With word getting out that energy brokers are gouging energy consumers via hidden upcharges built into energy supply prices, energy brokers are attempting to re-brand themselves as energy consultants. The goal of the re-branding is to eliminate any reference and potential negative imaging associated with energy brokers.
However, these energy brokers have not changed their tactics to dupe and gouge energy consumers (at the cost of energy consumers) via hidden upcharges added to energy suppliers actual (and lower) prices. They still employ the tactics described in Energy Broker Myth # 1: “There is no cost to you“ and Energy Broker Myth # 2: “My fee is paid by the energy supplier.”
One tactic I’ve seen an energy broker use is to define themselves as an “energy advisor” while creatively developing their own definition of “energy broker.” Their claim is that “energy brokers” are firms that represent the interests of suppliers, while suggesting they represent the interests of consumers.
Here’s the problem. The agendas of energy brokers and energy consumers do not align. Energy brokers embed hidden upcharges in energy supply prices. The consumer does not know that there is a hidden upcharge, nor the amount of the upcharge. Therefore, the consumer is robbed of the opportunity to make a transparent assessment of the cost to engage the energy broker and the value attached to the energy broker’s services. Moreover, the cost-reduction agendas of energy consumers are in direct conflict with the upcharge maximization agenda of energy brokers. Why? The higher the hidden energy broker upcharge, the higher the energy supply price. How is this consumer focused? If energy brokers were “consumer-focused”, they would fully disclose their upcharges.
There’s more. There are five different tactics that energy brokers use to increase their hidden upcharges, even after an energy supply transaction has been finalized between an energy supplier and an energy consumer. All of these tactics are at play when a consumer engages an energy broker. Consequently, energy brokers upcharges can increase during the term of an energy supply agreement, all at the expense of the energy consumer. This is not “consumer-focused” whatsoever. I will explain these five tactics in a later post.
Another future blog will outline the differences in motives, tactics, and ultimately the cost impacts to energy consumers the between true energy consultants and energy brokers.
If you don’t believe me, ask any energy supplier.