A walk through the MiC Energy Brokers process with one of our brokers

A walk through the MiC Energy Brokers process with one of our brokers

One of the simplest ways to reduce your business’ energy bill is to outsource the task. MiC Energy Brokers are experts in energy price plan comparisons, so we can inevitably save your business both time and money. To find out what new customers can expect, we sat down with Ryan Morse, one of our brokers, and asked him to walk us through the process from start to finish.

Step 1: Getting to know the customer

The process starts with an introductory conversation, Ryan explains. 

“The goal of that conversation is to find out who the customer is, what kind of business profile they have, what their usage patterns are, and what the next 12 to 24 months of business look like for them, so we can start developing a procurement strategy that delivers on the customer’s unique needs.” 

Following that introductory conversation, MiC Energy Brokers request a letter of authority to contact the customer’s current retailer. “That letter is entirely non-committal,” Ryans says. 

“It doesn’t lock the customer into using us. It really just gives us the authority to collect the information we need for the next step in the process.”

Step 2: Strategy development, market comparison, and recommendations 

The info obtained from a customer’s current retailer is used to put together an individually tailored energy procurement strategy. 

“We present that strategy back to the business, basically saying, ‘Here’s what we found in terms of your contract end date, rates, tariff code, and so on, and here’s what we think will work for you’,” Ryan says.

At this point, and with the customer’s okay, MiC Energy Brokers go out to the market and runs an exhaustive price plan comparison. 

“We work with 3 major energy retailers and some carefully selected boutique retailers that support business to business energy, so we can be sure we’re going to find the best pricing plan available. Plus, we don’t just collect the energy rate – even though that’s the most important bit of data – but also the network charges, the demand charges, the environmental charges, and all the things that make up the total cost of an energy bill.”

MiC Energy Brokers collate all this information in a comparison report. “It’s a big document, containing a detailed breakdown of each retailer’s rates for each charge. Having all that information is important because it allows the customer to see how we arrived at our final conclusions,” Ryan explains. 

But crucially, MiC Energy Brokers keep things as simple as possible by stating its final recommendation. 

“Basically, the recommendation says, ‘We think that retailer X is the best option for you because they can offer an overall saving of X amount of dollars over such and such a term.’ That kind of clear communication is key to how we work,” Ryan says.

Step 3: Facilitating “the switch” and post-sale monitoring and support

Customers have 5 days to consider MiC Energy Brokers’ recommendations, and to do any of their own due diligence they feel necessary.

“If they decide to go ahead with us at the end of that period, they sign a contract and we then facilitate the switch to their new retailer,” Ryan says.

And that’s not the end of MiC Energy Brokers’ services, Ryan explains. 

“We don’t just help the business switch retailers and then leave them to their own devices. There’s also a post-sale process that involves ongoing monitoring and pricing support. That part of our service is critical to ensure that if the market fluctuates – pushing energy prices down, say – the customer can renegotiate their contract and potentially switch to a better plan.”

So how does Ryan summarise the key benefits of MiC Energy Brokers’ services?

“Contracting us is really like hiring an expert energy procurement officer for your business,” he says, “but with the advantage that we’re much cheaper and you don’t have to employ anyone.”

We regularly review the energy market and work with businesses to help them take control of their energy bills and achieve potential savings. Contact us for an obligation-free review today.

Looking to save on your business energy bill?

We find savings for 4 out of 5 businesses. See how much your business could save.

5 Ways to find hidden savings in your business

5 Ways to find hidden savings in your business

Between the increase to minimum wages, the increase in superannuation and rising inflation, many aspects of running your business are becoming more expensive.

While it’s always prudent to keep an eye on your expenses, it’s now becoming crucial to review your ongoing and everyday operating costs to ensure you’re not paying too much. 

Conducting an audit to identify areas where you could save is likely to generate a strong return on investment, in terms of time spent auditing vs savings made. It can seem like an overwhelming task, but with a clear hitlist and strategic goals, you can knock this project over sooner than later. 

