Operation of an Energy Comparator Code of Conduct

CPRC’s first research projects kick off!

With significant growth in the use of comparator websites, the former Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre (CUAC) developed the Energy Comparator Code of Conduct (ECCC) to improve the practices of online comparators and their presentation of offers.

Effective comparator websites can play an important function within the energy market, to enhance consumer decision-making, enable simpler comparisons of products and services, and switching.

In a recent study commissioned by the Australian Energy Market Commission, about a third of residential energy customers surveyed said that they had considered changing their provider last year. Half of those considered or used energy comparison websites, with customers showing the capacity to identify key market players.[1]

Informed by this, the CUAC developed the ECCC in collaboration with energy retailers, comparators, consumer advocates and policymakers. There are currently nine signatories to the ECCC, while other comparators have also expressed interest in joining.

CPRC is committed to the outcomes of the ECCC spearheaded by the CUAC, and the extent to which the Code meets policy objectives.

The next phase of this project is developing a governance framework that allows for the monitoring of signatory comparators to ensure the ECCC meets the intended objectives.

Sales Assured Limited (SAL), with their long-term involvement with industry codes and monitoring of door to door sales in the energy market has agreed to provide the administration and monitoring functions of the Code.

CPRC and SAL are now consulting with all ECCC signatories and retailers to seek agreement to the framework. We expect that this will be completed in early 2018.

In the interim, if you are interested in this project or would like more information please contact Senior Research & Policy Officer, Damian Bye on damian.bye@cprc.org.au.

 

 

[1] Newgate Research, Consumer research for the Australian Energy Market Commission’s 2017 Retail Competition Review, Final Report April 2017, p24

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