Buying your way out of trouble

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Industrial and commercial energy end-users – especially smaller companies – have often regarded energy purchase as a one-off procurement exercise. Energy is treated as just another utility service, to be bought in bulk periodically. With a falling market for electricity and low prices, some companies have recently been prepared to commit to two-or three-year deals (see box below).

Yet the regular annual purchasing round, typically in April and/or October, is still the norm. Customers

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