Energy brokers and energy consultants – are they the same?
As energy consultants, we often get asked – what is the difference between an energy broker and an energy consultant?
We explain to our clients that the main differences are in the service offered and pricing.
Energy Broker Service vs Energy Consultancy Service
Firstly, consultants tend to monitor the energy markets all year round and so will advise the best times to purchase energy, provide up-to-date market info and tariffs and provide support and advice for your energy portfolio to reduce consumption and costs.
On the other hand, a broker will tend to carry out a one-off pricing exercise when contracts are due for renewal.
The second major difference between brokers and consultants is how they are paid.
Brokers are paid a commission by energy companies for each business that they sign up. These commission rates will vary from supplier to supplier so it is important to ensure that the prices you are given by a broker are the best for you and not the best commission for the broker.
Consultants tend to work on either a flat-fee rate or a contingency basis. For instance, at BCC we tend to agree with clients that we will get paid out of any savings achieved and don’t take any commissions from suppliers. Therefore, we are motivated to make as many savings as possible and are impartial when giving advice to clients.
When signing up a broker or consultant ensure that you have thoroughly read the t’s and c’s and make sure you’re not paying a fee to a broker or percentage of savings (as they’ll get commissions from suppliers on top of this).
We’ll post up more info towards the end of the week on what to look out for when picking a consultant or broker.