The Truth About Electricity Price Comparison Websites
If you type into an Internet search “lowest electricity prices," or “best energy deal" you will find a large number of electricity price comparison websites.
Most of these websites are not as impartial as they would have you believe. In fact, most of them gain hefty commissions for referring you to a new electricity retailer.
Here are a few of the most popular websites that I could find:
There might be a number of problems with these electricity price comparison websites. Here are a few potential issues:
They might get your current electricity deal wrong.
First of all, most electricity price comparison websites will have you thinking that you can save hundreds of dollars off your current electricity bill.
This may be the case for some, but for most people savings are more modest. For example, if you are on an electricity contract with your current provider you may already receive a discount. Often, the electricity price comparison websites do not take this into account.
They often preference one energy retailer.
Most electricity price comparison websites earn money by referring customers to certain electricity retailers. It's easy to see that if one retailer is paying more than another the search results or recommendations will be affected.
They don't always clearly disclose the detail of your new electricity contract.
Another problem with these websites is that they often fail to disclose details of the new electricity contract. As such, it can become quite hard to make a like-for-like comparison.
Luckily, there is another option: My Energy Offers (NSW)
The energy regulator in New South Wales (IPART) has set up a website called my energy offers.
Unlike the websites above it does not stand to gain commissions from referring you to a new supplier. More importantly, it discloses a full list of options available (including contract specifics).
It doesn't seek to mesmerise you with flashing red text and it doesn't over simplify the issues.
Why not check out the available deals for your home or business?
UPDATE #1 for other states
Since I wrote this blog post there is now a Federal Government site called Energy Made Easy (link to my initial review of it). Direct state-by-state options include:
- Victoria Essential Services Commission - Your Choice website
- Queensland Competition Authority - Comparator website
UPDATE #2 new blog post
See my latest blog post on how to get a better deal on your power bills.
- Ryan McCarthy