Alarmed by the extent of mis-sold energy contracts and driven by the desire to “make things better”, James Robson founded Powerful Allies almost 10 years ago.
The underlying principle of the company was then, and remains now, to serve as a truly Trusted Partner, providing transparency, clarity and honesty when presenting energy supply contracts to leading clients, and delivering unparalleled levels of mature and professional support.
Along this journey, Powerful Allies has achieved exceptional success and is proud to be the Recommended Partner for the most respected professional associations in the country; the only energy broker to be accredited by Achilles, the Public Sector Supplier Vetting protocol; the only energy broker to be Approved by CISC, ISBL and ISBA; the only energy broker to be recommended by Pride of Britain Hotels, HiT Scotland and may others.
Our success has been built upon attention to detail and a constant process of challenge and improvement, typified by key Initiatives, examples of which are below.
And so, it came as no surprise that Powerful Allies was destined to change the way the energy supply sector thinks and works, to redress the balance between clients and suppliers and to literally empower clients to regain control of their energy cost, consumption and emissions.
To this end the first initiative was to create a unique Code of Practice which our clients could trust and rely upon.
Known and the Open Competition Charter, this unique protocol for Energy Procurement underpins the ethos at Powerful Allies to deliver Best Value and Best Practice energy supply contracts; we are proud to have included this in each and every energy tender and contract we have placed during the past nearly 10 years.
Some three years ago, Powerful Allies made the decision to procure only 100% Renewable Source electricity for our clients, many of whom were faced with the unenviable dilemma of using either low cost “brown” energy or more expensive “green” electricity. We viewed this choice as unacceptable, and so spent many months negotiating with suppliers to remove any additional charges they attempted to apply to green electricity. The result is that all Powerful Allies electricity contracts are from 100% Renewable sources at Zero added cost to our client; this was then and remains now a unique achievement, enabling all our clients to automatically benefit from the lowest emission electricity sources without impact on already stretched budgets.
In our experience, very few clients are aware that the UK commercial energy market is effectively unregulated by Ofgem, with clients unable to benefit from the usual consumer protection we have all treasured for so long.
Neither is there “self-regulation” or even a simple Code of Practice to protect corporate clients. Consequently, and inevitably a “Faustian Pact” exists between suppliers and brokers, where brokers are given free rein to charge whatever they can get away with, without recourse to termination and with very little transparency of costs.
It comes as no surprise that in virtually all cases of serious misselling, clients have to work hard to identify, expose and recover the hidden costs, and this is a task we readily accept at Powerful Allies.
Again, it is not for us to determine when misselling crosses the line to become fraud, but there are some blatant and real examples where fraud is clearly intended, and can include falsification of Letters of Authority, providing new contracts for clients in the full knowledge a client already has a binding contract without alerting them to the risk of claims for damages, claiming to represent a supplier, claiming to be paid a fixed fee yet taking hidden commission and falsification of data.