The sooner you get started, the sooner the savings flow through. So, here are a few different areas of business operations you could review with a goal of making savings and driving efficiencies, without compromising on quality, service or output.

1. Staffing

Your team is likely to be amongst your top two expenses, alongside rent/lease. Your staff expenses may have increased in line with a recent 5.1% increase to minimum wage, and the July 1 uptick in superannuation (10% to 10.5%). 

While reviewing staff requirements can be a huge undertaking, it could reveal some impactful savings. For instance, retailers and hospitality businesses may be able to review demand on specific days and adjust staffing levels, while corporates may be able to analyse their organisational structure, to ensure all roles offer strong ROI. 

2. Subscriptions

This is one of those expense lines that can catch many businesses off guard, as that pesky “auto renew” can see you paying for resources you don’t ultimately use. 

These usually get auto-debited from credit cards or bank accounts, so grab 12 months worth of statements and highlight subscriptions. Then, analyse whether you really get value from them. Keep an eye out for subscriptions and apps to do with HR and hiring/scheduling; news sites; IT and tech; and operations and logistics. 

Reviewing other recurring expenses to the business, like consultants and freelancer agreements, can also offer savings. 

3. Supplier costs

It’s good practice to review supplier costs on at least an annual basis, looking for opportunities to outsource elements of production where possible. 

Depending on your specific suppliers, you might be able to negotiate lower prices based on volume or loyalty. It may also be a good idea to shop around with other suppliers to see what’s available: you can take these costs back to your existing supplier to price match, or look at moving suppliers if the savings are significant. 

4. Energy expenses

With energy price increases taking effect as of 1 July, your business/es may not have received a bill that reflects higher prices yet – but they’re coming. Increasing wholesale energy prices have prompted regulators to approve price hikes nationally of up to 19% for businesses (depending on your state or territory).

Electricity, gas and even solar rebates are all being impacted and the more sites or premises you have, the greater you’ll feel the impact. There are 5 things you can do to help ensure your business doesn’t pay too much for energy, but the most impactful is around comparing energy plans. By auditing your usage and rates then shopping around for a more competitive deal, you have an opportunity to move to a cheaper network tariff, with your provider or a new retailer.

5. Internet and phone plans

When it comes to the basics in your organisation, like internet access, phone systems and mobile phone plans, there can be a wide margin between the cheapest and most expensive providers in the market. 

Reviewing your internet or mobile plans offers a great opportunity to find better rates, with particular cost efficiencies available when you bundle services together (ie internet + phone + mobile phones). Start by asking your existing provider for a better deal, and if they’re not willing to come to the party, review your options in the market.   

At Make It Cheaper we constantly review the energy market, working with businesses to help them take control of their energy bills and achieve potential savings. Contact us for an obligation-free review today on 1300 957 721.

Looking to save on your business energy bill?

We find savings for 4 out of 5 businesses. See how much your business could save.

Why businesses need to lock in energy rates – now

Why businesses need to lock in energy rates – now

With energy price increases due to take effect 1 July, when should energy customers shop around for a better deal? The answer is now – and there are 5 things you can do to help ensure your business doesn’t pay too much.

Over the past few months, we’ve witnessed substantial disruption in energy markets and a significant rise in rates across the country. 

Relevant energy regulators have approved increases of between around 5% and 19% for households and businesses, depending on the location, and some retailers have already advised customers that their rates are going up by 100%+. Others have even taken the step to tell their customers to shop around ​​for a better deal, so no-one will be immune from escalating energy costs.  

Make It Cheaper’s Nathan Schofield says the issues driving this crisis, which include growing wholesale prices, increasing demand, and an over-reliance on fossil fuel energy, can’t be solved immediately.

“It requires government intervention and we need to bring more renewable energy sources online asap, so it’s not a short term fix,” he says.

So in the face of skyrocketing prices, what can businesses do to protect themselves from massive bill shock?

