As an energy broker, you'll help residential and commercial customers save money on their electricity and natural gas bills and get better terms on their energy contracts. You accomplish this by acting as a representative of your customers with utilities and energy companies, negotiating rates and terms with all possible energy suppliers. You make money by collecting a commission on your customers' monthly energy payments.
Required Skills and Knowledge
Energy brokers are essentially sales professionals, so excellent customer-service skills are essential. You will have a large degree of independence with a career in this field, so you need to have the initiative to start and carry out projects without much guidance or support from your superiors. You need to have advanced knowledge of energy markets and regulations affecting those markets to be able to identify potential suppliers, negotiate deals for your customers and ensure that you, your suppliers and all contract terms comply with the relevant laws and regulations.
The largest portion of your time in an energy broker position will be dedicated to finding new customers and maintaining relationships with current customers. You'll need to contact potential customers to explain the benefits of buying energy through a broker and answer any questions customers have about buying energy and energy markets. After conducting research, you will make presentations to your customers outlining different offers and contract terms. You will use networking techniques, such as asking existing customers for referrals, to identify new potential customers. Though most energy brokers negotiate with several energy suppliers, some act as a representative for one particular supplier. This type of a broker spends much more time on marketing and sales duties because they don't have to compare offers for their customers.
Analysis and Negotiation Duties
When you're not looking for new customers or servicing your existing customer base, you'll be analyzing energy markets and negotiating deals on behalf of your customers with energy suppliers. You will identify which organizations are legally authorized to provide energy to customers in your area, analyze customers' current contracts, rates and terms, request price quotes from all possible energy suppliers and analyze the potential benefits of alternative energy sources, such as solar power. After analysis, you will work with energy suppliers to find the best possible rate for your customers and present offers to your customers. Once a deal is final, you begin working as an advocate for your customers, ensuring energy providers comply with the terms of their contracts.
There are no strict requirements for becoming an energy broker, but there are some things you can do that will help you market yourself to employers. As a sales professional who will negotiate with potentially large energy suppliers, you will benefit from earning a bachelor's degree in business administration and experience in other sales positions. To give yourself an understanding of markets prepare yourself for complex analysis energy brokers need to conduct, you may also want to take some courses in math and science subjects.
Jon Gjerde worked as a journalist in northern California where he covered topics ranging from city, county and tribal governments to alternative transportation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of California, Davis.