Where to find the cheapest electricity?


Say I wanted to start a business that relies heavily on electricity (though not induction-heavy electricity, like welding or the like would produce, standard electricity used used by computers). A target location would be somewhere in USA or Canada. I can find some data on average cost of electricity in some bigger cities, but most of the data is spread across multiple websites, so they are hard to compare. Moreover, I can't seem to find any data whether those prices vary depending on the location in that given city (say, putting the business right next to a hydro dam or a wind farm could potentially lower the costs).

Where could I find some good resources on where to set up such a business to lower electricity costs?

Getting Started Business Low Cost Costs

asked Nov 9 '11 at 21:54
The Piachu
113 points
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4 Answers


Find areas hit hard by the recession, contact the local power generation company and discuss negotiating flat rates for fixed durations.

If you go simply by what today's rates are, that won't provide any guarantee that the cheapest power TODAY will still be the cheapest power TOMORROW.

answered Nov 9 '11 at 21:59
Brian Karas
3,407 points
  • Good suggestion to consider. – The Piachu 12 years ago


I can't see why this would ever be a legitimate concern for a startup.

There are far more important considerations that should influence where you locate your business. Electricity is a rather cheap commodity compared to leasing an office, paying employees, and lots of other more significant expenses that vary by location.

If electricity bills really are a significant part of your business's costs, then you should probably consider generating your own electricity through solar panels or wind turbines. Otherwise you'll be at the mercy of the supplies, who usually maintain local monopolies.

But again, electricity should be relatively cheap wherever you go, compared to the cost of renting space and hiring employees.

answered Nov 10 '11 at 03:28
Hartley Brody
1,317 points
  • why the downvote? – Hartley Brody 12 years ago
  • The downvote is because others may have very good reasons to have concerns about this issue and the fact that you are unaware of those reasons does not make them illegitimate. Furthermore, your suggestion of self-generation does not address the question about reducing costs, it focuses only on control of the source. Solar and wind are almost always more expensive solutions. – Kenneth Vogt 12 years ago
  • For a normal business, this might be the case, but consider that you are running a computation centre - your revenue is generated by computers calculating things. The more they compute, the more you earn, but also the bigger your electrical bill. It all depends on the profit margin you are getting, if it is small, you want to cut your costs. If electricity might be your biggest cost, prepare in advance. Solar panels aren't that efficient, wind turbines are expensive and don't work everywhere. Otherwise everyone would be generating their own electricity. – The Piachu 12 years ago
  • I guess you're right. I don't know the intricacies of the OP's business or market. I just tried to provide an answer based on my experiences and expectations for what a startup needs. I can see now that his business might be different than what I expected. Still not sure why the answer deserves a [downvote](http://answers.onstartups.com/privileges/vote-down). – Hartley Brody 12 years ago


How many megawatts do you need? Have you tried looking at the US electricity spot market ? If your business is so sensitive to energy prices check out the spot market or contact energy brokers/resellers.

answered Nov 10 '11 at 13:08
1,231 points


You may also want to check out a community that is serviced by municipal power.

answered Nov 11 '11 at 01:47
Paul Waldman
101 points

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