Only a third of SME energy buyers understand how energy brokers earn money according to a new poll. However there are “high levels of trust” in consultants working in the energy market, finds Gazprom Energy.
In the energy supplier’s poll among its SME customers, just a third (33%) of respondents said they had a good understanding of how their broker makes money, while only 35% rated their broker to be highly transparent.
Trust is high though as more than 90% of those quizzed said they would recommend their broker to another business. More than half also said they had a good understanding of their broker’s business values and principals.
Gazprom Energy, which is sponsoring the Most Trusted SME Consultancy category at the inaugural Energy Live Consultancy Awards (TELCA) later this month, said the results show greater transparency would improve trust in the market.
Dale Marriott, head of UK operations at Gazprom Energy said: “The results show that while there is no doubt that our customers are impressed with the service they receive from third party advisors, there is perhaps more work to be done to encourage greater openness and transparency in the market.”
He said brokers and consultants perform an “absolutely vital role” for many small businesses which don’t have the time or resource to dedicate to energy procurement: “These results are further evidence that there are many trusted consultants in the market, delivering a fantastic quality of service.
“The need for greater transparency is something which all levels of the energy industry must embrace. As volatile prices and rising third party charges place more pressure on energy budgets, UK businesses of all sizes are looking for greater clarity in the information and advice they receive from the industry,” he added.
Mr Marriott said the new consultancy awards had a role to play in this: “We’re proud to sponsor the TELCA awards and are looking forward to celebrating the best examples of those businesses which clearly embed trust in all their dealings with both customers and suppliers.”