Corporates want competition too
The survey found corporate customers were even more in favor of competition than their consumer counterparts. Among the 57% of EDMs without a choice of providers, 90% said having a choice in their utility would make a difference to their company.
As with consumers, EDMs said price was a key consideration, with 87% of EDMs who believe a choice of utilities would benefit their company, citing the opportunity to negotiate lower electricity prices as a benefit, and 85% saying competition would keep prices low. Meanwhile, 45% said the ability to reduce their company’s carbon footprint would be a benefit of competition. EDMs also believe increased choice would enhance their access to the most sophisticated energy technology, with 60% citing that factor as a benefit.
Not surprisingly, corporates are less emotive about the opportunity to move into renewables; EDMs make decisions based on economics. Price is critical, since they use a lot of energy, and so is reliability, since downtime means lost productivity and profits.
EDMs with a choice in their utility said they choose based on price (86%), reliability (60%) and then the use of renewable energy (16%). When asked what would cause them to switch from their current provider, 92% of EDMs point to the opportunity for a lower price, and 37% say they would switch to use more renewable fuels in their operations.
It’s not that corporations aren’t interested in renewables. In fact, EDMs are willing to pay for more environmentally friendly fuel. Respondents, on average, said they would pay 2.22% for electricity generated with 10% less carbon and 7.61% more for electricity generated with 50% less carbon.
However, businesses have alternative pathways to greener energy, such as power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable providers, green tags from exchanges or even independent power generation (IPG).In fact, the US is leading the way for corporate PPAs and several large technology sector players are pursuing 100% renewable energy targets. When asked about IPG, 78% of EDMs agreed their company is interested in IPG for all of its facilities, and 85% said it is interested in IPG for some.