Yorkshire Energy says new rules for price comparison sites will ‘torpedo competition’
The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) has published new rules for its accreditation scheme for energy price comparison websites.
Current rules require accredited sites to provide a whole of market view of the tariffs available to customers who want to switch their supplier and save money. The new rules will now allow such sites to restrict their search results to just those deals that they receive a commission from.
Peter Connolly, executive chairman of Yorkshire Energy, said: “An increasing number of people now recognise the benefits of switching their energy supplier, especially those on standard variable tariffs with one of the “Big 6”.
With around 60 suppliers to choose from, including many new challengers – such as Yorkshire Energy – the accredited price comparison sites provide a valuable route for people to do this simply and easily.
Connolly added: “These new rules are intended to improve switching rates and promote greater competition – by boosting the comparison sites’ profits, whilst also loosening their obligations to test their compliance with the accreditation scheme. The risk is that they achieve precisely the opposite result.
“As a challenger company in this market, we do not pay commissions to price comparison sites – and pass back the value to the customer instead. So, I really struggle to see how the customer will benefit from a more restricted view of those suppliers who will now have to reward the middlemen.”