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06.03.2024

Energy price forecast use case: The practical application of an energy buyer

Use Case Energiepreisprognose enPORTAL connect

Today's article is about the use of a digital energy price forecast in the daily work of an energy buyer. We'll take you on a symbolic tour of a buyer's desk so that you can look over their shoulder and see what the use of a digital AI-supported energy price forecast looks like in practice with enPORTAL connect. Even today, there are still many energy buyers who have never heard of AI-supported price forecasts or can imagine how they can actually support them in their day-to-day work. To make this possible, we explain all the individual steps in detail and in a practical way.

Step by step: framework conditions of our use case

To explain and organise the steps, we accompany our digital sample customer Jonathan Hölzer from the company Musterkraft. He takes us on a tour of his daily work in energy purchasing and energy data management. Jonathan has been working for 3 years as the responsible energy buyer for a medium-sized company in Germany and manages an annual energy volume of around 5 GWh (50,000,000 kilowatt hours) of electricity per year for around 5 points of purchase (these are the company's sites, including 1 factory hall, an office building and 3 warehouses).

Jonathan has been using the enPORTAL connect service, which combines an efficient energy platform with personalised customer service, for around two years. He is supported in all matters relating to energy purchasing, the energy marketplace, energy data management, purchasing strategies, energy price forecasts and energy expertise.

Jonathan uses enPORTAL connect to manage all of his company's energy consumption data and also controls his electricity and gas procurement. His company currently chooses the fixed price as its procurement model. This means that he has a single point of purchase at which he agrees a supply contract for the amount of electricity and gas he requires.

So how does the energy price forecast work in practice?

Step 1: Find the right time to buy

 

 

In order to find the right time to buy, Jonathan has set target prices on the enPORTAL connect platform so that he is automatically informed by e-mail if the price falls below or exceeds the target.

Jonathan has now received an email from enPORTAL that his target values have been undercut and that the stock market price is at a good level for him. He then logs into his password-protected account as a customer on the platform via the Internet browser and the enPORTAL website on the start page.

The question he wants to have answered is: "What does this mean in concrete terms in terms of electricity costs for my company if I were to invite tenders now?"

What counts now is speed in the evaluation. Electricity and gas are traded daily on the stock exchange and values can change completely tomorrow. This is why analysing stock market trends for your own portfolio is an important step in making a purchase decision. The AI-supported, digital energy price forecast, which is updated daily, supports him in analysing the right time to buy.

 

How does that happen? A brief excursion into digital energy price forecasting

Electricity and gas futures contracts are traded on the EEX electricity and gas price exchange for 5 years in advance. The prices of these futures contracts form the basis for calculating the suppliers' offers. The prices of the futures contracts provide a clear indication of the price trend over the next five years. enPORTAL uses the daily trading prices of the futures contracts for the price forecast. An algorithm calculates the energy price for the next 5 years for each consumption point based on the individual consumption behaviour and the price of the futures contract. The algorithm is self-learning, i.e. it is constantly fine-tuned based on the actual tender results. The enPORTAL price forecast therefore deviates from the actual tender result by only a few percentage points. It translates the exchange price development to the respective point of purchase and therefore gives Philipp a clear indication of a good time to buy.

 

Step 2: Keep an eye on share price performance

On the first page of the energy platform, he sees the so-called cockpit with the current exchange prices for electricity and gas for all traded years. Here they have a quick overview of the stock market price trend and can see at a glance where prices are heading.

 

Step 3: Costs per delivery point

Jonathan clicks on the "Supply points" tab and then on the line for the year 2025, the year for which he still has to agree energy supply contracts. For the energy supply years that have not yet been purchased, the value of the energy price forecast is displayed in the column, i.e. the expected costs for electricity that he would incur for the respective supply point and in the overview for all supply points if he were to start a tender today. Jonathan looks at the costs per offtake point and the costs for all offtake points in the energy price forecast. He can see that the costs are currently around 150,000 euros lower than in the current year. He thinks this is a good result and decides to start procurement for 2025 in consultation with his management. He contacts his personal account manager at enPORTAL connect to prepare all further steps for the tender.

 

Step 4: Start the tendering process

Jonathan launched the tender on the same day with the help of his enPORTAL account manager. Around 700 energy suppliers on the energy marketplace received his request for quotation. The tendering process takes around two hours in total (including the binding period) and is accompanied by his personal enPORTAL connect account manager, who is on hand to answer all questions and assist with every step of the process over the phone. The best energy price that Jonathan is offered by the suppliers is roughly the same as the forecast value - and so he can look forward to savings of around 150,000 euros for the following delivery year. The price forecast has shown him directly what it can mean if he puts out a tender today.

Once the contract has been concluded with a legally secure click, the agreed supply contract for the delivery year 2025 immediately lands digitally a under the "Contracts" tab. At the same time, the forecast value in the column for 2025 automatically becomes an actual cost value.

 

Step 5: Economic planning with a click

In the last quarter of 2024, Jonathan carries out the economic planning for 2026 so that the management knows how high the electricity costs could be in the year not yet covered and whether additional or reduced costs are to be expected due to the current stock market situation. For the analysis, Jonathan looks at all of the company's energy consumption data and clicks to pull up a table with the forecast costs for all consumption points for the year 2026, which has not yet been covered. After a few minutes, the business planning is complete. He can immediately present the forecast values to his management and basically repeat this step every day.

 

Conclusion: Future energy costs with a click

Jonathan Hölzer's individual work steps clearly show how the continuous work of the energy buyer can be facilitated and, above all, accelerated with the AI-supported energy price forecast. He has gained more security and control and particularly appreciates the professional dialogue with his personal account manager, who provides him with professional support on all energy issues relating to purchasing and strategy and advises him on the correct use of the energy platform's numerous digital features. Since Jonathan Hölzer has been working with enPORTAL connect, he has found more time for further innovations within his company, which he can drive forward as part of the energy transition.

Based on the process flows, you too will hopefully be able to better understand the benefits of a digital energy price forecast and how quickly good purchasing opportunities and cost reductions can be achieved. This service and the intelligent linking of this data have become indispensable in many purchasing departments of German SMEs.

Do you have any questions on this topic or would you like more information? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

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