Energy supplier problems are prevalent in the retail energy sector. In fact, if you own a business or manage a building in a deregulated state, chances are that you’ve experienced some sort of energy supplier issue in the past. The promising news is that if you have the right energy broker on your side, they can help you mitigate risks and eliminate problems from energy suppliers. This article outlines the common issues customers face from energy suppliers and how to deal with them.
Most Common Energy Supplier Issues
Whether you are a commercial or residential customer that has enrolled with an energy supplier, you are subject to the same risks and issues. Here is a list of the most common energy supplier problems and their explanations:
When you sign a retail energy contract, it typically contains a start date, end date, and fixed-rate term. If the supplier does not enroll your account on the correct meter read date, then you might be subject to higher rates from your local utility company or previous supplier.
While not actually an energy supplier problem, sometimes customers do not understand that they are enrolling in a dual-billing plan. In this arrangement, you receive one bill from the utility company for delivery charges and a separate bill from the supplier for supply charges. This can be complicated to understand and confusing for some customers.
Some suppliers have language in their energy contracts that allows them to pass through additional costs to the customer. If the customer is unaware of this clause, they could have unanticipated charges on their utility bills.
While most fixed rates for electricity include all major price components like energy, transmission, and capacity, some contracts only offer a fixed rate on the energy portion of the rate. These contracts can be advertised as being fixed while some components (i.e. transmission and capacity) are being passed through to the customer as market rates.
Some energy supply contracts have auto-renewal clauses that force the customer into a new fixed term if the contract is not canceled in writing. Furthermore, some auto-renewals require the customer to cancel within a certain time window or they are subject to renewal.
Slamming or Unauthorized Switches:
If you’ve ever been enrolled with an energy supplier without your consent, this is known as “slamming” in the energy industry. Unfortunately, slamming occurs often and is the result of energy fraud or energy scams.
Early Termination Fees:
Most retail energy supply agreements contain cancelation clauses that allow suppliers to bill early termination fees if a contract is terminated before its expiration. These fees can be quite large and are a common problem for customers that switch suppliers without fully understanding their current contractual obligations.
Although not a common practice, some energy suppliers have been known to increase fixed rates in the middle of a contract term. While this is a clear breach of contract by the supplier, some have even claimed that they are permitted to do so under certain vague contract terms.
How Your Broker Can Help You With Energy Supplier Issues
If you signed up with a retail supplier using a broker, you might be in luck if you are experiencing a supplier issue. Experienced energy brokers have the knowledge and skills to deal with the issues outlined above. Many more established brokers have deep relationships with each energy supplier and are able to negotiate on your behalf. For example, if your supplier automatically renewed your contract without your consent, a good broker will be able to get you released from the contract with no early termination fee.
Furthermore, energy brokers can give you guidance and advice when choosing an energy supplier in a deregulated state. Most brokers understand the nuances of energy supply contracts and can help you navigate the terms and conditions of your new agreement.
Need Help Handling An Energy Issue?
If you are a commercial, municipal, or industrial customer located in a deregulated state, we can help you! Our team of energy deregulation experts has been working with the nation’s leading energy suppliers for over a decade. In fact, we carry an energy broker license in all deregulated states and have agreements with over 50 retail energy providers. If you have an energy supplier issue, our team can help you solve your problem. Contact us today so we can learn more about your challenges.