Andy Pilley Sentencing: Urgent Call for Ofgem to Investigate BES Utilities

Andy Pilley Sentencing: Urgent Call for Ofgem to Investigate BES Utilities

By -Published On: July 7, 2023-Categories: Business, Energy Consultants, Market Insight, News-
Andy Pilley

Welcome to the Energy Consultants Association (ECA), where we prioritise integrity and professionalism within the energy brokering industry.

In light of the recent sentencing of Andy Pilley, the owner of BES Utilities, it is crucial that we address the urgent need for Ofgem, the industry regulator, to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the company’s practices.

According to Companies House whilst Mr Pilley resigned as a director from his energy companies during May following his conviction for fraud, he remains the ultimate controlling owner of BES Utilities despite having now been sentenced to thirteen years.

How was this scandal allowed to continue for so long and what steps will Ofgem now take to investigate, report, and ensure there can be no recurrence?

ECA Executive Team

The Verdict: Unveiling Misconduct and Fraud

Following an extensive investigation by trading standards, Andy Pilley, the former chairman of Fleetwood Town FC and owner of BES Utilities, has been convicted of a multi-million-pound fraud.

The criminal conduct over a number of years involved an individual acting as the ultimate owner of a supplier with a brokerage that claimed to be independent: the criminal court saw through that lie and also sentenced the director of the brokerage to seven years in prison for his part in the fraud.

The fraud was carried out over a number of years and should have rung very loud alarm bells within the powers that be a very long time ago.

Deliberate Deception: The Plot Thickens 

The investigation uncovered compelling evidence of Mr Pilley’s involvement in mis-selling gas and electricity contracts, as well as the posting of fabricated customer comments on websites.

This deliberate deception led to substantial financial losses for countless business owners, duped into entering long and expensive contracts with companies whose ultimate owner, Mr Pilley, had already served a prison sentence for dishonesty.

The severity of these offenses has resulted in Mr Pilley receiving a 13-year prison sentence.  Additionally, three other individuals involved in the fraudulent scheme have also received jail time.

Setting the record straight

Implications for the Industry: Safeguarding Trust and Compliance

The implications of Mr Pilley’s fraudulent actions extend beyond BES Utilities and cast a shadow over the entire energy brokering industry.

These deceptive practices raise significant concerns about trust that consumers put in our industry and how cases like this do nothing but tarnish the reputation of honest consultants and brokers that provide customers with a fair and vital service.

As the regulatory authority, Ofgem plays a pivotal role in ensuring that energy suppliers adhere to their license conditions, thereby safeguarding the integrity of the market.

Considering Mr Pilley’s conviction, it is imperative for Ofgem to conduct a thorough investigation into his activities and review suppliers’ compliance with their license conditions.

By undertaking this investigation, Ofgem can demonstrate its commitment to maintaining trust and upholding ethical standards within the energy industry, brokering, and supplying.

The Role of the ECA: Advocating for Accountability

As a trade body representing energy consultants and brokers, the ECA assumes a vital role in advocating for accountability within the industry.

In light of the recent developments surrounding BES Utilities, we stand united in urging Ofgem to launch a comprehensive investigation into this matter.

It is of utmost importance for Ofgem to thoroughly assess the extent of misconduct and fraudulent activities as identified by a criminal court.

Raising Public Awareness: The Power of Consumer Feedback

The concerns expressed by our members and the wider public, particularly on platforms such as LinkedIn and Trustpilot, highlight the significance of consumer feedback in shaping industry practices.

These platforms have provided a space for individuals to share their experiences and raise awareness about potential misconduct within the energy sector.

We urge Ofgem to carefully consider and take into account these voices during its investigation into this criminal activity.

The regulator’s ability to address public concerns and take decisive action is crucial in restoring confidence in the industry.

It is essential that Ofgem effectively harnesses consumer feedback to enforce compliance and safeguard the interests of energy consumers and our industry as a whole.

Conclusion: Demanding Action and Ensuring Compliance

Following Andy Pilley’s conviction and the unsettling revelations surrounding BES Utilities, we urgently call on Ofgem to conduct a thorough investigation.

