The energy regulator Ofgem has vowed to crack down on “unscrupulous” brokers that have overcharged charities, community sports clubs, and care homes and small businesses for their energy by hiding their inflated commission charges. We at Switched On Solutions fully support this initiative as we have found evidence of this practice when speaking to prospective clients who have lost all trust in the energy brokerage service.
Ofgem has set out the plans to help prevent more than a million microbusinesses from being ripped-off by unregulated energy brokers after finding that some were paying thousands of pounds more than they needed to.
The plans included new responsibilities for energy suppliers to monitor the conduct of the brokers that sold their energy deals, and to make sure that commission fees and key contract details were more transparent. As a business we at Switched On Solutions provide as standard a market comparison report free of charge for our clients and fully explain all of the costs of an energy contract. Our clients are always free to choose a energy contract that is best for them.
The new measures have emerged after a Guardian report earlier this year revealed that energy brokers had been left to overcharge thousands of small businesses because, unlike brokers selling mortgages or insurance, they are unregulated. As a business, Switched On Solutions would welcome a move towards the regulation of energy brokers in an effort to re-establish trust within the industry.
As the cost of energy continues to rise and it has been predicted that costs could increase by as much as 30% over the next 12 months due to Brexit and COVID 19 bounce back it is even more important that businesses of all sizes have access to the information on energy costs from as many suppliers as possible. This is the area where energy brokers must act with integrity and responsibility to the client and not profiteering for their own benefit.