Contributed Article by Charles Whitworth
Dispelling the Energy Comparison Myths
Comparison sites seem to divide opinion here in the UK. Whether it for insurance, energy or even mobile phone contracts, there seems to be an element of distrust in services which are fundamentally there to save consumers time and money. So, what is stopping people from using these websites and lowering their monthly outgoings? We decided to take a look at a sector where there is a significant amount of distrust, energy.
Having done some delving, we realised that there were three core factors stopping home and business energy customers from using the impressive array of energy comparison sites available.
Lack of Power…
Interestingly, it seems that many people are not comparing energy prices and then proceeding with their switch to cheaper tariff or provider because they think that they will lose their gas and/or electricity supplier. This could not be further from the case as all the suppliers in the UK share the same tubes, wires and cables. If you decide that you can get a better deal for your energy, you will never be left in the dark or the cold, you simply get your bills from somewhere else!
No Strings Attached…
Secondly, many customers seem to be under the impression that they will get a more expensive rate if they decide to use an energy comparison site. This is also not true, any charge is negotiated between the energy supplier and the comparison site in question, the whole point of these services is to pass the savings onto the customer in question.
Independent Energy Suppliers…
Lastly, and perhaps most intriguingly, a lot of customers seem to think that they need to stay with a member of the Big Six energy suppliers to get the best prices. Although it may well be the case that one of the larger companies could represent the best value, there is now a lot of choice available to customers whether it is domestic gas or even commercial electricity. A recent probe from the regulator Ofgem has put even more pressure on these larger firms and allowed what is being labelled as the “rise of the independent energy supplier” to emerge. Using an energy price comparison site could well help your household or business to ascertain which provider is ideal for your specific needs and requirements.
With energy very much on the political agenda, there may never have been a better time to assess your situation. It is thought that as many as 70% of businesses have never switched their supplier and that homes across the UK are simply throwing money away.
Charles Whitworth is a journalist and energy enthusiast. As well as being the editor of www.youngacademic.co.uk, he helps to promote energy saving for Bolton based energy comparison site Love Energy Savings. You can follow @youngacademic on Twitter to stay right up to date on the energy industry.