We must safeguard compliance, trust, and integrity in the energy brokering industry.

Let our collective voice demand accountability and swift action from Ofgem to ensure a future defined by professionalism and ethical standards.

Together, we can rebuild trust, protect consumers, and uphold the integrity of our industry.

Join the ECA

As a unified voice, the Energy Consultants Association (ECA) will pave the way for the future success of our industry, ensuring the security and longevity of our sector, while prioritising exceptional outcomes for our clients.

To begin the membership process, please fill out this form on our website, including your annual turnover information. Upon submission, you will receive a welcome membership pack, including your ECA membership badge files, and an invoice reflecting your chosen membership level.

Businesses that secure membership within the next 30 days will be classified as “Founding Members” and will receive a Founding Members badge to display on their digital platforms.

ECA Executive Team

Remember, the more members we have, the stronger our collective voice becomes in shaping the future of our sector. Together, we can drive positive change and create an environment that supports growth and success for all.

We appreciate your ongoing support and dedication.

Should you have any questions or require further assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

7 Comments

  1. Peter Ensinger September 6, 2023 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Ofgem needs to investigate BES utilities and possibly close them down as they were at the centre of the scam. I am a customer of BES utilities and as a result of their overcharging and the fact they seem to regard my business as a large business despite us being a micro business as per ofgems rules regarding energy supply to micro businesses I have had to close my business down and i have suffered a large financial hit which i am trying to deal with as well as my diagnosis of cancer. I believe that BES utilities should be closed down and the court should use the proceeds of crime act to strip Pilley and his co defendants of the wealth they have gained as a result of this scam.

  2. M Peach September 15, 2023 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    We contacted the Ombudsman twice about the scandalous practices at BES, they sided with BES each time! Maybe they should also be investigated. We told our MP months ago that BES needed investigating, she did nothing to help us. From being duped into a 5 year contract to having massively extortionate rates applied plus having to deal with the worst customer services; we have been complaining and being ignored for years, shut BES down and compensate customers with the vast profits they accumulated illegally!

  3. John November 1, 2023 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    BES are still doing exactly what the directors have been jailed for, there seems to be no end to the devastation they cause to thousands of small business’s across the country, I have been overcharged by this company for months and have contacted the ombudsman with no avail they seem to be a law into themselves, in any other industry this company would be closed down neither Ofgem or the ombudsman seem to act on them. There should be an official government enquiry into their antics, shocking absolutely shocking

  4. Anthony Wright December 14, 2023 at 9:27 am - Reply

    I had to pay over 3k to get out of a miss-sold contract by a broker directly linked to BES. I managed to get 1k back but feel as the prosecution shows exactly what I had evidenced about the dodgy broker that lied and used misleading tactics. I feel I should get the rest of my money back. This was what they fined me on top of the stupid prices I was paying. It seems small businesses are struggling without the crooks like Pilley and his associates. I would like the money I had to give to this crook back and would like to see regulations put in place to stop this happening. Small business should be protected from these parasitic energy companies.

  5. Hannah Woods January 12, 2024 at 9:02 am - Reply

    I have a small holiday let cottage and was duped into signing up to BES via a cold call broker. I have been charged very expensive rates since then and unable to leave the contract for five years which I do not remember being made aware of. BES have made my stress levels go through the roof.

    • Sean Sale June 6, 2024 at 11:55 am - Reply

      give me a shout Hannah as I’ve got issues with BES too

  6. Sean Sale June 6, 2024 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Hannah, I share your experience. We were contacted by Action Energy, a broker, who warned us that if we didn’t switch our energy supply to BES—allegedly the cheapest option—we would be moved to expensive emergency rates. We own a small holiday let in Cornwall and, unfortunately, have been with BES for three years now, locked into a two-year contract. Despite the property being vacant since April 2024, our gas invoice for June is over £3,000 our property averages £250-£350 per month normally. This morning, I plan to call BES to dispute the invoice, but I’m perplexed by how they determine their readings. They even installed new smart meters in May to address my concerns about the high bills. I will provide an update once I have more information. If anyone needs further details or wants to discuss this, feel free to reach out.

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