We’re really sorry, but we can’t compare energy deals at the moment. We know the cost of living is expensive right now, so as soon as savings become available again we’ll be able to compare energy quotes for you. Until then, you could still save on your other household bills when you compare quotes with us.

How we get paid by energy suppliers

Because you can use our energy comparison switching service for free, you might’ve wondered how we make money. Essentially, we get a small commission from suppliers for every person who switches. See how it works.

Because you can use our energy comparison switching service for free, you might’ve wondered how we make money. Essentially, we get a small commission from suppliers for every person who switches. See how it works.

Sofia Hutson
Utilities expert
minute read
Do you know someone who could benefit from this article?
Posted 10 SEPTEMBER 2021

How does Compare the Market get paid?

If you decide to switch to a new tariff using our service, we get a small payment from the new provider. 

It works like this. You search for low-cost energy deals and then we find suitable options for you. You can compare the tariffs offered by different energy companies, thanks to our partnership with Ofgem-accredited energy helpline.

If you decide to switch energy providers, then energyhelpline do the hard work and make it all happen, and as a reward for the new business from the new supplier they get commission – and we get a small part of it too for acting as an introducer. This helps cover the costs of running the website.  

The commission that we and energyhelpline get also doesn't affect the price you’re given. You’ll get the same quote whether you go through us or get the same tariff from the energy supplier directly. This is because the tariff unit rates are pre-published on the supplier’s website before they can sell it and cannot be discounted or added to regardless of where you buy it.

Many energy suppliers are happy to pay us to show their tariffs. They see paying us commission as a cost-effective alternative to spending money on expensive advertising to attract new customers directly.

Why can I switch to some but not all tariffs?

When you get your results, you’ll see the tariffs we can switch you to. By this we mean you can complete your entire switch process on our site and we’ll work with energyhelpline to ensure your switch details are sent over to your current and new supplier so your switch takes place with no interruptions. We can only do this with suppliers who have a commercial relationship with us or energyhelpline by setting up a process for handling customer switches and passing both of our criterion. Suppliers with a commercial relationship with us are also those that pay us a commission.

You can view other tariffs that we can’t help you switch to. This enables you to see a wide view of tariffs available in the market. You can sort the listing by the largest savings so there is no priority order.  

On the tariff details, we also provide you the information you need so that you can switch directly through the provider. We can’t help you switch to those tariffs as we don’t have a commercial relationship in place with them to support the switching process. Some reasons for a supplier not having a commercial relationship in place include: 

  • A supplier might be small and not have the capacity to deal with large numbers of new customers – they are normally new suppliers
  • Some suppliers prefer their tariffs to only be available direct from them

Why do you just show switchable tariffs when you first land on the results page?

Our goal is to help make the switching process easier for customers, so for those who want to switch through us, it’s important to easily see what tariffs they can switch to. It’s also an easy way to see what qualifies for our rewards. 

However, we know some customers may want to compare a wide view, seeing some of the tariffs that we can’t switch them through and those that don’t qualify for a reward. That’s why we make it easy to select seeing those tariffs as well. Even though we don’t get a commission from those suppliers and we can’t reward customers who switch to them, we think it’s a useful tool for customers to have. 

What difference do comparison sites make to energy prices? Does the commission that Compare the Market are paid affect prices?

The only cost price comparison adds to the energy market is that of distribution or marketing - and at the cost of a commission per switch. Without comparison tools, whether it’s a digital one like comparison websites or alternatively, a broker, customers would have to research the market themselves and liaise with each supplier individually. Just as any other product needs to sell through a shop window, website or sales person – similarly energy tariffs need to be sold too and have had a combination of brokers, door to door salesmen and now in the digital times – websites. Every product has costs in marketing or distribution and the commission we would charge is no different from the way other business that pay commission work. 
By making the shop window accessible in one place in a comparison tool, we allow customers to see many supplier’s tariffs in one window. This way, we can encourage suppliers to compete for customers. Ultimately, they need to be careful about the price of their tariffs because if they’re too expensive compared with the rest, they might not get any new customers.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the government body that helps promote fair competition between companies for the benefit of consumers and the economy, says:

“For prices to be kept as low as possible, there needs to be competition between companies to offer the best possible deal to their potential customers.”

“Digital comparison tools have played a big part in changing markets for the better, bringing new ways of doing things and forcing businesses to up their game. Consumers have benefited as choice and access to goods and services have grown.”

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive, CMA

Why should I use Compare the Market?

Using Compare the Market:

  • saves time and effort in comparing tariffs available across different suppliers, including those you can only buy through the supplier direct   
  • gives you great service and good deals
  • offers rewards when you compare and switch.

You can rely on us because we’ve made it our business to help you get value for your money.

What's more, if you set up an account with us, you’ll only ever have to enter your details once – saving you time and making it easy for you to compare prices on everything from car or home insurance to savings rates and mortgages as well as all your household bills.