How to become an energy broker (with skills list and duties)

Updated 6 June 2023

If you're interested in the energy industry and want to help suppliers find customers, you might consider becoming an energy broker. These energy consultants help facilitate contracts between energy suppliers and commercial or industrial customers and negotiate pricing. Understanding what an energy broker is and what they do can help you determine if this role aligns with your career goals. In this article, we explain how to become an energy broker, describe their main duties, their work environment, list the primary skills for the job and provide details of what a typical workday looks like for a broker.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

What is an energy broker?

An energy broker acts as an intermediary between energy suppliers and consumers. They negotiate the best energy prices and contract terms on behalf of their clients, which can include businesses, non-profits and government organisations. Energy brokers use their expertise to help clients understand the energy market, identify cost-saving opportunities and make informed decisions about their energy usage. They may also provide additional services, such as energy efficiency consulting and renewable energy solutions.

Related: Energy and utilities sector: definition, employers and jobs

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How to become an energy broker

If you want to learn how to become an energy broker, consider the following steps:

1. Pursue an education in energy management or a similar field

There are no specific education requirements for becoming an energy broker, though employers generally prefer candidates with a background in business, finance or a related field. A degree or diploma in one of these fields can be helpful in demonstrating knowledge and expertise in the industry. Pursuing further education in energy management, energy efficiency or renewable energy can be beneficial. Consider earning a degree or accreditation through an organisation such as the Utilities Intermediaries Association, or UIA. Accredited brokers may have more success in finding clients or employment since they can show they have credentials in the industry.

Related: How to become an energy engineer (tips and salary)

2. Consider industry certifications

To build upon your fundamental education in energy management or renewable energy, consider pursuing additional certifications. Available certifications that can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise as an energy broker include the Association of Energy Engineers Certified Energy Manager (CEM) certification and the Energy Institute's Energy Management Professional (EMP) certification. Employers may look more favourably on candidates with these certifications, as they show expertise in specific areas where the employer might require guidance. Consider consulting these professional organisations for certification options or asking employers which ones they prefer.

Related: How to become an energy manager in 6 steps (with duties)

3. Gain industry experience

Employers value industry experience because it shows you can apply your skills and classroom knowledge in a work environment and that you're familiar with the industry's nuances. This can minimise their potential training investment and help you assimilate into a new role faster. Consider gaining professional experience by working for an energy supplier or broker or finding an internship or work experience placement with one. This provides hands-on experience and the opportunity to learn from experienced brokers and energy experts. It enables you to obtain an understanding of the energy market and develop relationships with suppliers and customers.

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4. Build a professional network

A professional network enables you to find new contacts and prospective job opportunities in the industry. You can build one by attending industry events and conferences, joining relevant industry associations and participating in online forums and social media groups. These options can help you meet and connect with established personnel in the industry and stay up to date with the latest developments and trends. Consider contacting suppliers and customers to develop relationships with them, which can lead to new business opportunities. Networking can also involve collaborating with others on projects or sharing expertise and resources.

Related: What Is Professional Networking?

5. Determine whether you want to work independently or with a firm

Brokers have the option to work independently as contractors or to find permanent employment with an energy firm. Contract work may provide more flexibility and the opportunity to work on different projects with different clients, but it also involves more uncertainty and less job security. Full-time employment typically offers more stability and benefits, such as healthcare and retirement plans, but may be more restrictive in terms of work hours and flexibility. Consider your financial situation, risk tolerance, career goals and lifestyle preferences when deciding between contract work and full-time employment.

Related: Self-employed vs employed: Differences between the two options

What do energy brokers do?

Here are some of the main duties of an energy broker:

  • Analysing energy data and market trends: Energy brokers analyse energy data and market trends to provide insights and recommendations to clients. They understand pricing models and structures and energy regulations and policies.

  • Negotiating with suppliers and customers: Brokers negotiate with energy suppliers and customers to get the best rates and deals. They use strong negotiation and communication skills to achieve optimal outcomes.

  • Building relationships with clients and suppliers: Energy brokers build strong relationships with clients and suppliers to maintain and expand their business. This involves effective communication and relationship-building skills.

  • Developing new business opportunities: These individuals identify and develop new business opportunities to grow their client base. This involves networking, performing market research and keeping up to date with industry trends.

  • Attending industry events and conferences: Brokers attend industry events and conferences to network with others and remain current with industry developments.

  • Creating and delivering presentations and reports: Energy brokers create and deliver presentations and reports to communicate their analyses and recommendations to clients.

  • Reviewing contracts and agreements: These individuals review contracts and agreements to ensure that they're accurate and compliant with relevant regulations.

  • Managing accounts and contracts: Energy brokers manage client accounts and contracts, ensuring that they're up-to-date and accurate.

  • Providing customer service: Brokers provide customer service to their clients, responding to enquiries and addressing concerns in a timely and professional manner.

Skills for energy brokers

Energy brokers utilise various skills, including technical skills in energy management and allocation and diverse soft skills. Since they often work as part of a team, critical skills such as teamwork and communication are typically a requirement of most employers. Here are some examples of the necessary skills for energy brokers:

  • knowledge of the energy market

  • understanding of energy pricing models and structures

  • ability to analyse energy data and trends

  • knowledge of energy regulations and policies

  • familiarity with energy management systems and software

  • understanding of energy efficiency technologies and practices

  • proficiency in data analysis tools

  • ability to create and deliver presentations and reports

  • negotiation

  • contract management

  • relationship-building

  • active listening

  • time management

  • problem-solving

  • critical thinking

  • attention to detail

  • organisation

  • customer service

  • adaptability

  • flexibility

  • self-motivation

  • positive attitude

  • leadership

Related: Energy engineer skills (with definition and examples)

Typical workday for an energy broker

The typical workday for an energy broker involves a mix of activities, including analysing energy data and market trends, negotiating with suppliers and customers and developing new business opportunities. They may spend time communicating with clients, responding to enquiries and building relationships with suppliers and customers. Energy brokers may also attend meetings and events, create and deliver presentations and review contracts and agreements. Since it's necessary for brokers to remain up to date with industry regulations and policies, they also spend time researching new technologies and energy efficiency practices.

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Work environment for an energy broker

The typical work environment for an energy broker can vary depending on the company and the broker's role. Energy brokers may work in an office setting, either independently or as part of a team, or work remotely. They may spend time travelling to meet with clients and attend events. Brokers require access to relevant energy data and software and communication tools to interact with clients and suppliers.

They may work long hours, especially during peak energy trading periods, and may face challenges such as making quick decisions and negotiating deals. A professional, detail-oriented and analytical work environment is helpful for energy brokers to succeed.

Related: 11 best practices for remote working policies and procedures

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