Procurement Outsourcing Why use an Energy Broker by Molly

Why use an Energy Broker, Consultant or Third Party to Buy Business Energy?

5th November 2018

Why indeed. Especially as you'll have heard the stories...........

Just this week alone, we've had 8 instances of current clients being entered into contracts, by rogue TPIs (Third Party Intermediaries - The term TPI can cover energy consultants, energy brokers or price comparison websites (the latter doesn't currently work very well for the non-domestic market/ business users due to the bespoke nature of business energy prices and terms)), that they didn't know they had been entered into and would never have agreed to had they known. Incidentally, all 8 had one thing in common; they were "contracted" via a verbal script. We can't reiterate enough;

NEVER agree your Business Energy contract verbally over the phone

Of course, there was more to the story for the 8 from this week (it's a weekly occurrence) in that recordings were fake, complete entrapment or some other spurious scenario. All 8 "contracts" had hugely inflated rates against them, and from the recordings we've heard, some high pressure sales techniques were deployed along with some very underhand and devious use of the English language! This is all causing a lack of trust in the industry as a whole when a good TPI should be seen as a very useful asset to an organisation instead of being compared to a rogue TPI's morally bankrupt ways of providing a "service".

All TPIs should have a similar goal; identify the most appropriate business energy contracts for each client with emphasis on cost, consumption and contract terms. Plus, some added bonuses and out of the box thinking from the better energy brokers and consultants.

So, Back to the "WHY" - We can only base it on our own honest service to clients

  • 1. A TPI's fee structures should be transparent (we'll tell any client this - some ask, some don't) but above all, should outweigh the risk of a client, "going it alone" in procuring Business Energy.
  • 2. With genuine market wide tendering (some suppliers will always have to be omitted but should be an easy answer for your Broker/ Consultant) you'll get the best deal currently on the market.
  • 3. Comparing and presenting each supplier on the same basis (e.g. accurate annual kWh consumption, pricing, type of contract etc.) will give you an undisputed best deal - because suppliers have a tendency to present differently, it's difficult to truly compare without knowledge of the Energy Industry.
  • 4. Switching supplier often has an objection raised by the legacy company. A TPI will overcome these and help you switch smoothly.
  • 5. Shopping around for business gas and business electricity can be crucial to your efficiency and bottom line. Why would you not do this alongside a professional?
  • 6. A TPI can compare business gas and electricity with your businesses specific needs in mind, helping you cut energy costs.
  • 7. Switching business energy suppliers is a straightforward process, but a Third Party can save you the hassle by handling all the paperwork and save you time.
  • 8. Energy Consultants and Brokers should give you an impartial understanding of the business energy market and the expertise of what's required for your businesses specific needs.
  • 9. The best business energy deals last for fixed periods of time - a TPI can actively monitor and manage your account and help you make long-term savings.
  • Ultimately, some energy brokers and consultants are better than others!

  • Only deal with a company you trust and be careful about providing personal information.
  • Carefully read a letter of authority (LOA) before signing it - such documents can give a TPI legal permission to agree to contracts on your behalf! We'd recommend NEVER signing this kind of LOA.
  • Know what you're paying - a TPI may charge a fee or build their income into the contract.
  • Watch out for impersonation - you need to be careful about passing over personal information and your renewal date. And if it doesn't sound like an Energy Supplier (they like to use, "I'm calling on behalf of....." rather than, "I'm calling from.....") or someone from "X Governmental Department" or "Y Advisory Service", then it probably isn't...........

  • "All TPIs should have a similar goal; identify the most appropriate business energy contracts for each client with emphasis on cost, consumption and contract terms. Plus, some added bonuses and out of the box thinking from the better energy brokers and consultants."