A new Cornwall report highlights Consultus as the TPI with the most competitive commissions: more than two-thirds of business energy suppliers reported that some TPIs are seeking the highest commissions or ‘not providing value’ to the customer.
The recent Cornwall Insight survey of business energy suppliers’ opinions on third party intermediaries (TPIs) has revealed that only Consultus is meeting the supplier need for fair commissions. 63% of energy suppliers mentioned honesty, transparency and fairness as important, particularly relating to commissions.
When suppliers were asked what would improve their relationships with TPIs, 64% mentioned commissions or TPI pricing, calling for more consistency and more even allocation of margin between supplier and TPI. This was also reflected in views on commissions: more than two-thirds of suppliers (67%) indicated that some TPIs were seeking the highest commissions or not providing value to the customer.
David Peake, Chief Commercial Officer at Consultus, is not surprised: “By contrast, our success is based on pricing transparency. Buyers need to be fully aware of the total fee being paid from an energy provider to a broker; we always recommend that clients assess all offers from potential suppliers on a level basis.”
David says this approach “has resulted in extremely high client retention, and to energy suppliers noting that Consultus fees are among the best value in the industry – a fact underlined by this survey. Where we have lost customers in the past based on price, our enquiries have revealed bad practices, which can be very difficult for energy users to identify in advance. We believe this is due to a lack of openness and transparency. An industry Code of Conduct is required – which is why we have developed our own.”
The Consultus paper Transparency Report 2018: Openness and Transparency in Utilities explains why buyers should be wary, reveals some of the dubious tactics used, and discusses the need for greater clarity.
The Cornwall report also highlighted the need for TPIs to embrace technological change and new avenues for growth, including Demand Side Response – areas that many are currently failing to explore. David Peake adds, “That kind of short-term approach is, well, very shortsighted. As anybody who knows our business can tell you, Consultus has focused on designing flexible propositions and addressing demand side issues for quite some time; we’ve always looked to build client relationships based on their longer term needs. We are currently planning an innovative new programme that will deliver stability in energy supply and costs for clients for up to a 15-year horizon.”
Issues raised in the new report are covered in this Cornwall blog post
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