Q&A with Jenny McGoran: A decade of energy consulting at Zembl

Words by Zembl

Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Energy Team Manager, Jenny McGoran first joined Zembl back in 2014, moving from Scotland to Australia for what was originally intended to be a gap year. Over a decade later, Jenny shares her story about her journey, the energy market, and what she loves about helping big businesses improve their bottom lines.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be the C&I Team Manager at Zembl?

I moved from Scotland to Australia back in 2014 with what was originally a plan to stay for a 12-month gap year, and here I am 10 years later. I joined Zembl (formerly known as Make it Cheaper) and started my career in both sales and energy.

My first role was as an Account Exec in SME (Small to Medium Enterprises) before transitioning over to the C&I Acquisition team at the end of 2015. That’s when I started to learn more about the energy market and where we fit in to help customers with their procurement needs. I love working with people so was soon moved over to the retention team to manage our existing customer base before stepping up and leading the team I lead today.

What inspired you to get into the energy sector, particularly focusing on Commercial & Industrial businesses?

Energy can be complex and confusing for most customers and I love our model at Zembl, as it helps make energy easy and in a language that can be understood. It’s also a great career to get into as there are so many different pathways to pursue once you are in the industry.

How do you stay motivated and keep your team motivated in such a competitive industry?

It can be tough sometimes, especially when there are external market conditions that are not in our control. However, we have such an amazing team who genuinely care for our customers and want to provide a great service, so they’ve learned to pivot. Everyone in the team wants each other to succeed and will work together to ensure everyone is winning, which I think is key to a successful team.

How does your team stay updated with the latest energy news and regulations affecting Commercial & Industrial businesses in Australia?

We have great relationships with our partners who keep us well informed of what’s going on in the energy market and any regulatory changes. We also ensure that we stay on top of what is impacting wholesale energy rates by continuing to educate and upskill ourselves so that we can provide our customers with the relevant information to assist them with their energy needs.

Walk us through the typical process your team follows when going to market for a customer's energy rates. How do you ensure accuracy and satisfaction?

Our team will have an initial call with our customer where we listen carefully to get all the relevant information we need to go out to tender. This includes confirming the customer’s current contract details, obtaining the business usage data and bills to ensure that we can provide accurate comparison reports for our customers to review and assist with their budgeting.
We will talk with each customer in detail to gain insights into their preferences to ensure that we provide them with a tailored solution to suit their business’s needs. Once we collect all this information, we will negotiate with the energy retailers to find the best outcome and will then take the customer through the results for their consideration.

What makes Zembl's approach to securing competitive energy rates and switching retailers unique compared to other services in the market?

As I mentioned before, one thing I love about Zembl is our dedication to simplicity. We recognise that our customers are busy running their day-to-day operations, we strive to make the process as seamless and pain-free as possible. Acting as an extension of their business, we leverage our industry expertise to alleviate the legwork involved and secure competitive energy plans on their behalf. We know it’s a complex industry, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. That’s what sets us apart from other consultants.

Can you share a success story where your team significantly impacted a business by finding them better energy rates?

We often come across customers who are out of contract and unknowingly paying default rates and overspending by thousands of dollars. We recently saved a customer in VIC, $15.6k a year by identifying they were out of contract and negotiating competitive offers with our retailers for a new agreement.
At Zembl, our team proactively contact our customers before their contract expires. Creating a seamless renewal process preventing them from unknowingly transitioning to default rates.  

What metrics or feedback do you use to measure the success and impact of your team's work on the businesses you assist?

We’re always in touch with the businesses we assist to gather feedback about our service, both through reviews and customer surveys. We value both positive feedback and suggestions for improvement, treating them both with equal importance. Currently our service has an impressive rating of 4.7 stars from 1558 reviews on Product Review, showing how dedicated we are to doing great work!

In your experience, what are the most common misconceptions businesses have about energy rates and switching retailers?

Sometimes customers think that switching energy retailers will impact their energy supply or it’s quality. However, the distributor is responsible for physically supplying the energy, so the quality and reliability of the energy is exactly the same, regardless of the chosen energy retailer. The retailer essentially determines how much the customer pays for the energy. Therefore, it’s important that customers compare the market to find the most competitive rates and terms for their agreements.

What upcoming trends or changes in the energy sector should Commercial & Industrial businesses be aware of?

There is still a lot of uncertainty around the closure of the Eraring Power Station and how the grid will manage supply without its contribution, with ongoing negotiations between Origin and the NSW government in motion. If customers are concerned about this, they should consider speaking with a consultant about their contract options and how best to protect themselves against any future volatility.

How is your team preparing to adapt to future changes in the energy market to continue providing top-notch service?

Our team is always keeping up to date with trends and changes to ensure we can educate our customers on what is impacting pricing at the time, through our partnerships and frequent monitoring of energy wholesale pricing. We have some exciting new products coming online soon that will enable us to help customers with their bottom line.

Finally, what advice would you give to Commercial & Industrial businesses looking to save time and money on their energy bills?

Customers should compare what is out there to ensure they are sourcing competitive rates and contractual terms that are suitable to their needs. Engaging with a consultant like Zembl takes away the stress of having to do it all and allows you to utilise experts in the field. Our tender service is free and non-obligatory, so it’s a win-win for the customer either way and we take care of all the legwork.

Zembl Energy Consultants save big energy consuming businesses thousands every year. If you’re part of a business that spends more than $30K p.a. on energy, you can access the service of Jenny and her team obligation-free for an in-depth energy tender. Simply leave your details below to get started and see if your rates could be more competitive than what you’re paying now.

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