Business

Former Consumer Council head launches energy comparison site

Aodhan O'Donnell, left, demonstrates Power to Switch which supports consumers compare deals across all the market to help them find the best deal

THE former head of the Consumer Council in Northern Ireland has left the organisation to set up his own energy price comparison service.

Aodhan O'Donnell had been chief executive of the council on an interim basis until earlier this year.

Following his departure, he has established Power to Switch which he said will enable householders to compare energy costs and save money on their bills.

The website powertoswitch.co.uk is still in its infancy but can compare electricity tariffs, gas tariffs and provide comparison on the most cost efficient way to heat your home.

Mr O'Donnell said there was a need for "one stop shop" comparison and advice service which he said was unavailable in the north.

"It is difficult for people to compare energy prices, to access information, to understand their options and feel in control of their energy choices. ‘Power to Switch' seeks to tackle this by helping people compare deals but also much, much more," he said.

"There are energy guides tackling all sorts of energy issues from billing to support for vulnerable consumers. There is advice on energy efficiency measures as well as information on a range of energy grants and assistance which are available.

"Being focused on consumers also means involving consumers. ‘Power to Switch' provides a place for people to share their views. They can rate their electricity and gas supplier or provide feedback on how switching supplier has actually worked for them. Not only can this help other people think through their options but the feedback can let energy suppliers know what their customers actually think."

Mr O'Donnell said that while many people are happy to shop around for car insurance, travel insurance, broadband or mobile deals, they can sometime be reticent to to do so on energy.

He said he hopes to develop the site in the future to offer further services such as comparisons on switching to a new oil boiler compared to staying put with an out of date model.

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