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How To Choose A Reputable Energy Broker

The UK has thousands of energy brokers, mostly because it is relatively inexpensive to start a brokerage and they are also not tightly regulated.

But with so many businesses in the industry that supply brokerage services, how can you know that you are choosing a fair, ethical and reputable service?

Many organisations – but especially the more vulnerable ones like churches, charities and hospices – are being cheated by fraudulent brokers who charge more than they should.

To prevent this from happening to you, Business Energy Comparison will help guide you to finding a reputable energy broker.

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Why Not Go Straight To A Business Energy Supplier?

You might be questioning why you need an energy broker in the first place. If you go straight to an energy supplier, you will cut out the “middleman”, right?

Well, yes – however it is incredibly time-consuming to get quotes from each of the different suppliers. Whether you are looking for business electricity or gas, you will have to supply your company’s information to each supplier so you can compare prices.

Brokers cut out this laborious process by finding different suppliers to meet your needs. As they are specialists in procuring prices for business utilities, they are more likely to find you the best deals.

Should you have queries regarding your business’ energy, you will have your broker as a direct channel to your supplier.

Why Using An Energy Broker Is A Good Idea

As mentioned above, brokers have significant benefits and help to negotiate the best business gas and electricity prices.

If your current supplier is costing you a lot of money, it might be best to switch suppliers to find a better deal. This is something that a broker can help you with – using an expert utility broker is much easier than attempting to do it by yourself.

Third-party intermediaries (TPIs) are business utility brokers that offer different rates for customers. A TPI or commercial utility broker has direct access to all of the UK energy suppliers, who offer these brokers exclusive deals.

This leaves you free to run your business and not stress about costs.

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Before choosing a reputable broker, it’s best to first understand exactly what energy broker services are:

  • Collect quotes from the entire energy market: Business energy brokers will look at the most affordable but reputable business energy suppliers so that you don’t have to attempt to collect this information.
  • Manage switching energy suppliers: If you wish to switch to a different supplier, a broker will help you through the switching process so that everything runs smoothly.
  • Contract renewal: As your contract nears its end date, your broker should notify you. They will then provide you with better deals or alternative suppliers.
  • Energy advice: Energy consultants specialise in energy management advice, however, your business energy broker may also provide you with info on how to save energy and increase efficiency at your small or large business.

Choosing A Reputable Energy Broker

With thousands of business energy brokers in the UK, choosing the right one can be a real challenge. You spend a lot on your business energy consumption, and having a broker to help you find the most affordable energy supply can go a long way in helping you to save money.

Here are 10 steps to finding the perfect business energy broker:

1. Third-Party Intermediary Code of Practice

The Third-Party Intermediary (TPI) Code of Practice is sponsored by E.ON. This voluntary standard aims to ensure responsible TPIs who represent small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Code of Practice audits its participants to ensure customers get the best service. Ideally, you would want to choose an energy broker that has signed up for the TPI Code of Practice.

That way you can rest assured that you are getting the best, transparent service.

2. Number of suppliers

You want a completely independent broker who is able to source quotes from a variety of suppliers. That way you will get the best business energy prices available to you.

3. Transparent

You want a transparent broker who is honest about their business energy contracts. Make sure to ask difficult questions and evaluate how honest they are with their answers.

For example, do they charge you directly for services rendered? Will they offer you a contract to sign? Are their answers clear?

Having a broker that has signed up to the TPI Code of Practice will ensure transparency.

4. Are they pressuring you to make a choice?

Brokers that are pushy towards a specific deal are probably not reputable.

Some brokers might push you to switch to a different supplier before your contract ends or try to force certain deals on you. It is best to give these brokers a miss as they are acting out of their own interest.

5. Energy bill forecast

Your broker should be able to give you a forecast of your energy bills if you switch to a new supplier.

They should also be able to compare your current contract with any potential new contracts, highlighting where you will be able to save money.

6. Letter of Authority

Any reputable energy broker will request that you sign their Letter of Authority so that they can act on the behalf of your business during negotiations.

7. Confirmed contract

You are able to secure your business energy contracts telephonically, but a reputable broker will ensure that the call is recorded or followed up with an email to confirm the contract.

If recorded, you should request a copy of the recording.

8. Data Protection Act

Privacy is paramount, which is why your energy broker should comply with the Data Protection Act, which is the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation in the UK.

9. Support

There is no point in entering an energy contract with a broker who’s not interested in supporting you once the contract has been signed.

You want your broker to also double as your energy consultant. This means you should be able to contact them with any queries, they must offer you advice on improving efficiency, and they must always be on the lookout for better deals.

10. Dealing with complaints

Your broker should have a clear and transparent outline for how they deal with any complaints and customer feedback. If complaints are simply ignored, it’s best to look for a new broker.

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How Much Should Your Business Be Paying For Energy?

How much businesses pay for energy varies on the size of the business. Below is a helpful guide to show you the average gas and electricity usage as well as the average prices per kWh.

Average business gas and energy prices (kWh)

Micro-business: Gas

  • Average annual usage (kWh): 5,000 – 15,000
  • Price (per kWh): 18.6p
  • Daily standing charge: 66p

Small business: Gas

  • Average annual usage (kWh): 15,000 – 30,000
  • Price (per kWh): 13.1p
  • Daily standing charge: 134.2p

Medium business: Gas

  • Average annual usage (kWh): 30,000 – 65,000
  • Price (per kWh): 16.2p
  • Daily standing charge: 179.6p

Large business: Gas

  • Average annual usage (kWh): 65,000 +
  • Price (per kWh): 10.2p
  • Daily standing charge: 278.1p

Micro-business: Electricity

  • Average annual usage (kWh): 5,000 – 15,000
  • Price (per kWh): 44.9p
  • Daily standing charge: 95.0p

Small business: Electricity

  • Average annual usage (kWh): 15,000 – 25,000
  • Price (per kWh): 40.7p
  • Daily standing charge: 116.5p

Medium business: Electricity

  • Average annual usage (kWh): 25,000 – 50,000
  • Price (per kWh): 34.6p
  • Daily standing charge: 102.5p

Large business: Electricity

  • Average annual usage (kWh): 50,000 +
  • Price (per kWh): 36.1p
  • Daily standing charge: 138.3p

Why Work With Business Energy Comparison?

Business Energy Comparison can compare business energy prices from across the UK to help you find the best deal. It takes the headache and admin out of doing the comparisons and getting quotes yourself.

Our trusted advisors will work with you to make sure you walk away happy.

Final Thoughts

Your commercial energy costs are sure to be a big percentage of your business expenses. Luckily, you can choose an energy broker that can help cut down on these costs.

However, you will have to work with a reputable broker. Make sure to consider the TPI Code of Practice, legal documentation, how many suppliers the broker works with and how they deal with complaints and customer feedback.

We hope that our 10 tips above as well as our additional information on brokers will help you find the best business energy broker to meet your needs and save you money.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an energy broker and an energy consultant?

Both brokers and consultants help businesses to manage their energy needs and reduce energy expenses. However, there are slight differences:

  • Services: Brokers facilitate the sale of energy, including electricity and gas. Consultants conduct energy audits and make recommendations on saving energy.
  • Fees: Brokers charge a fee that forms part of the energy cost savings percentage that their clients achieve. Consultants charge an hourly rate or flat fee.
  • Procurement: Brokers provide clients with the best deal possible, while consultants do not focus as much on deal procurement, but rather on helping clients cut down on costs.

How many energy brokers are there in the UK?

There are currently more than 3,000 energy brokers in the UK. Smaller brokerages often act as energy consultants as well and offer more personalised services, while larger brokerages may be able to secure better prices.