CONSUMERS particularly pensioners could be duped into unnecessarily costly electricity contracts by a price comparison service which only recommends power giant AGL.
Energy Watch, which claims it has switched over 150,000 customers in the past three years, is spending almost $8 million a year on advertising to convince the public it is an independent service which can be trusted to find the cheapest power deals. But the company is only recommending AGL to NSW customers.
This could cost customers money because there are cheaper deals available from rival firms.
The Sunday Telegraph called Energy Watch for quotes on 10 different addresses in NSW.
In every case Energy Watch staff said AGL offered the best discounts from the NSW government's standardised rates, with discounts of seven per cent.
But, in seven cases, Origin Energy was more competitive with a 10 per cent discount.
In the other three cases, AGL merely matched Origin's offer.
Even so, staff are keen to sign customers up to AGL on the spot. The company's owners stress the service is not a comparison site, but a "broker".
IS IT AN "AGL" OR AN "Energy Watch"
HARD TO TELL