The long awaited ACCC Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry Report was released on July 11. The ACCC took aim at retailers, networks and the lack of consistent government policy. Electricity comparison services came under scrutiny too – and rightly so! The ACCC found that “many consumers are likely to falsely assume that comparison services consider all available offers to determine which best suits their needs.” The reality is most comparison services don’t cover much of the market.
It’s nice to be noticed for the right reasons
Included in the ACCC report, is a chart from the AEMC (Australian Energy Market Commission) Competition Review showing the number of retailers represented on each comparison service website. WATTever came out on top, comparing more retailers than any other service. Here’s that chart, which you’ll find on page 277 of the ACCC report.
(Editors note: This chart covers contestable markets. In addition, WATTever also compares electricity pricing for retailers in the non-contestable states and territories including Tasmania, Northern Territory, Western Australian and Far North Queensland. WATTever compares all retailers in the contestable markets.)
What comparisons services should do
The ACCC considers that it is reasonable for consumers to expect that a service which markets itself as finding a low priced offer will consider all offers in the market unless the service clearly states otherwise. We agree 100%. After all, comparison services SHOULD be saving you time AND money, by promoting plans that can save you the most, NOT steering you onto plans that they earn the most commission on. If you want to know all the things you should look for in an electricity comparison service here’s a side-by-side comparison of the players from the big commercial services to the government sites so you can see how they stack up.