Fluctuating energy rates continue to be a chief concern amongst Canadian business owners.
From the Maritimes to the west coast, Canadian business owners report instable energy rates being among the primary issues of running their business effectively and efficiently.
Earlier this year, a study by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) entitled, Powering Entrepreneurship, found small business owners in Nova Scotia are not only concerned with increasing power rates, but also with the lack of rate stability.
“Energy costs, in general, are a huge concern for our members”, said Nick Langley, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs in Nova Scotia.
The study, which is indicative of the challenges businesses across the country face, also noted business owners are reporting a steady increase in their power bills, despite reducing and/or limiting consumption.
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“During the past three years, the majority of our members in Atlantic Canada have seen large or moderate increases in their energy costs,” says Langley. “While the impacts of increasing energy costs are numerous, the majority of businesses have seen a loss of profits.”
For 85 percent of the CFIB’s Maritime members and a vast majority of Canadian businesses, electricity remains the main source of energy. When electricity prices fluctuate greatly, as they have in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Alberta over the last five years, it negatively impacts business growth and the country’s overall GDP.
At the same time, entrepreneurship and small business growth are touted as one of the country’s greatest resources. There are currently more than 1.5 million small and medium sized businesses operating in Canada, employing 7 million people and adding 68 billion dollars to the economy.
It’s imperative that these businesses are able to function and grow in order to spur the country’s continued economic strength. “Reducing the power bill for small business owners and offering them the tools they need to reduce their consumption of energy are definitely part of the solution,” concludes the CFIB report.
In order to help business owners better control their energy costs, particularly electricity, Active Business Services, an Ontario-based energy management firm, provides comprehensive solutions aimed at reducing costs and locking in rates.
Active Business Services offers three types of electricity management tools to fit the diverse energy needs businesses in various sectors need, tools that include Load Following, Market Price and Blocks.
One of the company’s most popular energy management strategies utilizes their Block package. Block products allow businesses to implement a strategy that can mitigate and offset the risk of market volatility. By purchasing a ‘block’, consumers can lock in a predetermined amount of electricity for a fixed rate.
Block pricing is not only a useful tool, it can mean the difference between profits and losses for business faced with price fluctuations during peak seasons.
Switching and adding more green conservation practices can help reduce energy consumption; however, it does little to mitigate rising costs. Business owners across the country are requesting the government step in and offer them relief or tangible solutions before they are forced to close.