Fed Up Of Endless Phone Calls About Your Business Energy Contracts & Arrangements...?
We have been a Patron Of Made In The Midlands for 2 years working with nearly 100 members. Whilst those we sit down to talk with like us and more often than not engage our services the majority of businesses are still blindly being ‘hoodwinked’ when it comes to working with energy brokers and advisers.
Have a read of the below advice and checklist and seriously consider who you work with moving forward…
Choosing a trustworthy and reliable business partner to work with can be a challenge, particularly when it comes to dealing with Energy Brokers (Third Parties Intermediaries or TPI’s as they are known). If you run a business, you are likely to receive endless calls from TPI’s trying to sell their services.
One of the Big Energy suppliers published a list of questions that you should ask yourself about the TPI you work with. We think it’s a great checklist and working with us means you will be able to answer YES to every single question:
Do you know what they charge, and how much you are paying them?
Different TPIs charge in different ways. Some charge you a one-off fee directly, others include a commission in the rate they offer you from the supplier. Make sure you know what you’ll be paying and that it represents good value.
Do you know exactly what they are selling?
Do you have a Service-Level Agreement (SLA), or similar document that explains what services your TPI is offering, over what period, and any associated charges. These charges should reflect the amount of support they are providing.
Do they help me make an informed decision?
A good TPI should present supplier offers in a detailed way that lets you compare like for like, not just a bottom line figure. Forecast costs should include all likely charges with a standardised method to forecast non-commodity charges and green taxes/levies.
Are they in it for the long haul?
Ask your TPI how long their average customer relationship lasts, and what techniques they use to attract and retain customers. Seek out testimonials from several of their existing customers. You will want a partner that cares about building long-lasting relationships based on your satisfaction with their service. Also it’s a good idea to ask about their trading history. Pretty much anybody can call themselves an ‘energy expert’. Are they a spin off from another broker?
Do they have good market access and do they do business with different suppliers?
A TPI that has established and formalised relationships with many suppliers is likely to be in a better position to find you the most suitable arrangement for your needs. Look at the spread of suppliers when they present you with offers.
Am I working with a TPI that is qualified to deliver the service I need?
Research your TPI to find out who works for them and what relevant experience their key people can offer. Lots of people have energy experience, but relatively few have the experience to effectively deliver specialist tasks your business may require such as advising on complex products and hedging strategies.