Code of Practice for Accurate Bills
Energy UK has worked with British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, RWE npower and ScottishPower to develop the ‘Code of practice for Accurate Bills’ (also referred to as the ‘billing code’). The billing code is a voluntary code which has been developed to go over and above the supplier licence conditions and applies to domestic customers only.
The billing code aims to drive improved standards of performance and to provide a common framework around which energy suppliers can build better processes and controls for billing their customers. This is an important code particularly as over 200 million energy bills are sent to customers every year. The five members of the billing code recognise that better, clearer information is needed to ensure consumer trust.
Members of the billing code are independently and rigorously audited on an annual basis to ensure compliance against five commitment areas:
2. Meter reading
3. Energy bills and statements
4. Payment and refunds
5. Back billing
The billing code also sets out the responsibility of customers (such as providing regular meter readings). Other suppliers may follow the principles of the billing code, but they are not audited to the same strict standards as members of the code.
The billing code scenarios are a collection of frequently asked questions which many customers have about their energy bills and the billing code. We have developed the scenarios with input from the billing code members and are designed to explain the specific areas of the billing code.
A back bill is a ‘catch-up’ bill sent to you by your gas or electricity supplier when you haven’t been correctly charged for your energy use (for periods of 12 months or more). If your supplier is at fault and has not sent you an accurate bill, that they should have sent you, they will not ask you to pay any extra for energy you used (and which you did not receive an accurate bill for) more than one year before they issued the bill.
The back billing scenarios document has been developed with input from suppliers to reflect the principles which all of the major energy suppliers follow relating to back billing.
Billing code audit results
Customers can have greater confidence in the accuracy of their energy bills as a result of the voluntary industry billing code.