Frequently Asked Questions
+ What does electricity deregulation really mean?
Very simple. Consumers are given the opportunity to purchase the electricity that the consumer uses from competing electricity suppliers. The local utility no longer has a monopoly covering a geographic territory. Consumers in the utility’s Service Territory can choose to purchase electricity from other sources, but do not have to do so. Nothing else changes. The local utility will still deliver the electricity to you, service the lines, and render the bills. The local utility will continue to be paid by all customers in its service territory a monthly fee (tariff) for the delivery, servicing, and billing functions.
+ When I leave the local utility and change electricity suppliers, what happens?
The process is seamless. Reliability and service are not affected. Your lights will not flicker, in fact, you will never notice when the supply begins with the competitive supplier. You do not need any new equipment, no new meters, and no new account numbers, all of that stays the same. The only difference is that you will pay a competitive supplier for the electricity you consume rather than pay the local utility. Thousands of consumers change suppliers every day and during the past decade, literally millions of businesses have taken advantage of deregulated markets and transferred electricity service to competitive suppliers.
+ How is my electricity price determined?
LakePoint Energy assesses your electricity account information and usage history. LakePoint Energy positions your accounts to be reviewed by all the competitive suppliers by creating a Request For Pricing Proposal specific to your accounts. This RFP is sent to the competitive suppliers that will bid for your business by responding with their most competitive prices for your accounts. Prices are impacted by several factors. They include: account electricity usage levels (KWHs consumed each month/year); when your electricity is consumed (during peak periods, off-peak periods, intermediate periods); how your electricity i consumed (demand –KW), when you are in the competitive market seeking prices (seasonality); the electricity futures market; the term you want in your supply contract (length in years/months); specific terms and conditions your business needs in the supply contract; the type of supply contract your business wants (fixed-price or index based); how many competitive suppliers are active in your local market and the types of customers each supplier seeks; and your credit history. LakePoint Energy’s consultants work with each client to maximize their advantages and position the client to get the best prices, terms and conditions that fit their needs.
+ Can you tell me more about deregulation?
How and why did it get started? Electricity deregulation began in the mid 1990s. Natural gas deregulation began in the late 1980s. Energy deregulation is done on a state-by-state basis with some federal oversight and regulations administered by the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”). Each state has very specific rules and there are different energy markets in each state. Contact LakePoint Energy to get the details that apply to your location(s) and the expertise that LakePoint Energy provides.
+ Is deregulation working? Can my business really benefit?
During the past decade there have been thousands of reports, articles, and analyses done regarding electricity and/or natural gas deregulation. Much of the information we see in the press is not the complete story or has a political bias. The reality is that there is much empirical evidence that illustrates that businesses participating in competitive markets, have experienced many benefits including lower prices. Several policy reasons spurred deregulation. One was to attract new sources of human and financial capital to the energy industry so as to spur innovation. Another was to foster the creation of new entities that would play necessary roles in the development of the state and federal energy infrastructures. A third, was to create competition among suppliers that would develop new products and services for consumers. These goals are being met every day in competitive energy markets.
+ If there is a power outage because of a hurricane, windstorm, blizzard, or any other reason, what happens to my business if I move my accounts to a competitive supplier?
Nothing changes. The same local utility service team will be dispatched to service the power lines and turn your power back on under the same protocols that have existed for years. Your local utility is still responsible for all aspects of delivering and servicing your power. Your business, and all other consumers in the utility’s service territory, including residences, schools, churches, businesses, etc, pay a tariff amount every month to the utility for the delivery and servicing of the wires. In fact, the local utility is indifferent as to what supplier a customer uses. It delivers the electricity through its wires just as it always has. Further, the utility does not even know which of its delivery customers are using competitive suppliers.
+ Why should we buy our utilities from you?
LakePoint Energy does not sell any utility services. We simply give our clients independent, expert advice. Our recommendations relate to the most appropriate supplier and best programs for your organization.
+ Why should we use you to manage our utilities?
The main benefits are savings in costs and time. Typical reductions on utility costs are 5% to 25% on energy.
