Judge rules global energy supplier hid broker commission


Energy claims specialist has helped recover thousands of pounds for a small amusement arcade business, after leading energy supplier Engie was found liable in a legal case.

The business operating as “Queenie’s Casino Slots” was awarded £14,000 from the global supplier following a court claim brought by energy litigation firm, Business Energy Claims (BEC).

North Tyneside-based BEC is urging businesses and other non-domestic users of energy such as charities, sports and social clubs and places of worship to check whether they have been misled and mis-sold energy contracts.

It is believed that the amount of mis-sold energy contracts entered into by non-domestic energy users via unregulated energy brokers totals around £2.25bn each year. According to Ofgem, around 2-3 million organisations secure their energy via a broker.

The ruling comes amid growing concern regarding energy brokers and energy suppliers omitting to disclose broker commissions made on contracts.

The court found a conflict of interest between the broker and client, and that the broker had determined the size of the commission which ultimately went against the client’s best interests, while also determining the length of contract.

During the ruling the Judge stated: “Relevant information was … kept secret…and that concealment was, in my judgment, deliberate on Engie’s part.”

And that ‘it was in Engie’s interest to keep the brokers happy and to, as far as possible, attract them to do business with Engie as opposed to another electricity supplier.’

Additionally, ‘If the customers did enter electricity supply contracts with Engie, then the brokers would obtain a payment …. It was Engie’s policy to not reveal the size or nature of this commission.’

The owner of Queenie’s welcomed the ruling, “We are a small business that, like many others, is trying to operate in challenging economic circumstances and we welcome this good news.”

This latest action follows a number of out of court settlements across the UK in similar cases. Callum Thompson, Managing Director at BEC (right) said, “This case has the real potential to open the floodgates to other businesses and organisations large and small which may have been misled and as a result mis-sold energy contracts.

“We want to ensure these consumers understand that if they thought the commission in an energy contract was being paid by the supplier and didn’t impact on their costs, then they are sadly wrong.

“Any non-domestic user of energy which used an energy broker at any time to obtain its energy supply may have been mis-sold and could be entitled to compensation.”


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