  • Engage with your provider. They’re required to give you a certain amount of notice in regards to price hikes (varying state by state), so look out for price change notifications from energy retailers.
  • Review your energy usage. It’s quick and easy to check your business’ meter data and audit your last 12 months of consumption. From there, you may find opportunities within your load profile to shift peak business activity to cheaper times of the day. 
  • Compare energy plans. This is the most powerful way to take control of your bill and make sure you’re not paying too much. After auditing your usage and rates, see if you have an opportunity to move to a cheaper network tariff, with your provider or a new retailer.
  • Lock in long-term fixed rates. The further into the future that a business can “hedge” their electricity, the better their pricing will typically be. Long-term contracts typically present better pricing value over short-term contracts.
  • Check eligibility for rebates. Businesses may be eligible for rebates or grants to help deal with these escalating costs: visit the government’s rebate finder to see what’s available.

Unfortunately, many businesses aren’t noticing price rises until they receive their bill. By then, they’re already several weeks (or potentially even months) into a new bill cycle, which exposes them to higher bills for a longer period of time. That’s why it’s so important to take action as soon as possible. 

Make It Cheaper’s Jenny Gordon suggests businesses should review their pricing at least once per year. 

“Customers should engage with a broker to help them understand which retailers offer a bit more flexibility on their contracts… so they can capitalise on any opportunities to re-set their contract, if the market comes down again,” she says.

What are the risks of sticking with your current energy plan?

With energy prices set to soar across the country, those businesses who choose not to review their current energy plan (or who delay it) face the real risk of over-paying on their energy bills.

The process of shopping around for a better deal can take some time, depending on how big and complex your energy needs are, so Make It Cheaper’s Ryan Morse suggests ticking it off the to do list sooner than later.

“It can take a few months to find a good energy deal for the commercial and industrial sectors, while finding a small market SME energy plan can be a faster process. Either way, businesses should start their procurement process early to ensure they’re maximising their potential for sharp pricing,” he advises.

“A commercial energy broker like Make it Cheaper can offer suitable advice and help businesses know an ideal time to shop around. Small market (SME) customers are likely to see an increase [in energy bills] in the next few weeks, and should attempt to sign a fixed-term energy contract ASAP,” he advises.

Longer-term, he adds that federal and state governments should “come together to design and rapidly implement an action plan that addresses the runway cost of energy generation in this country.”

“As a country, we are 16th in the world for natural gas production and we should be welcoming the high-price of natural gas on international markets. Instead, domestic customers are suffering, as Australia lacks a fixed-reserve of natural gas for electricity generation,” he explains. 

“Natural gas needs to be reserved for domestic generation first, at a gazetted rate, before any gas is exported to international markets. Natural gas is our ‘transition fuel’, touted as our solution to bridge the gap between coal and renewable generation, and should be protected by our government under a separate domestic market or reserve.” 

Get an obligation-free energy review

At Make It Cheaper we constantly review the energy market, working with businesses to help them take control of their energy bills and achieve potential savings. Contact us for an obligation-free review today on 1300 957 721.

Looking to save on your business energy bill?

We find savings for 4 out of 5 businesses. See how much your business could save.

Why you should review your business energy plan

Why you should review your business energy plan

Although it may seem tiresome, comparing energy plans can be a way for your business to save a lot of money. 

You may not have the time, or the expertise to personally handle an energy plan comparison. And electricity and gas plans can be confusing and require a keen eye to spot a cheaper energy deal. There are a few other reasons for you to compare energy plans with others in the market. These may depend on varying business needs or changes in electricity and gas prices. 

Whatever the reason, it is advisable to compare energy plans on an annual basis. 

Make It Cheaper is able to provide this comparison service to your business free of charge. We’ll present your options you can decide if your SME could benefit from comparing plans. If we find a better deal, you can switch energy providers and we’ll do all the heavy lifting with our Do it For You service.

