In the dynamic landscape of the energy consultancy and broker industry, transparency and trust play a pivotal role.
Recent legal developments have shed light on the unprecedented nature of “hidden commission” claims, particularly in the case of Dark Blue Pig v ENGIE Power.
This landmark ruling marks the first energy commission claim against a supplier to reach the UK courts, offering valuable insights for both claimants and defendants.
As the Energy Consultants Association (ECA), we recognise the significance of this case and its implications for industry best practices, ethical conduct, and customer-centric outcomes.
Outcome and Implications for the Claimant
In a significant blow to the claimant, the court ruled against them in the case of The Dark Blue Pig v ENGIE Power.
The claim had been for just over £9,000. The unsuccessful claimant was ordered to pay ENGIE’s legal costs in the sum of £20,000. Costs liability in this case therefore far exceeded the value of the claim.
This outcome highlights the potential risks faced by claimants and claims companies pursuing baseless commission claims, underscoring the importance of seeking specialist advice, conducting thorough reviews of contracts, and minimising future risks.
Promoting Ethical Conduct
The Dark Blue Pig v ENGIE Power case serves as a reminder that allegations of hidden or secret commissions demand thorough scrutiny.
Since the ECA’s inception, we have emphasised the importance of ethical conduct, ensuring that customers’ interests always take precedence. By adhering to our code of conduct and fostering transparent relationships, we hope our community and future members can contribute to a fair and trusted marketplace.
Empowering Informed Consent
The court’s ruling underscores the significance of informed consent in commission claims.
It highlights the challenges faced by claimants who allege fully secret commissions, meaning they were unaware of the fact and amount of commission.
In the case of Dark Blue Pig v ENGIE Power, the court recognised that commercial entities, such as the claimant, are assumed to be aware of commission arrangements to some extent.
This raises the bar for claimants, who must prove a lack of informed consent, and knowledge on the part of the supplier, broker or consultant to succeed in their claims.
These insights emphasise the importance of disclosure and transparency in commission arrangements.
Strengthening Business-to-Business Relationships:
We understand the intricacies of these disputes and emphasise the need for comprehensive contractual arrangements.
Through robust contracts, proactive communication, and meticulous compliance, we build strong relationships between suppliers, brokers, and customers, reducing the likelihood of disputes and protecting the interests of all parties involved.
The Dark Blue Pig v ENGIE Power: Our Conclusion
The Dark Blue Pig v ENGIE Power commission claim stands as a significant milestone for the energy consultancy and broker industry.
By analysing the lessons learned from this case, the ECA reaffirms its commitment to promoting ethical conduct, empowering informed consent, strengthening business-to-business relationships, and mitigating risks.
As we continue to champion transparency, trust, and customer-centric outcomes, we remain dedicated to fostering a thriving and responsible energy consultancy sector for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.
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.