7th Report - Protecting consumers: Making energy price comparison websites transparent - Energy and Climate Change Contents

3  Conclusions

27. Switching must be made easier in order to engage consumers in the energy market and helping to foster competition amongst suppliers and drive down energy bills. However, recent reports of unscrupulous practices amongst some energy price comparison websites have damaged consumer trust both in the websites themselves and in the switching process more generally.

28. We recognise that the criticisms contained in this report do not apply across all price comparison websites. We hope that the recent debate on how price comparison websites operate will provide all sites-good and bad-with an opportunity to take stock of their operations and strive for greater transparency. Some of these websites need to do much more to live up to the claim that they are consumer champions.

29. As an immediate and essential first step towards rebuilding confidence, any consumers who have been encouraged to switch to tariffs that may not have been the cheapest or most appropriate for their needs should be compensated. We urge the price comparison websites to put in place a straightforward process for consumers to seek compensation.

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Prepared 28 February 2015