As the honest energy broker, we want to protect small businesses from being ripped off from companies in our industry who prioritise their profits over your business needs and savings. With our insider information on common energy lies to watch out for, we believe you can make more informed decisions regarding your utilities.
5 energy lies to watch out for
1. Hidden energy broker fees
Brokers can either charge a fixed fee or a commission on the energy consumed. The commission rate varies wildly from one broker to another. It is the duty of any energy broker to disclose any fixed or commission fee the broker charges or receives to you, the customer. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. We already mentioned in our myth busting blog post that 37% of businesses believe that energy brokers offer free services, while 42% do not know how much of their energy expenses go to the brokers. This is why opting for a transparent broker who is upfront about their commission and don’t include any hidden charges and print in their quotes in a tangible way, pounds and pence.
2. “Free” switching service
Have you ever heard the saying, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”? Well in this case it’s true. So many energy brokers, comparison sites and switching services claim that the services they provide are free of charge. Something which is important to understand when shopping for your energy provider, is that if you are not paying the broker, comparison site or switching service, then it is likely that the supplier is, or it is your information which they can monetize.
The problem with the supplier paying the energy broker, comparison site, or switching service’s commission or fee, there is no way then to tell if you are being presented with the best energy contract and unit rates for your business or the energy contract and supplier which pays the best commission. Again, we advise going for an energy company, such as Energy PEAK who are upfront and fair with their commissions from the start. This way you can be sure you’re making the best decision for your business, and not someone else’s.
3. Contract options
Many energy companies will try lock you into longer term contracts because it’s better for them. Make sure when you are dealing with an energy broker, comparison site, or switching service that you are being provided with a variety of contract types, so you compare and see which best suits your business needs. Also, be weary of pressuring cold-callers pushing you for a verbal agreement over the phone. Always make sure you see a clearly structured breakdown of what exactly you agreeing to in writing before signing or verbally agreeing to anything.
Want to know more about what to watch out for when choosing an energy company for your business? Check out our pdf guide here.
4. Broker acting as supplier
Another thing to watch out for is an energy broker pretending to be a supplier. They may lie and say it is your existing supplier and attempt to get you to agree to a contract renewal over the phone. You will not be aware it is actually a third-party broker calling you until you see the fine print on the paper work, or you may not receive paperwork from the broker at all! Make sure you have proof of who you are talking to before agreeing to anything.
5. Change of tenancy
We have even heard of brokers trying to persuade business owners to forge a change of tenancy, so they can get out of old energy contracts and into new “cheaper” ones. No honest broker would attempt to convince you to complete a fraudulent change of tenancy just for a new utility contract. If you have recently taken over a new premises, you are entitled to a new energy contract, you can read more about how to safely go about this here.
Shopping for energy is usually low on the list of a time-poor business owner’s priorities, but taking the time to look out for dodgy dealings and out-right lies will likely save your business a lot of money and future headaches. Energy PEAK wants to support small businesses in their business decisions, so as we mentioned earlier, we have prepared a pdf guide you can download for free, outlining 6 things to look out for when choosing an energy company. You will then be confident in your ability to differentiate between a dodgy energy company and one you can trust.