Secret payments to brokers ‘add billions to energy bills’ | Personal Finance | Finance

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Energy giants are facing legal claims that they paid secret commissions to energy brokers – inflating bills by billions. Businesses, schools, charities, and care homes are all said to have been targeted by brokers who added large hidden commissions.

In some examples, bills were increased by 50 percent, law firm Harcus Parker said. It believes the total owed by the energy firms could top £2billion.

It said it contacted British Gas, E.ON, SSE and Opus, among others, over potential claims.

Senior partner Damon Parker said: “Huge numbers of organisations are unknowingly paying more for their energy than they should because many suppliers increase the cost to their customers to pay secret commissions to rogue brokers.

“Every bill a customer pays then includes an element of this hidden commission.

“Brokers should act in their customers’ best interests.

“But by suborning brokers with large commissions and failing to disclose the payments to customers, energy suppliers have caused our clients to pay more when many of them are already struggling to stay afloat.”

Mr Parker said many clients have seen their profits wiped out or have even been forced to close due to the energy bill increases caused by these secret commissions.

Industry sources say broker commissions are expected to reach £400million this year.

There are 1,600 of these brokers. The largest is Bionic, which turned over £67million last year.

Energy regulator Ofgem said: “We won’t hesitate to introduce further protections where needed.”

A British Gas spokesperson told the Express that it expects “all brokers operating in the market to ensure that their terms and conditions comply with the relevant regulatory obligations on transparency”.

An Opus Energy spokesperson said: “We treat compliance with our regulatory obligations with the utmost seriousness.”

Author: Dhanraj7978

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