The energy regulator has said that domestic customers could save hundreds of euro every year by switching gas and electricity providers or renegotiating with suppliers.

The claim from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) came as it completed an audit of the three energy price comparison sites operating in Ireland. 

It said it found bonkers.ie, switcher.ie and powertoswitch.ie all to be in compliance with the accreditation framework. 

The CRU said such websites are a valuable tool in enabling customers to benefit from competition in the market.

"While the Covid-19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on the traditionally high levels of switching in the first half of 2019, these have shown positive signs of recovery," said CRU Chairperson, Aoife MacEvilly.

"Switching supplier allows customers to fully benefit from competition in the energy marketplace and we would encourage all customers to shop around to see what is the best deal for them."

The CRU said active customers who switched or renegotiated with providers every year for the past four could have saved €704 on gas, €1,097 on electricity or €1,696 on dual fuel costs.

Price comparison websites can help people to quickly compare the different costs on offer from various utility providers as well as the savings that can be realised by switching.

Nine years ago, the regulator set out a framework to allow price comparison engines to get accreditation.

They include principles around issues like independence and impartiality, tariff and price comparison, the calculation of cost comparisons, the accurate update of tariffs, the treatment of green tariffs, consumer information and accessibility, customer care and data protection.

The audits also involve test case scenarios which simulate customer interaction with a price comparison tool and tests different customer case scenarios.