The pandemic and energy prices have had a knock-on effect for supply chains across the country, bringing agricultural businesses to their knees.
Like retail, hospitality and other sectors of UK business, agriculture has been hard hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With supply chain disruption, worker health concerns and forced business closures to contend with, organisations have been fighting their hardest simply to keep their heads above water.
On top of this, 2021 saw energy prices rise to unprecedented levels. Between gas shortages, supplier administration and more, the energy market fell into new levels of chaos, making things even harder for agricultural businesses.
Yet amongst all this, a new threat managed to fly under the radar. Many agricultural businesses have fallen victim to hidden business energy commission without even realising.
Agricultural businesses are being caught off guard by hidden business energy commission
While rising energy prices and pandemic uncertainty should be more than enough to contend with over the winter, some energy brokers are utilising the energy chaos in order to include hidden business energy commission in their contracts without clarity. These mis-sold energy contracts are being presented as the best possible deal available, yet they often include extra costs that businesses shouldn’t have to pay.
This is made possible because commercial energy contracts are less regulated than domestic ones, giving brokers the opportunity to take large referral fees from suppliers for recommending them to clients, even if they don’t provide the best deal. What’s more, hidden commission often remains undisclosed within the energy contract.
Of course, other sectors and industries have been hit by this unethical practice, too. Claims management firm, Winn Solicitors, found itself locked in a mis-sold energy contract in 2020. Jeff Winn, CEO of Winn Group, states that this experience has cemented their commitment to helping agricultural organisations recoup their losses.
Winn says: “Like many businesses we believed that the energy brokers we worked with had our best interests in mind when negotiating contracts on our behalf. We believed we were being sold the most competitive contracts.
“However, the truth is that hidden within our contracts were inflated commissions and pricing that was not genuinely based on the wholesale rate of gas and electric.”
Winn continues: “As a result of our experience we are now committed to raising awareness and helping businesses understand that, if they have been mis-sold an energy contract, we can help them to recover compensation after being mis-sold a business energy contract.”
There is help available for agricultural businesses
As a result of their own experience, the team at Winns are now supporting organisations on a no win, no fee basis to pursue compensation for mis-sold energy contracts. This means that businesses are able to challenge their brokers without fear of extensive charges. This makes seeking justice more accessible for agricultural businesses across the sector at a time when – according to Ofgem – businesses, charities and public bodies alike are spending £25 billion a year on their energy.
Winns themselves are set to recoup around 20% of their energy costs in their own mis-sold energy contract claim, and they’ve committed to helping businesses who have fallen victim to the commission scandal recoup between 10 and 20% of their energy spending. They are also on hand to help venues break their mis-sold contracts and move onto 100% green energy contracts which are more ethical and transparent.
Ready to find out whether your business has been victim to hidden business energy commission? Find out more about how Winn Solicitors can help here.