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Energy websites get the go-ahead

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20/12/2006

A number of energy price comparison websites that enable consumers to compare utility prices and get cheaper utility bills have been given the thumbs-up from Energywatch, the industry watchdog.

One of the sites given approval and accredited for impartiality and accuracy was uSwitch, recently embroiled in a controversy about “misleading” consumers in search of cheap utility bills.

In the past week uSwitch has been warned about how it displayed information and was ordered to make changes by the regulator. It has made the changes and Energywatch was convinced that it had done enough to tighten up its procedures in helping consumers to cheaper utility bills and awarded the accreditation.

Throughout this process, uSwitch strenuously denied that its site had “misled” consumers and continued to provide up-to-date and accurate information on utility costs like the gas price.

Alan Asher, Energywatch chief executive, said: “Energy is an essential service and sky-rocketing prices mean that consumers are demanding more competitive prices and cheaper utility bills.

“Comparing prices and switching online is easy. Online price comparison websites can help consumers send a message that if companies do not lower their prices, they will lose customers.”

The Energywatch Confidence Code ensured that accredited Internet price comparison websites delivered trustworthy information, Asher added.

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