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More energy customers using comparison sites to switch

POSTED: 3rd October 2014
IN: Personal News
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Shop around to make sure you are getting the best energy supplier deal for you and your family

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Those eager to ensure they are not paying over the odds for their gas and electricity need to shop around. According to industry watchdog Ofgem, it is becoming increasingly common for people to weigh up the different offers available using comparison sites.

Recent research by the regulator found that more consumers than ever are using these websites to evaluate the energy market. The proportion of switchers who used a comparison service to make their latest change increased from 26 per cent in 2013 to 31 per cent during 2014.

This is now the main method used to move to a different supplier, overtaking telephone contact.

In light of these findings, Ofgem is proposing changes to the Confidence Code scheme, which allows accredited sites to display a badge confirming they provide trustworthy advice.

The watchdog recommended updating the rules to allow more comparison sites to apply and stepping up the consumer protection measures that scheme members are required to show.

All 11 of the comparison services currently covered by the Confidence Code are listed on the Be an Energy Shopper website. This site also offers free, independent advice on how to compare tariffs and get a better deal on gas and electricity, as well as a step-by-step guide to download and keep.

Be an Energy Shopper spokesperson and Ofgem senior partner Rachel Fletcher said: "Price comparison sites are a great tool to use when energy shopping and it's 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."

Ofgem recently demanded action from energy companies after research showed an increase in dissatisfaction with the majority of suppliers' complaints handling processes.

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