populated.

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U.S.-China climate deal, focus on India to follow


After this week’s carbon deal between the United States and China, No. 3 emitter India faces growing pressure to devise a clear strategy and step out of China’s shadow during pivotal global climate talks.

India has given no sign what kind of commitment it will make to address climate change in a global agreement. Officials previously stressed that India would likely opt to slow emissions growth rather than set a peak year on the grounds it is entitled to economic growth.

That position might no longer be tenable after China – often India’s ally in resisting specific pledges at talks to reach a global accord – said this week its carbon emissions would peak by no later than 2030.

President Barack Obama deepened U.S. cuts to 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, a goal it should be on track to meet with proposed new rules on power plant emissions.

India’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has already set renewable energy targets for the country, including using solar energy to ensure full energy access by 2019, but analysts and experts are expecting more definitive commitments.

The U.S.-China deal “frees up India to say what it believes is an equitable stance … now that China is saying what it plans to do,” said Alden Meyer, director of international policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

While Modi’s pledge to boost renewable energy is welcomed by activists, New Delhi has stressed it will mine more thermal coal to get power flowing to the third of its 1.2 billion people still without electricity.

With the U.S.-China agreement widely viewed as a modest, symbolic measure, India might take the opportunity to step out of China’s shadow during United Nations climate talks next month in Lima, Peru.

Indian officials declined to comment on the U.S.-China deal. Privately, they say Modi’s new government is finalizing the position it will take to Lima in December.

Earlier this month, Modi recast the almost defunct Prime Minister’s council on climate change, seeking to reinvigorate the body ahead of a pivotal year for global talks.


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NREL’s Industry Growth Forum Brings Together Energy Innovators Event recognizes the top clean energy technologies and startup businesses


The Industry Growth Forum hosted by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) this week attracted nearly 400 investors, entrepreneurs, scientists and thought leaders to Denver. Last night, three companies where honored with Best Venture and Outstanding Venture Awards.

The two-day forum highlighted clean energy technology and business developments. In addition to hearing business case presentations from 30 clean energy companies, participants were engaged by a comprehensive lineup of speakers, in-depth panel discussions and organized networking opportunities.

“A high level of technical and business innovation will be necessary to solve our future energy challenges,” Richard Adams, NREL’s Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center said. “This forum brings together the entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers that will be critical to nurturing that innovation and bringing it to market.”

Since 2003, the presenting early stage, pre-commercial, and expanding cleantech companies that have presented have collectively raised more than $5 billion in growth financing.


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