Ensuring Accurate Industry Narratives – Responding to Poorly Researched Articles

Ensuring Accurate Industry Narratives – Responding to Poorly Researched Articles

By -Published On: June 8, 2023-Categories: Business, Energy Consultants, Market Insight, News-

At the Energy Consultants Association (ECA), we pride ourselves on upholding the highest standards of professionalism and integrity within the energy consultancy and brokerage industry.

As a responsible industry association, we recognise the importance of addressing claims that have the potential to mislead and harm the reputation of our sector.

It is our duty to provide a more accurate and informed perspective, shedding light on the flaws, inconsistencies and lack of knowledge within poorly researched articles that lack substantial evidence.

Our Response

In today’s era of information overload, it is imperative to distinguish between well-founded claims supported by facts and inaccurately sensationalised narratives.

By responding to the specific points raised in the article titled “Energy firms facing the threat of new payouts to customers that could make PPI ‘Look like peanuts’ we aim to offer a more balanced view that separates fact from speculation.

Misrepresentation and Lack of Research

We caution readers to approach such claims with scepticism and consider the factual basis behind them.

As a trade body dedicated to promoting accurate information in this industry, we believe it is crucial to engage with poorly researched articles and provide a more comprehensive perspective.

Previous Legal Cases

Contrary to the implications made in the article, claims regarding undisclosed broker commissions in the energy market have been circulating since 2018.

However, it is essential to note that very few of these claims have ended up in court, and the outcomes have not been as ground-breaking as portrayed.

It is vital to contextualise the scope and impact of these legal cases accurately.

Unregulated Claims Companies

The article mentions claims companies operating in the energy market, such as the one involving Mr Paul Sissons, who often operate outside the regulatory framework established by the Claims Management Regulations.

Recognising the need for appropriate oversight, the ECA has actively engaged in discussions with the government to address this issue.

This matter has currently being reviewed by The Secretary of State for Business and Trade.

Recent Case Results

To provide a more comprehensive understanding, we have included a link to a recent court case.

The outcome of this case concluded in a resounding loss for the lawyers and the customer.

Judgement was made resulting in the initiating customer being ordered by the court to pay £20,000 in costs, in contrast to the total claim made by that customer was in the region of £10,000.

Naturally, the ECA recognise and value the importance of assessing each case on its individual merits. We endeavour to differentiate ourselves from the exaggerated narratives portrayed in such exaggerated articles

By presenting the full context and outcomes of such cases, we aim to foster a clearer understanding of their implications.

Unrealistic Claims

Claims of having 23,000 customers and a total claim amount of £1.5 billion appear highly unrealistic and lack substantive evidence.

It is essential to question the credibility of such figures and the methodology used to arrive at these valuations. By highlighting these inconsistencies, we seek to ensure a more accurate portrayal of the industry’s landscape.

The Times recently agreed to amend some of the language in their online article as a direct result of the ECA’s response.

Commission Values and Customer Understanding

Over the past five years, brokers have consistently applied an average commission uplift of around 1p per kilowatt-hour (KWH).

To put this in perspective, the average customer consumes approximately 30,000 KWh of energy. Based on this consumption and the established commission rate, the average commission for a typical customer would be under £1,000 over a three-year contract.

It is clear that the claim of £70,000 in commission per customer is highly exaggerated and unrealistic when considering the industry average.

It is important to recognise that business owners, being sophisticated buyers, are well aware of broker commissions and understand the value they provide.

Improved Commission Disclosure

Contrary to the article’s suggestion that changes in commission disclosure were forced by Ofgem late last year, reputable brokers, including ECA members, have long ago updated their terms and conditions to enhance commission transparency for customers.

This proactive approach demonstrates our commitment to promoting transparency within the industry and providing customers with the necessary information to make informed decisions.

Conclusion

Through critical analysis and an evidence-based approach, we aim to set straight misleading claims and emphasise the importance of substantiated information in shaping public perception.

We encourage business owners and individuals to seek information from reliable sources and exercise caution when engaging with unregulated claims companies.

By doing so, we aim to empower stakeholders to make informed decisions, thereby fostering trust and transparency within the energy consultancy and brokerage sector.

At the ECA, we remain dedicated to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and integrity, ensuring that accurate and reliable information prevails in an industry critical to the energy market and its consumers.

Reserve Your Space

We’re excited to announce our upcoming Energy Consultants Association (ECA) seminars, taking place on June 16th in Manchester and June 29th in London.

Reserve your free space for either event here

Limited spaces available

Our workshops will provide a unique opportunity to meet and network with other like-minded professionals in our industry, learn about the benefits of becoming an ECA member, and share your thoughts and ideas on the future of our industry.

Together, we can build a strong, unified trade body that shapes the future of our industry and ensures growth and success.

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