Comparison websites can be a useful resource when you’re looking to reduce your electric heating bill, but be careful…
This week it came to light that many of the comparison websites that promise to give you an overview of the best deals on the market are actually doing just the opposite. Some, it has been revealed, actually hide the lowest price energy deals, and point you toward deals that earn them the most money.
Of course, we know that the comparison sites have to make money. They are businesses after all, and considerable revenues can come from advertising. What may not be so obvious though, is that many of the comparison sites now hide the best deals from you – filtering them out of your search criteria by asking if you are ready to switch today. If you say yes, you could be presented with a shortlist of larger energy suppliers that are willing to pay the comparison site up to £70 if you switch to their tariff. The smaller suppliers that often offer the most affordable tariffs will be hidden.
Some websites make up to £70 when you switch.
Clearly the comparison sites that hide the best deals are putting their financial interests ahead of the consumer. In an interview with the Daily Mail this week, Angela Knight, the chief executive of Energy UK said: ‘Not disclosing commission and not advertising the full array of deals on offer undermines the industry’s work to be more upfront with customers.’
The energy tariff that you choose is a key factor in running an electric heating system in the long-term. With electricity prices varying wildly between the suppliers and tariffs, it’s never been more important to shop around.
Comparison websites can still be helpful if you’re looking to get a better deal on your energy tariff, but don’t let the sites make your decision for you. Here are a few pointers:
To avoid missing out on cheap deals, click “no” if you are asked if you are ready to switch immediately. Use the listed tariffs just as a guide or shortlist.
Don’t sign-up via the comparison website. Contact the suppliers who appear to be cheapest directly, and ask them for their best price per kilowatt hour (KWH).
Keep an aye on additional charges as well as the price per kilowatt hour. Sometimes energy suppliers add a daily standing charge. In some cases this can add to your electric heating bill considerably over the course of a year.
Find our more about some other factors that determine the running costs of your electric heating system here.