Notorious for being unstable and unpredictable, managing an energy portfolio can be a complex endeavor for any organization. Energy plays a vital role in any company’s success, but the unprecedented fluctuation in global, and more so regional, energy prices has intensified the need for a quality energy procurement expertise like never before.
Extracting the highest value from every energy dollar requires a thorough procurement strategy tailored to meet the needs of each client; a concrete understanding of both the global and the local energy markets; an active monitoring insight over the imminent and the current demand, prices, and hedges. Various large organizations have benefitted from the movement towards deregulation in the energy market, but it also accompanies risk.
Choice Energy Services Retail LP (CES), a full-fledged energy procurement and utility management company, overcomes these risks and challenges with its complete suite of energy management services.
Delivering Solutions of Superior Value
Established in 2002 owing to the decision of the Texas State Legislature to deregulate the electricity market and open up the supply of electricity to competition, Choice currently offers the industry’s most comprehensive energy management solutions.
The formation of Choice as a retail energy services company was a natural extension of skills that the commonly-owned wholesale companies already garnered in brokering natural gas options and wholesale power. The company’s advisory and risk management model is still rooted in active participation in the wholesale markets. Leveraging the same with in-house technology and relationships with retail energy providers and utilities separates Choice’s total energy management solution from the crowd. The company delivers solutions of superior value for its clients’ by saving a considerable chunk of their time and money, thereby enabling them to invest more in managing their core business and for capital project improvements.
The Empires of the Future are Empires of the Mind
Since growing up playing competitive tennis, Kiki Dikmen, the Managing Partner at Choice Energy Services had a similar approach to management as he had to his training. While smashing the green layered tennis balls with ferocious pace and immaculate timing and precision, Dikmen grabbed hold of the skill to predict and calculate his shots prior to the ball’s contact.
Later on, Dikmen utilized and incorporated his fair share of predictive abilities attained on the tennis court to envision the market scenario, set appropriate business targets and spearhead the company to the direction of success. By leveraging his unique blend of visualization and entrepreneurial spirit, Dikmen expanded the size of Choice, its geographical reach and helped facilitate its move away from the traditional energy brokerage to deliver a portfolio of services that bring superior value to the retail energy market.
The Past is always Tense; it’s about Making the Future Perfect
Since its very inception, Choice has been striving to deliver better business results through incorporating technology as part of its solutions. Their journey has been a continuous learning experience as the needs of its vast customer base continue to change with time and market trends.
Currently, Choice is experiencing a classic industry maturity transformation. Back when deregulation was introduced as a new concept, customers were unaware that they could “shop for energy.” This created a new layer of sometimes non-discerning intermediaries who created value simply by finding better prices than what the incumbent suppliers offered. As the market slightly matured, customers became aware of their choices in “shopping” for energy, which also included shopping for their brokers and consultants thereby sharpening the initial role and relatively low value of the intermediary space. Fast-forward a few years, and the growing market and the ameliorating customer maturity is forcing all existing and aspiring players in the energy space to figure out where they can add lasting or unique value if they indeed want to stay in the business. Choice has always been on the forefront of the changes in retail consulting, and today the company delivers a consultative business model underpinned by proprietary technology and centered on creating long-term, ongoing and sustainable value.
Engraving its Footmark within the Procurement Industry and Beyond
Choice is active and licensed in all of North America’s deregulated natural gas and electricity markets. It aligns each client’s specific risk management objectives with strategically focused fundamental and technical market analytics. This provides the clients with the requisite information and tools needed to make the most informed decisions about their future energy requirements.
In addition to these, Choice leverages the common ownership of OTC Global Holdings to empower clients to be price setters by ensuring price transparency into each market. This unique advantage ensures that the clients are aligned with the best retail supplier.
Moreover, Choice not only focuses on procurement; rather, it lays focus on optimum savings and value to its clients. “It’s a la carte program gives clients the opportunity to determine which services best fits their individualistic needs. The company continues to spread its tentacles by offering services: Strategic Power and Gas Procurement, Risk Management, Tariff Analysis, Budgeting, Tax Optimization, CESConnect, Engineering Consulting and Sustainability. CES is transparent and unbiased in its consultations and recommendations, thereby allowing clients to make smarter, data-driven decisions about their energy consumption and spending,” asserts Dikmen.
Going the Extra Mile as it’s Never Crowded
Unlike most other energy consulting companies, CES grew out of a wholesale market into a retail energy adviser to offer a portfolio of services. Through CES’s common ownership with OTC Global Holdings, CES now stands in a superior position to independently monitor energy markets, advise on market-related trends and aggressively negotiate and validate proposed energy rates.
Utilizing its unique market position and relationship with its affiliate company, OTCGH, CES is able to empower clients to be price setters by ensuring optimum price transparency into each market. This distinctive market advantage ensures that its clients are aligned with the best retail supplier at the best price for their business, hence setting the company apart from its competitors.
It is because of these distinctive and individualistic services that have propelled CES to experience relentless success since its inception in 2002. CES has been named as Houston Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in Houston since 2012. Formerly, CES was named Houston’s Top 10 Fastest Growing Companies in 2012, Top 10 Most Promising Energy Management Solution and Top 20 Most Promising Procurement Solution Providers of 2016.
Adapting to the Evolving Industry Landscape
The retail commodity industry is no longer about rate-shopping but rather a comprehensive approach. Companies are on a continuous lookout for solution providers and partners that can come in and address all clients’ needs. This includes rate shopping in deregulated areas, meter installs, expansion projects, solar applications, expense data management solutions and much more.
Through its technology-enabled energy management solutions, CES strives to deliver better businesses outcomes. According to Dikmen, “CES has positioned itself to offer a comprehensive service through an award-winning active and intuitive proprietary online platform, CESCONNECT. CES recognizes that innovation and enhancements around CESConnect is the key for its organization’s growth.”
With this in mind, CES is on a continuous surge to improve its user experience by strengthening its mobile presence. The company has also witnessed a tremendous value in consolidating utility-level, meter-level and submeter-level data to create a single-access platform across currently fragmented, piece-meal solutions.
A Relationship that Offers Value
As mentioned above, CES leverages its access to wholesale markets through OTC Global Holdings, which is one of the largest liquidity providers to the NYMEX. OTCGH brokers around 50% of the natural gas options traded on the NYMEX; giving them the largest market share of any firm.
As CES shares a common ownership, the relationship offers CES valuable market knowledge about future prices for natural gas and wholesale power. This, in turn, gives Choice clients access to the widest variety of products and lowest prices available for active management of energy costs in real-time. There are only a handful of firms, around the globe, which have this kind of visibility into the commodities market that drives retail power prices.
The Picture Ahead for CES
In order to drive profitability and customer satisfaction, CES is dedicated to building a strategic energy team that supports the rapid national growth by investing in employee talent. CES will also continue to participate in its extensive community, giving back to local organizations like the Houston Food Bank. Currently, CES is running the Meal for Deal campaign – an initiative to raise funds and awareness to help feed hungry families in the Houston area.
At a higher level, CES is keeping a close eye on Mexico’s energy markets not only because they are the indirect drivers for energy markets in the US, but also for potential business opportunities and expansion.