However, sometimes the time we save clients is of even greater value than the cost reductions on their utilities. Since we do all the work associated with the audit of your existing utility costs, the analysis, the report, the implementation of recommendations accepted by you and the ongoing monitoring of your utility costs, you release extra time to concentrate on managing other key areas of your organization.
Even if you decide not to proceed with our cost saving recommendations, you will still receive a free report on your utilities, based on the results of our audit and analysis.
+ Why should I use LakePoint Energy consultants instead of another utility consultant?
Some consultants simply offer advice to their clients on a one-off basis, whereas LakePoint Energy will implement their recommendations, check all your incoming utility bills for you, track your energy profiles, manage all of your utilities for you, deal with any queries on your bills and provide an independent source of information.
We also continue to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible after the initial audit by regularly reviewing your utility costs and putting contracts out to tender.
+ What happens if I am tied into a contract with my existing utility supplier?
We will check your contracts thoroughly and establish that:
- you are getting value for money
- the supply contract is fair to you Should either of these not be the case, we shall endeavour to correct them or to find a legitimate way out of your existing contract. We will then recommend a more suitable program or provider for your needs.
We can also help you to budget by predicting your forthcoming utility costs.
+ Why would we get better deals from suppliers via LakePoint Energy?
- We know how best to analyse your data.
- We know how to present it to make it attractive to suppliers.
- We know which suppliers are most likely to want your type of business.
- We know which is the best time to put your contacts out to tender. Because of the volume of business we give suppliers we always receive keen prices. This is what we do best for our clients. We are professional purchasing consultants.
+ I am interested, so what should I do now?
Please contact us so that we can arrange an appointment, at your convenience, to discuss how we can help your organization.
+ What can you do for me that my current supplier can’t? How can you save us money?
Suppliers know that when LakePoint Energy is getting quotations, the situation is very competitive. They know the deal will get done and they will need to quote the lowest price to win the business. Also, since they don’t need to have their sales team involved, their prices can reflect that savings.
+ I have a contract now, is there any point in my calling you?
Yes, there is. We can contract your electricity or natural gas to start at the conclusion of your present contract, regardless of who that contract is with.
+ My goal is to get the lowest price, won’t I do better going direct?
No, you will not. We eliminate the sales cost for these suppliers. In addition, the only way to get the best price is to negotiate the best contract. Contracts are complex and subject to negotiation. Very often what seems to be the lowest price ends up being a high price, because the devil is in the details. We negotiate hundreds of these contracts every year so we know what to look for.
+ What does it cost for you to help us buy energy?
There is no cost for this service. Much like your independent insurance agent helps you find the best price for your home and office insurance, LakePoint Energy is compensated by the supplier that you eventually contract with.
+ How do I know I’ll get a better price from you than from the energy sales rep that calls me?
The answer is that LakePoint Energy offers you the product that the sales rep is pitching, plus five others, so you’re in control. Our job is to find the best company to provide your energy at the best price and the best terms. We work for you not any particular vendor. We have relationships with the most electricity and natural gas suppliers in our coverage area.
+ What is your coverage area?
We provide our services in all of the deregulated states, with an emphasis on the Northeast and Central states.
+ Aren’t all energy contracts the same? Isn’t price all that matters?
Those contracts are all very different. Very often what you think is the lowest price ends up being a high price, because people don’t understand the detailed terms and conditions. This is why using a broker or advisor is so important.
+ I don’t have the time and resources to focus on buying energy, how can you help?
Everyone needs to do more with less. Chances are your staff is being pulled in lots of different directions. LakePoint Energy is an energy expert but we act as an extension of your staff. We do the legwork but keep your staff updated at all times. We minimize our client’s time commitment for what is a time consuming and complex process through a simplified course of action.
As a licensed energy broker, LakePoint Energy can negotiate the best prices for electricity and natural gas. We represent you, our customers. Using our regulatory knowledge and experience, you can be confident of securing the best energy options, regardless of your annual energy budget. There is NO CHARGE for our services.
+ Can you help me?
Probably. We provide our services in all of the deregulated states.
+ Who is LakePoint Energy?
LakePoint Energy is an independent energy broker and consulting company that assists companies in buying electricity and natural gas supply contracts. We also consult clients in how to reduce their energy consumption