From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Uswitch)
Jump to: navigation, search
Limited company
Industry Price comparison service
Founded 2000
Founder George Mountbatten, 4th Marquess of Milford Haven
Headquarters The Cooperage,
5 Copper Row,
London, SE1,2LH,
United Kingdom
Tel: / 0800 688 8557
Key people
Steve Weller, CEO
Parent ZPG plc
Website is a UK-based price comparison service and switching website founded in 2000. The site allows consumers to compare prices for a range of energy, personal finance, insurance and communications services. is uSwitch's energy price comparison and brokerage service for businesses.

In 2007, The Times regarded uSwitch as one of the two most established price comparison websites and highlighted it as being among the best money-saving websites for students.[1]

History[edit] was founded by Lord Milford Haven in September 2000 with an initial £4 million investment to take advantage of the UK’s deregulated gas and electricity markets. The company subsequently expanded into the telephony and communications markets in 2001. In the same year it also bought competitor followed by local community information website in 2003. was itself acquired by US media conglomerate, E.W. Scripps Company in March 2006 for £210 million ($366 million). The purchase added a second freestanding interactive media business to its portfolio alongside leading US product price comparison site, Shopzilla.[2]

In February 2008, E.W. Scripps Company recorded a $411 million pre-tax charge related to the uSwitch acquisition, contributing to an overall $256 million loss for Scripps in the last quarter of 2007. The scale of the writedown reflects more realistic revenue expectations due to lower than expected levels of switching.[3]

A USwitch branded bus in London.

In December 2009, uSwitch was acquired by Forward Internet Group for $10.3 million in cash.[4] Forward is a privately funded collection of internet-based businesses focused on consumer engagement and innovation. Forward3D is the group's 3D search agency (formerly known as TrafficBroker) and Forward Innovations is the consumer division which focuses on price comparison and switching, including brands such as InvisibleHand and Omio.

In June 2011, uSwitch acquired 2011 also saw uSwitch enter the Irish market with, which operates in the same way as the UK but currently offers switching services for broadband, TV, phone and energy services and not insurance or financial services.

In August 2013, LDC backed an MBO of uSwitch, the private equity firm acquired a significant stake in the business with Forward Internet Group retaining a substantial minority holding. Both investors aligned with the existing management team who have a minority holding in the business.

On 30 April 2015, the property website firm Zoopla agreed to purchase uSwitch from LDC for £160 million.[5]

Business model[edit] is a free, online and telephone-based comparison and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on energy, finance, insurance and other services. There are no direct costs to consumers for the service, the company instead receiving commission from some suppliers when a customer chooses to switch to them. uSwitch provide several mechanisms designed to increase suppliers' visibility for a fee. was the first comparison website to achieve the Plain English Campaign’s Internet Crystal Mark [6] It also hosts guides advising the public on how to save money and releases research covering technology, the energy market and financial developments. also has a London-based call centre and a Freepost ‘Send us your bill’ service, where customers can post their latest energy bills to receive comparison advice.

In November 2014, called for change in the credit reports industry to give everyone to free access to their full credit report every year [7]


uSwitch is accredited under the Ofgem Confidence Code,[8] a voluntary code of practice for online domestic price comparison services. uSwitch was involved in the formation of the Confidence Code in 2002 with Consumer Focus, which managed the code until Ofgem took over in 2013. was previously accredited by Consumer Focus, and played a role in the industry consultation which led to the establishment of a voluntary code of practice — the Energywatch Confidence Code (now known as the Consumer Focus Confidence Code) — in 2002.

The September 2007 minutes of the Consumer Focus Management Board Meeting, and press reports, show that the company was asked by Consumer Focus to change how it displays comparison results and information so that consumers receive unbiased results.[9][10] The company complied with these requests and has remained accredited.

In Ofgem’s September 2013 audit of the website, it scored 100% for each of the nine code of practice requirements of the Confidence Code.[citation needed]

Partners and affiliates[edit]

Major partners include Yahoo, AOL, Orange, Virgin Media, People’s Champion and Johnston Press.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Best money-saving websites for students". The Times. London. September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  2. ^ a b "Scripps acquires uSwitch". E. W. Scripps Company press release. March 16, 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  3. ^ Scripps Files 10-K, Reports Final Fourth Quarter and Full-Year Results, MSN Money, February 29, 2008
  4. ^ Scripps Networks 10K March 1, 2010
  5. ^ "Zoopla to buy uSwitch price comparison site". BBC News. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 
  6. ^ User, Super. "Switched on to plain English". 
  7. ^ "Give free access to credit reports once a year so people check it". 
  8. ^ "Compare gas and electricity tariffs: Ofgem-accredited price comparison sites". 
  9. ^ Brignall, Miles (December 11, 2006). "uSwitch accused of misleading customers". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  10. ^ "uSwitch forced into website change". September 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 

External links[edit]