New electric supply contracts were recently written for 60 Charleston Chamber members, resulting in projected savings of tens of thousands of dollars for the group over the next year.
Electrical usage from all participating businesses was pooled together making it possible for everyone in the group to get a great low rate, regardless of their individual usage.
“We were really pleased with the negotiation process this time,” said Cindy White, President & CEO of the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce. “Several additional businesses joined the group and we were able to get a rate of 4.77 cents per kilowatt hour, which was nearly a cent less than our rate on the last contracts.”
Don Frontone, President/CEO for The Stone River Group acted as the broker for the Chamber group and negotiated the fixed rate per kilowatt hour for the contract term.
Contracts were issued through Homefield Energy which is the same independent electric provider that has been used for the group in the past. The new rate will go into effect on December 1.
The Chamber has been providing the energy group program to its members since January 2011. The program has provided Chamber members a streamlined, convenient, and safe way to purchase electricity in the often-confusing deregulated energy provider market.
White said, “Small to mid-size businesses just don’t have the time or expertise to negotiate with the independent energy providers. Many times they are also small consumers of electricity and don’t have any real individual bargaining power.”
“Programs like this really align with the Chamber’s mission to help our member businesses save money by offering them tangible benefits.”
The combined savings for the group from 2011-2015 was nearly $350,000, with an average savings of 20-25% per year per business.
According to White, “The Chamber has continued to save its members money each year since 2011. The new contract provides a 17% or $51,561 annual savings from the last contract price. New members of the group will realize a savings of 27% or $92,547 annually over the current Ameren default rate.”
“Two Charleston businesses that just signed contracts will save $7,894 and $4,664 annually. Another business will see a savings of about $700 per month. That’s real money that can be reinvested back into the business.”
Chamber members who did not participate in this contract term will have another chance to join the group in late spring 2018.
White said, “This is a real opportunity for businesses to use their Chamber membership to their advantage. The more businesses that participate in the program, the greater the aggregation will be and the better the rate we can get.”
The Charleston Chamber also offers a savings option for its members who use natural gas. Businesses who switch from Ameren to the Chamber program typically save about 11% on their natural gas bills.
For more information about the electric and natural gas programs, call the Charleston Chamber office at 345-7041. A Request for Rate Quote form can also be downloaded from the Chamber homepage at www.charlestonchamber.com.