Business Energy Needs Change 

As your business grows, you may employ more people and move to larger premises. These changes will increase your energy consumption and increase your electricity bill. If you plan to buy new equipment, your consumption will also increase. 

Tip: Reducing the speed of a motor by 20% can decrease consumption by 50%. 

On the flip side, you may be downgrading your business. If you are still paying the same rates, your business is clearly wasting money.  The best thing to do is to compare electricity plans and decide on a cheaper option

Moving Your Business Location

Changes in your business may mean you have to relocate your business. It could be to reduce rental charges or reach more customers.  Like moving house, moving your business will require a change in your electricity contract. When someone is moving house, their electricity supply ceases the day they leave. With businesses, the day you leave the old premises marks the end of your contract.

Follow these steps before you move out of your current premises:

  1. Your previous retailer may not necessarily have competitive pricing at your new address, don’t automatically assume that they are the best option.
  2. Once you have found a competitive plan for your new premises, ensure that you email your current retailer with your new business address. This is necessary for them to send your final bills.
  3. Provide proof to the current supplier that you are giving up control of the business location.
  4. Take a photo of your meters on the day you move out. This will help your old supplier process the change of tenancy notification. 

When you move to your new location, you may choose to use the same retailer and energy plans. However, this may not be possible because the electricity supply is based on location.

Moving is a great opportunity for customers to shop around for cheaper electricity.

Compare quotes of multiple energy retailers in your area using Make It Cheaper to help secure a competitive rate for your new premises. We will be able to compare electricity plans from our panel of leading Aussie energy suppliers. You can then make an informed decision about which provider is right for your business. 

Change in Billing Methods 

Many Australian businesses receive electricity and gas bills measured by taking meter readings. These are used to calculate your bill. A smart meter is a way to automatically monitor details of your electricity and gas usage. They are then sent directly to your provider. They collect electricity usage in near-real-time and gas every 30 minutes. This information is displayed in the smart meter unit display.

The added advantage is you will be able to clearly track your energy usage over time. You can then monitor the cost and begin to use electricity and gas more efficiently. If you wish to take advantage of off-peak rates, you will need a smart meter. This will let you connect to a time-of-use electricity plan. 

Businesses that operate during the evening or weekends can save money by switching to an off-peak rate, a quick call to our energy experts at Make It Cheaper can find you a competitive tariff based on your businesses energy usage. \

Looking for sustainability options

With sustainability high on businesses agenda, there are many ways you can reduce energy consumption and support the push to Net Zero.

Some electricity and gas providers offer renewable tariffs known as green energy tariffs.  Green energy tariffs may be cheaper than normal rates as providers tempt customers with lower prices. These energy plans are a mixture of clean and dirty power but it is still a step towards helping the environment. 

Make a price comparison between energy retailers who can provide a ‘green plan’. This could result in significant savings on your electricity bill. 

How to Switch Energy Providers

After making a price comparison, some of the most asked questions are: How do I switch my energy provider? What is the best energy plan for my business?  Luckily, at Make It Cheaper we offer you a stress-free switching process.

Here are the steps for a hassle-free switch:

1. Check the exit date of the contract on your existing plan.

If your business has an existing contract, you can only switch if the:

  • Contract has expired.
  • Supplier has offered renewal of the contract.
  • Cancellation fee is met.

You may not switch if:

  • You have a commercial fixed energy contract.
  • You owe the energy supplier money.

You should keep tabs on your contract renewal date, or when your contract ends. This will give you ample time to gather information on alternative plans. 

Or, if you find a new plan through Make it Cheaper, you can sign up to the Do it For You service. This service will automatically look for a new competitive offer before your current contract expires. This way, instead of rolling on to a default market offer you’ll find a competitive market offer.

2. Compare quotes from various retailers

You can also approach your current retailer with quotes of plans from a different energy retailer and negotiate a lower rate, but that may not necessarily give you as good a deal as comparing up to 12 energy retailers with Make It Cheaper.

