ACCC institutes proceedings against Energy Watch

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission instituted proceedings against price comparison service Energy Watch and founder Benjamin Polis in August for alleged misleading or deceptive conduct and making false representations in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.

Energy Watch provides an energy price comparison service (electricity and natural gas) to residential and business consumers.

The ACCC alleges that Energy Watch made false or misleading representations through a range of media, including television, radio and print advertising, and on websites and billboards, and advertising displayed on a scoreboard at the MCG during AFL games

Energy Watch founder Ben Polis says he will vigorously defend the allegations, according to ABC News.

Mr Polis said Energy Watch promotes competition and he is concerned the ACCC does not understand how the business operates.

“We’ve also been investigated recently by other energy bodies and those sorts of things who have got no issue with the way our business works,” he said.

“And I think the ACCC at this stage needs to have more of a clarification how our business works. They’ve made quite a few assumptions that are not true.

“One of the things that I find quite ironic is that Energy Watch has been built to create competition between energy retailers and obviously the ACCC is there to promote competition.”

Mr Polis said Energy Watch has saved consumers more than $50 million since its inception and the company has driven down electricity prices, according to ABC News.

The matter has been filed in the Federal Court in Melbourne.