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New rules for price comparison websites


Energy price comparison websites will now have to adhere to new rules announced by the energy regulator Ofgem, which will force them to become more transparent.

Some price comparison websites have received criticism for not showing consumers the cheapest tariffs and not letting them know what deals they could earn commission on. New regulations imposed mean websites that are members of Ofgem's consumer confidence code will have to make changes to make themselves more transparent by the end of March.

Websites, including MoneySuperMarket and Uswitch will have to show all tariffs on offer, no matter what. Currently, some websites ask consumers if they would like to “switch today”. Those who answer yes are only shown details of deals the website would make money on, and not necessarily the best deals for them. If they click "no", they are shown a wider range of tariffs, which involve customers applying to the energy provider directly.

Ofgems new regulations make it clear that being asked this question or any questions similar will no longer be allowed, and consumers will have to be told directly which deals the company will earn a commission on, and which they will not.

Mark Todd, director of Energyhelpline, said:
"The new rules are so tough that some comparison sites are likely to drop out of the code, fearful that to follow it will mean their businesses become unviable"

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