To perform a market comparison using Make It Cheaper, simply email [email protected] with a recent energy bill. Make It Cheaper will then give you quotes from various retailers in your state or territory.

3. Confirm your business switch

Make It Cheaper also handles the switch, making the process easy and painless. In just one phone call to our energy experts, we can find you a new competitive rate across our panel of leading energy retailers. And if you like the savings we find, we can organise the transfer to the new plan and cancel your contract with your previous provider.

We also cancel your previous contract, you just need to look out for your last bill from your previous supplier. It can take up to 3 months to switch depending on when your meter was last read.

Compare and Switch the Easy Way

You may be making changes to your business structure or moving premises. With these changes, it is advantageous to reconsider your energy plan. 

Compare your energy and gas plan with help from Make It Cheaper’s saving experts. Why not make the switch like this happy customer?

We prepare quotes from a panel of top Australian energy retailers. We also offer advice on finding an energy plan based on your business’s energy usage.

We find deals that reduce your energy bills and even handle the switch from beginning to end. Our intention is to save you both time and money so we offer our services for free. 

If you’re looking for cheaper energy deals in the Australian energy market, Make It Cheaper can help.

How to make big business energy savings

How to make big business energy savings

It’s common for business owners and leaders to become so busy working in the business, it’s a struggle to find time to work on the business. 

But working on the business is where the magic can happen. This strategic investment of time can be leveraged to help you explore new opportunities, find more efficient and better ways to operate, and ultimately optimise your operations to maximise profits and growth. 

One way we aim to help at Make it Cheaper is by engaging with businesses to help them analyse and review their energy usage, with a view to improving energy efficiency and reducing costs. As one of Australia’s leading energy comparison services for businesses, we’re dedicated to saving you time and money and making your life easier when it comes to energy bills.  

Whether you’re a small business with a small footprint or a larger multi-site operator with a number of premises to coordinate, we can help you identify cost and time savings beyond your energy rates and contract, with opportunities to negotiate on tariff changes, power factor correction and installing smart devices. 

Our experts have unrivalled knowledge in commercial and industrial power, which we leverage on your behalf to get competitive deals that suit your business.

How energy savings can help you achieve business goals

The process is simple and streamlined, and begins with a conversation where we ask a few strategic questions, to get an understanding of your current bills and energy needs. Our energy-saving experts will then analyse your business energy needs and compare deals from our panel of leading Australian retailers.

Here’s an example of a recent outcome we achieved for a client. We reached out to a childcare service (with multiple sites) in November 2021 to discuss reviewing their energy contract. At the time, they had 8 months remaining on their existing energy agreement.

However, since that contract had been signed, the energy market had become much more competitive. Many new offers had dropped, which provided the perfect opportunity to review their options. 

Make it Cheaper tendered the contract to several energy companies who were all eager to win the business. We reviewed five offers and negotiated a deal that amounted to 7% in energy savings, and $23,850 in savings. 

We took this offer back to the existing energy retailer the centre was currently contracted to. They agreed to not only match the offer, but exceed it, offering a saving of $39,671. Best of all, the customer didn’t have to wait eight months for those savings to kick in, as the retailer agreed to immediately provide price relief.

With another customer of ours, a well-known seafood restaurant in Sydney, we found an estimated annual saving of $3,544 (GST inc) on the electricity account, which was a 12.4% decrease in the bill size.

In addition to the electricity, we looked at the customer’s gas bill and found they have been on expensive default rates with their current retailer. After a quick review, we secured savings of 36%, resulting in $9138 (GST inc/exc) estimated savings for the year.

For these businesses, these five-figure savings can be redeployed towards other more impactful activities, such as launching new marketing campaigns to attract more business, or investing in staff training and refurbishments.  

Get a free business energy review today

Since launching in 2009, Make it Cheaper has saved Australian households and businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy bills every week (around $1 million every month). To see how we can help you save time and money on your business energy bills, contact us today.