The energy industry is committed to transparent markets and raising industry standards that build consumer understanding and confidence. There are a number of ways by which the energy industry demonstrates this commitment. One example is the Code of Practice for Accurate Bills.
The Code of Practice for Accurate Bills (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 – British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy, RWE npower and ScottishPower - 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 against five commitment areas – switching, meter readings, energy bills and statements, payments and refunds, and the 12-month back billing rule (where the supplier is at fault).
For the first time since the Billing Code was developed, the results of the audit have been published. This marks a big step forward for the Billing Code as it demonstrates the members of the code are willing to learn from the audit and move to greater transparency for their customers. This is also a step that has been welcomed by Ofgem, Citizens Advice and other industry stakeholders.
Whilst it is a big achievement to have five suppliers signatory to the Billing Code, Energy UK and the members of the code recognise more can be done to raise its profile. Therefore, Energy UK is working proactively towards expanding code membership. Energy UK’s ultimate aim is for all energy suppliers to become members of the Billing Code.
For more information, read about the Billing Code.