Hidden commissions just the tip of the iceberg, according to energy litigation experts

Mis-sold commercial energy claims are on the rise nationwide, but leading litigation experts are warning there could be thousands of small businesses who still have no idea they have been targeted.

Earlier this year, our sister company Business Energy Claims (BEC) hit the headlines after helping to recover more than £14,000 for a small amusement arcade business after energy provider Engie was found liable for failing to disclose the commission a broker was making from the contract.

The groundbreaking ruling against Engie opened the floodgates for further claims from businesses which have found themselves in a similar position - but this appears to be just the tip of the iceberg.

The mis-selling of energy contracts scandal appears to be far more than just a problem with unscrupulous brokers - Instead, it’s a multi-faceted issue, according to Callum Thompson, Managing Director here at Energy Solicitors Ltd (ESL).

Here at Energy Solicitors, with our specialist business energy consultancy knowledge, our experienced team has an unrivalled level of expertise and specialises specifically in energy-related disputes. 

We are concerned that many people still won’t know they could have a claim, and we are on a mission to ensure businesses that have experienced any kind of unscrupulous behaviour from intermediaries or commercial energy suppliers get the opportunity to redress the situation.

Callum Thompson, Managing Director, said: “The business energy landscape can be quite complex, or certainly it is often made that way for the customer so they struggle to understand exactly what they are paying for. This can lead to things such as mis-selling and overcharging for instance.

“This whole thing is a huge minefield and every day we are hearing from people who’ve been heavily impacted and more often than not don’t realise it’s happened.

“Business owners may not have the time or knowledge to fully understand the energy industry and many could face issues that might impact their business, whether that be undisclosed commission, being pursued by brokers for lost commission, energy overcharging or the misuse of their data.”

So what pitfalls should small businesses owners be looking for? 

Last month, the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) announced how businesses will soon have access to free support to resolve issues with energy contracts as part of government and Ofgem changes to tackle hidden fees, issues and mis-sold services.

Mr Thompson, however, points out this is by no means a panacea: "While I think everyone welcomed this move, there is still a massive group of businesses who won’t fit the bill to benefit from this and won’t be able to use this service (based on historic cases) which means there’s a gap there which isn’t being addressed - that’s where we can step in.”

Defending your data

Another big issue centres around the protection of sensitive data, as following a rise in the number of energy suppliers and brokers going bust in recent years, there has been an increase in data breaches.

Mr Thompson continues: “When this happened, we saw a lot of people being automatically switched to different suppliers which has, in some circumstances, led to some data breaches and we’re certainly seeing more calls for us to step in to help defend these claims, which are potentially very frightening for people. 

“Nobody wants to imagine their data has fallen into the wrong hands and it can lead to all kinds of problems so it’s something we find a lot of people are, quite rightfully, very concerned about.”

Revenue Recovery Disputes

A key area of concern for ESL is that we have a growing number of businesses being pursued by brokers for lost commissions.

Energy Solicitors has noted a lot more enquiries about revenue recovery over the last 12 months, which is a process of energy firms pursuing businesses for alleged lost revenue, representing the sum of commission they say that they would have earned for contracts that were due to go live, but subsequently didn’t.

It’s something which has risen in prominence particularly over the last 12 months, as Mr Thompson explained: “Sometimes energy contracts won’t go as initially planned or often someone doesn’t take up a contract which a broker has recommended and that can result in a broker calling in a debt resolution service to recover the money they think they’re owed.

“There are many other reasons why these kinds of disputes can arise, but they can have a detrimental impact on the person or business involved.

Business Energy Misselling

Additionally, high pressure sales tactics continue to come under fire, as many businesses continue to fall victim and customers feeling like they’ve pushed into an agreement is a recurring theme.

Typically, smaller businesses will have someone looking after their energy but often, due to the pressure on them to secure the best deal, they can be pushed down a certain route when they don’t have all the correct information to hand.

Here at Energy Solicitors, we see so many examples of people being pressured into a contract that may not be the best one for them.

Other Areas of Energy Litigation

There are many other areas where we have been able to help clients, things like threats of disconnection, energy mis-selling or misrepresentation. 

Callum Thompson said: “There are many pitfalls and issues that can affect small businesses, so it’s vital to know your rights and what you could be entitled to if you have, or believe you may have, been mis-sold or misrepresented in your energy contract.

“We have helped hundreds of businesses across the country win compensation and we understand the challenging environment many smaller and medium businesses find themselves in.

"Energy and other bills are high enough for businesses already struggling, without the added challenge of being overcharged or mis-sold."

Energy Solicitors is a specialist law firm dedicated to energy litigation for businesses and households. With over 20 years' litigation experience, we have an in-depth understanding of the legal claims process, which enables us to adopt a cutting-edge approach to litigation.

For more information or for expert advice, email info@energysolicitors.co.uk or get in touch.

Get in Touch

Latest News

Energy mis-selling: is there any protection for small businesses?
Energy mis-selling: is there any protection for small businesses?

Whilst consumer rights exist for domestic energy customers, leading energy litigation specialists, Energy Solicitors Ltd, are questioning whether there is enough...

Read more
Newcastle Law Firm supports criticism of UK energy market
Newcastle Law Firm supports criticism of UK energy market

Newcastle-based Energy Solicitors Ltd is looking to provide support to businesses around energy mis-selling, after energy giant Octopus breaks ranks with...

Read more
Over 2 million UK businesses may have been mis-sold energy
Over 2 million UK businesses may have been mis-sold energy

Upwards of two million businesses in the UK could be entitled to compensation for energy mis-selling, according to energy litigation specialists...

Read more
Do you understand how your energy is measured?
Do you understand how your energy is measured?

With recent hikes in energy prices, and government help for businesses soon coming to an end, a North East energy litigation...

Read more
We highlight the need for better businesses representation
We highlight the need for better businesses representation

New proposals will grant 200,000 businesses access to The Energy Ombudsman, but leading energy litigation specialists, Energy Solicitors Ltd, are questioning whether...

Read more