I have been on TV a few times talking about how energy comparison sites often play around with the algorithms to make you click on the products that make them money rather than the ones that don’t.
This is in response to the occasional report about comparison sites messing about with the algorithms so that we’re only shown the deals that make money for the site.
Are energy comparison sites worth it?
I have said for some time that we need to ‘compare comparison sites’ in all sectors including insurance and financial products as well as energy because it isn’t a level playing field.
Comparison sites make their money from commission from various companies on their sites.
Not all the companies pay and not all of them pay the same, so you can see what a temptation it is to promote the companies that pay rather than those that don’t.
Having said that, it’s still worth using comparison sites for all sorts of products, just be careful which ones you use!
What’s the big issue with energy comparison sites?
A recent report from the Big Deal accused energy comparison sites uSwitch, Comparethemarket, Moneysupermarket, Confused and GoCompare. It didn’t mention the one we link to the most, UkPower.co.uk.
The Guardian has checked the company’s claims and has found that although it’s true that some of the sites do push people to slightly more expensive deals, at the moment at least, it’s a negligible difference.
This is an important point as the amount you save – and the speed at which you can make those savings – really make it worthwhile doing this.
What should you do to get cheaper energy?
Certainly, it shouldn’t put you off using one (or even two) energy comparison site to see if you can get a better deal on your fuel than the one you have now. It’s highly likely that if you do switch, you will save a lot of money over the year.
In fact, I recommend that you do this at least once a year, when you get a letter from your current energy provider or when you start to see your bills creep up!