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- How Much Is Your Energy Broker’s Commission?
- Broker to Broker Outsourcing Leading to Fat Energy Supply Prices
- Fake Energy Consultants Two-Timing Consumers with Double-Dip
- Going Once, Going Twice – Sold! Bad Energy Deals to Consumers in the Dark
- Businesses Hoodwinked By Energy Brokers Dodging Upcharge Disclosure
Businesses engaging fake “energy consultants” to help with energy supply procurement are realizing significantly inflated natural gas and electricity supply prices, up to 25% – the result of a highly diabolical deception, called the “double-dip”, being orchestrated by their energy-brokers-in-disguise.
As implied by the name, victims of the “double-dip” are paying twice for energy supply “consulting” services, and they don’t know it. The reason – their energy-brokers-in-disguise are embedding undisclosed, unauthorized, and exorbitant hidden upcharges into their clients’ energy supply prices – in addition to “consulting fees” negotiated between the “consultants” and energy consumers.
The double-dip is most diabolical because there is purposeful intent to two-time energy consumers by taking advantage of their trust. The strategy of these fake “consultants” is to create misplaced trust by claiming they are being fully transparent and upfront about the cost of providing energy supply “consulting” services. Hence, pre-negotiated “consulting” fees. The victimized energy consumers think that they have agreed to a fair price for energy supply consulting services, valuing the transparency. But having successfully lowered the guard of energy consumers, and knowing that energy consumers – in a mindset of trust – would not fathom that hidden upcharges are being built to the energy supply prices by their trusted sources, double-dipping energy brokers and auctioneers double-dip.
This is really happening, as a school district in Connecticut learned. Below is a link to an article that explains how the school district, which had agreed to an upfront “consulting fee”, found out that their “energy consultant” allegedly embedded $180,000 worth of additional hidden upcharges into the electric supply prices garnered through the energy broker.
Article: Turris Associates Sued for Defrauding Connecticut Schools
As a side, an increasing number of energy brokers and auctioneers are employing the double-dip tactic. The reason – energy consumers are becoming more educated about how energy brokers are compensated through the embedding of hidden upcharges. To say it differently, energy brokers are trying to distance themselves from the negative perception associated with energy brokers by re-branding their business as energy “consulting” firms. To further the image, they offer “transparent” fees for services. But that is just part of the ruse. At the core, these fake “energy consultants” are energy brokers, and they generate their primary source of revenue by embedding hidden upcharges into the energy supply prices they garner from energy suppliers. Different branding, same hidden upcharge approach. But with the double-dip, energy consumers are getting dinged twice, on the front-end and the back-end (to learn more about how energy brokers embed hidden upcharges into energy supply prices, visit that blog post by Brad Foster).
The result – significantly inflated energy supply prices, up to 25%.
If you don’t believe me that this is happening, just ask any energy supplier.
About Brad Foster
Brad is the founder of Foster LLC. He helps executives and business visionaries realize corporate objectives through customized strategies, services, and solutions designed to navigate the challenges of energy and utility cost management.
Mr. Foster has been providing energy expense solutions to U.S. businesses for twenty-three years. With a multi-dimensional understanding of a number of energy-related issues, his expertise has been utilized by manufacturers, universities, and hospitals. His know-how and experience spans a wide array of energy issues, including cost risk management, supply procurement, utility rates, demand response, cost reporting, and budgeting.