More consumers than ever are using comparison sites to shop around for their gas and electricity. Recent research from Ofgem shows that 31% of switchers used a comparison service to make the change last time, up from 26% in 2013. This now beats phoning suppliers directly as the main method customers used when they made their last switch.
Recognising the increasing use of comparison services, Ofgem is proposing some changes to the Confidence Code scheme. Plans include updating the rules so that more comparison sites can apply, and bolstering the consumer protection measures that the Code requires of its members. Those who make the grade are allowed to display the Confidence Code badge, which tells consumers that they can trust the siteís advice.
Eleven comparison sites are now covered by the Code, including some big household names. All the accredited sites are listed on the Be An Energy Shopper website, alongside free independent advice on how to compare energy tariffs and get a better deal on gas and electricity bills. The website also includes a step-step guide to download and keep, or to give to friends and relatives without internet access.
Rachel Fletcher, Ofgem senior partner and Be An Energy Shopper spokesperson, said: ìPrice comparison sites are a great tool to use when energy shopping and itís good to see more consumers using them. However, consumers quite rightly want to know that recommendations are trustworthy and the Confidence Code badge is a quick and easy way to check that the information is independent, accurate and reliable.î
ìThereís a full list of accredited comparison sites on the Be An Energy Shopper website, which also gives clear guidance on how to start shopping around for gas and electricity. There are potential savings of £200 to be made, just by switching to a better deal, so itís well worth taking a look.î
Top ways that savvy shoppers switch:
1. Comparison sites (31%)
2. Calling up the supplier directly (27%)
Save money by comparing energy prices with Simply Switch (who are Ofgem accredited and part of the MoneyExpert Group) and earn up to £25 cashback if you switch gas and electric suppliers.