Energy Management Workshop
The Workshop Group
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Unfortunately, the energy industry, as with other industries suffers from rogue practice from unscrupulous energy brokers which tarnish the work of good energy brokers. This is mainly because the energy TPI market is poorly regulated, and as with other poorly regulated markets, a few people mislead and defraud to exploit revenue streams for gains.  Ofgem, the energy regulator, have thankfully and finally been given new powers by government to crack down on these rogues however it will take a few years to weed them out of the system altogether, if at all.

One of those potential lucrative revenue streams for them is through Start-up businesses.

Why do they target Start-up Businesses?

star.png    They specifically purchase lists of new business start-ups to begin their scam hoping the new business owner would have ever entered into a business energy contract before
     
star.png   They hope and prey on your lack of knowledge around commercial energy prices and the distraction of start-up pressures
     
star.png   They will then take advantage by building the maximum commission they can into the suppliers unit rates which will see you paying significantly more than you should. For example a rogue broker rates will be anything upto 4 p/kwh higher than a reputable broker. Higher even than out of contract rates
     
star.png   They will try and get you into the longest possible supply term, whether market conditions prove it to be right or wrong, for the lengthiest revenue stream
     
star.png   They perceive you to be easier to ‘double-dip’. Charge a fee and then build in commission without you knowing
     
star.png   There is less chance that they will have to offer or engage you on any other energy services or strategy that you may need as you will be concentrating getting your business up and running
     
star.png   They will not be around when you need them. As a start-up you will have more chance of this than other companies
      



     
 

‘The additional unnecessary cost could be the difference between a small business succeeding or failing’.

If you think you have been a victim of this please contact EMW straight away for discussion and advice.  

 
     

 

How to avoid these rogues:

star.png    Never engage in conversation with an energy telesales executive or those that say they are official meter readers (they are not)
     
star.png   If you do, never say yes to anything as you could be agreeing to a verbal contract or automatic process. End the call as quickly as possible and tell them to remove you from their database
     
star.png   If any prices are offered to you, ask for a breakdown report of at least 4 or 5 suppliers (a whole suite will be better) and benchmark against another provider to ensure they are not fabricated
     
star.png   If you have to ask them what their commission is. A good broker will be transparent and will inform you in any case
     
star.png   It is not a “free service”. Chuck out those immediately that say it is
     
star.png   They don’t look beyond anything other than trying to get you into an agreement ASAP
     
star.png   They don’t know how the energy industry works
     
star.png   They use estimated consumption rather than actual when generating prices. If this consumption is false it could lead to penalties from your supplier
      



A good energy broker will:

star.png     Meet you face to face
     
star.png   Request a non-exclusive letter of authority returned on company headed paper
     
star.png   Never conduct verbal sales, always signatory
     
star.png   Be open, honest and transparent with everything they do
     
star.png   Inform you on how they will deliver the services that they provide
     
star.png   Furnish you with a suite of offers from suppliers
     
star.png   Create short, medium & long term energy strategies where required
     
star.png   Provide a proposal relevant to your consumption and requirements
     
star.png   Have no issue enabling you to benchmark their price and service against another provider
     
star.png   Save you money through proactive energy procurement and invoice validation
     
star.png   Talk to you about saving you money through the implementation, measurement and monitoring of an energy reduction programme
       

Two more scams to look out for from these rogues.

1.  Pretending to be your incumbent supplier.

They call you pretending to be your incumbent supplier and provide you with inflated, artificial renewal prices. A number of hours later, another employee of said rogue, calls you again offering to beat the renewal price you have been given.

2.  Pretending to be official meter readers.

This where they will target you claiming they are official meter readers. They are not, they are rogue energy brokers. Pursuing the call may mean you later discovering that you are tied into a very highly priced binding contract without your knowledge. These rogues will contact you soon after you have taken over new premises. They will state or imply that they are officials who need to take a meter reading as your meter is not registered and that you are not in contract with anyone. They will claim that you are paying a very high rate, perhaps stating 40% above the going rate and inform you that they are authorised to find the best deal for small businesses. You will then be switched without authorisation.

     
 

Quite unbelievable really isn’t it?

The underlying rule is = Never ever agree to anything over the phone with a third party no matter their size and brand! 

 
     

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