Standardised energy comparisonsEnergywatch launches price confidence code

16 February 2006

Which? is backing a new code that will help consumers get the best deals on energy prices.

The Confidence Code, to be launched today, sets out a blueprint for internet price comparison websites such as our Switch with Which? site, to ensure they give impartial, accurate and reliable information on tariffs to consumers. Which? will be complying.

The code was unveiled as one of the country's largest energy providers, , announced its latest price hikes.

Average bills 'nearing GBP 1,000'

From next month, customers will be charged nearly 15 per cent extra for gas, and nearly 5 per cent extra for electricity. For a typical household, this adds up to more than GBP 68 for gas and more than GBP 15 for electricity each year.

Adam Scorer, Energywatch's Director of Campaigns, said that rising energy prices meant it was vital consumers could trust switching sites when they shopped around for a better deal.

'Average bills are edging ever closer to GBP 1,000 and consumers want to be sure they are making the right choice.

'Consumers must have confidence that the information and advice given by price comparison sites is accurate, impartial and reliable. Our new Confidence Code sets rigorous standards that will guarantee consumers a quality service.'

Impartial advice

Which? fully supports the new code. Jenni Conti, Head of Services Research, said: 'We welcome this new code as an essential step in helping consumers choose the best energy provider. The code is necessary to ensure that energy switching websites are offering impartial advice, as we are aware of some concerns raised by consumers about the accuracy of the advice offered.

'We would like to join Energywatch in saying to consumers that there are real benefits to be gained from switching your energy supplier. Online comparison sites can be very helpful and the process of switching your energy supplier is much simpler than many people currently believe.'

EDF Energy - which also supplies power through the London Energy, SWEB and Seeboard brands - says its prices rises will come into force from 13 March.