Erie Chamber Blog
Friday November 6, 2020 

Submitted by Jennifer DaCosta, Marketing Analyst at Direct Energy

Energy is one of the key resources many businesses in the Erie region depend on. From manufacturing to research to healthcare and more, Erie is home to diverse organizations that all need power to keep facilities open and equipment running. Particularly during uncertain times, it’s important for businesses like yours to meet your power needs and find savings wherever you can. If you’re looking for ways to start saving – or just want to know what the experts recommend – consider these three steps to optimize your energy use.

1: Plan (way) ahead

It’s no easy feat to run a business during such tumultuous times -- let alone predict how much energy your business will need and when. If some variables can be accounted for, the right energy plan could save you a considerable sum. 

For instance: if your business operates on a consistent schedule year-round, a layered energy strategy could allow you to lock in a portion of your power at a low, fixed rate; the remainder of your energy use may then be purchased at the market rate. Think of this as parallel to how you invest in your 401K.  You are dollar-cost averaging rather than “picking” the perfect day to invest all your retirement money. You benefit from lower rates when energy is affordable and protect your business when price spikes occur. This type of two-pronged strategy is known as a “hedged” or “layered” plan, and businesses often use them to optimize their energy spend in the Midwest and Northeast, where temperature fluctuations make prices less predictable.

A supplier like Direct Energy Business can help you find a layered plan with just the right blend of “fixed” and “floating” elements to make sure you get the most for your money while reliably powering your business year-round.

2: Go custom if you can

What’s arguably even more important than picking the right product, is making sure it fits. Once you’ve determined whether a layered, fixed or index plan is right for your business, fine-tuning it to your needs is equally critical. Small variations in price or fine print can result in thousands of dollars of savings (or waste) over time, and it’s often challenging for business owners to anticipate risk without expert guidance. 

Choosing a “fixed rate” solution from a supplier is like buying a car. You want to avoid a vehicle that needs constant repairs and adds unforeseen costs to your initial purchase. Likewise, every supplier’s contract is different. Working with a reputable, experienced supplier who understands your business and can fine-tune your plan is the best way to guarantee transparency and limit risk to your bottom line.

3: Partner up wisely

Direct Energy Business services hundreds of customers in the Erie region, and our team is dedicated to helping your businesses succeed. Direct Energy Business employs market experts and dedicated Energy Strategists to develop custom energy plans for businesses. Partnering with the right supplier and developing a smart approach together can make a real difference to your bottom line. With Direct Energy Business, your energy use will be one less thing to worry about, so you can spend more time making a difference where it counts. 

Are you interested in speaking with an energy professional from our team? Senior Account Executive, Elizabeth Friel, has over 32 years of energy experience and specializes in the Erie regional market. Reach out to Elizabeth today at or 412-328-8310.

Thursday November 12, 2020 

Submitted by Monica Surrena, Marketing Manager Wm. T. Spaeder Co.

Wm. T. Spaeder Company (  completed an extensive amount of 3D scanning in our work for the new Erie Insurance Office Building in downtown Erie, PA. We were responsible for the complete mechanical and plumbing of which we designed, fabricated and installed. The scanning ensured that the miles and miles of complicated piping was fabricated and installed with precision so that our work meshed with the other trades involved.

In the above video, we discuss our process and how our workflow allowed us to tackle this complex project efficiently. We would like to thank FARO® and Hanley Wood for putting it together. You can read the full case study here:

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