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How Reliable Are Utility Comparison Websites?

By Jamie Richardson | March 31, 2019

Comparison websites conveniently provide company owners and individuals an efficient way to look for a better energy deal. Switching suppliers is a recognised best practice among all kinds of consumers because you are almost always guaranteed to find a cheaper rate by moving to a new energy supplier. Moreover, business energy contracts usually get transferred to a higher price if the customer does not proactively terminate the contract and switch suppliers.

How does an energy comparison website work?

For consumers, comparison websites like Utility Bidder are user-friendly and simple to navigate. But what consumers do not know is what happens behind the scenes. Each site operates using a comprehensive database containing detailed information from all suppliers and their current tariffs. The database gets updated in real-time as soon as a new rate becomes available.

Every time the database gets updated, the new information not only includes details about the tariff but also varying regional prices, as well as payment methods and meter types if applicable. Consumers will be able to view different kinds of terms, features, and discounts.

To search and compare quotes from different suppliers, consumers need to input details such as their postcode to view available tariffs and offers. The algorithm will also provide the consumer with a complete computation of savings for each tariff. These websites also have filter features so that the consumer can easily search for relevant information without having to go through all of the functions.

Although you can also work out these numbers and manage to switch suppliers without using a comparison website, it is significantly much easier to use a comparison site than to go through the process manually.

Reminders when using a comparison website

Comparison websites generally provide their service to consumers for free. But since they are also businesses, they generate income by receiving a commission from energy suppliers. To make sure that you are using a reliable comparison website, take note of the following reminders:

  • Look for Ofgem’s Confidence Code. An Ofgem accredited website gives you the assurance that the prices and rates displayed on the site are fair, accurate, and unbiased.
  • Available suppliers. Not every energy supplier is listed in comparison websites, but you will likely find the big six in most of these sites. To see applicable offers from suppliers you prefer, you can filter your search options on these websites.
  • Exclusive offers. There are comparison sites that work with and negotiate with a specific supplier so that they can get an exclusive offer for their consumers. As such, use different comparison sites to find the best exclusive deal available.
  • Discounts. Discounts are available depending on individual qualifications such as timely payment and direct-debit billing. Take advantage of these discounts if you feel you are qualified.

In conclusion, comparison websites offer an excellent way for consumers to find the best quote in the energy market. Both residential consumers and business consumers benefit from these offers. Not only do consumers have the option to compare rates, but they can also use the website's services to fill out and complete a supplier switch request.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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