Business Energy Claims

If you have used an energy broker, you may have been mis-sold a business energy contract and you could be eligible to make a business energy claim.

Business Energy Claims

Over the past decade, many businesses have been charged over the odds for the energy they use.

If you used a broker to secure you the best deal for your business energy contracts, there is a high probability that you may have been charged an undisclosed commission and you could be entitled to claim considerable compensation.

When managing business overheads, it makes sense that you would be looking for the best deal for your gas and electricity. One way you may have done this is through the services of an energy broker or consultant.

Energy brokers can negotiate with different energy providers directly on your behalf, with the intention of securing you a better contract than you may have got, had you gone direct to the supplier yourself. In theory, you employ the broker to save you time and money.

There are an estimated 3,000 energy brokers (also known as ‘third party intermediaries’ or ‘TPIs’) that assist businesses by arranging energy contracts with suppliers. These brokers earn their commission by sourcing you the “best deal” for your business energy.

Following an investigation into energy brokers in 2020, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM), found that businesses were too frequently being mis-sold business energy contracts.

The independent regulator indicated a number of scenarios in which business energy was potentially being mis-sold, principally revolving around a lack of transparency.

These include:

  • Only offering you one business energy deal, after stating they would conduct a full-market review.
  • Locking you into lengthy, multi-year contracts without making it clear at the point of sale.
  • Hiding commission fees in the contract without disclosing this cost at the point of sale, nor documenting it in the contract itself.

The major concern at OFGEM is that some brokers may have recommended contracts that earn them favourable commission instead of representing the best interest of their clients. This often results in businesses being enormously overcharged while the broker earns huge amounts of commission.

Typically, the commission is added to the unit price charged by the energy supplier, which can often be much higher than it should be. This means that the commissions paid is linked to the energy usage and simply added to the business bill without being explained. This means the longer the contract and the higher the usage the bigger the commission will be. As any commission or fee, this is paid directly to the broker from the supplier and you may not be aware of the added cost of your contract.

A broker should be working in their client’s best interest, due to being in a position of trust. A broker is a “fiduciary” and as such has a fiduciary duty in law to ensure that its client’s interests do not conflict with its own.

You should not be paying for a contract where the main driver is the broker’s own financial motives when recommending a deal and importantly have not disclosed them to you.

If your energy broker or consultant failed to issue you with a full written disclosure of how much they earned from your contract, including any commission or fees they received from the supplier for recommending you as a customer, whether that is a one-off charge or an on-going cost, then they have not disclosed important information to you regarding the contract.  Some of this information may have been hidden but still applied to your contract.

If your broker has not or is not being transparent then it is likely that a good amount of your bill is going to the broker as commission.

How Can APJ help?

Not all energy contracts are mis-sold, some energy brokers are reputable and act in good faith, or fully disclose their remuneration.

We can help you assess whether your contract was mis-sold before carrying out the claim itself. If you give us permission to act on your behalf, we will contact your energy broker and supplier on your behalf to collect and assess the information pertinent to your claim.

Our specialist team can represent you on a no win, no fee basis, and all initial work to assess the claim will be carried out free of charge.

Compensation usually takes the form of recovery of some or all of the money that you have lost due to the commission information being hidden. The compensation you are entitled to will vary depending on the specifics of your individual claim.

This means if your claim was unsuccessful, you likely would not pay any legal fees. If your claim is successful, the legal fees may be deducted from your overall compensation.

If you have used an energy broker, you may have been mis-sold a business energy contract and you could be eligible to make a business energy claim.

You may be entitled to claim compensation from your broker or the energy supplier that paid the commission.

To assess if you have a claim you will need:

  • Your business energy contract agreement date (i.e. When it was signed), as well as its start and end date.
  • The unit cost per kilowatt hour of your gas and electricity.
  • The name of your business energy supplier.
  • The name of your energy broker.
  • your business details, including number of meters, your estimated annual gas or electricity usage, the distributor ID and the profile code or class of your electricity meter.

Strict time limits apply for bringing complaints, so if you believe that you have been mis-sold an energy contract, then you should make the complaint as soon as possible.