Energy bills ‘still most confusing’

Consumers are still finding energy bills “most difficult to understand”, according to new research. They find bills from mortgage providers, credit and store cards and mobile phone networks clearer than […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Consumers are still finding energy bills “most difficult to understand”, according to new research.

They find bills from mortgage providers, credit and store cards and mobile phone networks clearer than those sent by energy companies.

The news comes despite new rules being introduced earlier this year aimed at making energy bills simpler, including information on suppliers’ cheapest tariff to be mentioned so consumers can switch to the most competitive deal.

However, only three in 10 found bills easier to understand and more than half (51%) said they didn’t recall seeing anything on their bills about cheaper tariffs. A majority (53%) also said they have seen no change since the new rules were introduced.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com said: “While it’s encouraging that a third of consumers say their bills are easier to understand, the majority are still having difficulties getting to grips with them.

“The findings clearly show that Ofgem must look again at the effectiveness of their reforms, and work with consumers and suppliers to produce a bill format they can understand.”

Ofgem however told ELN it is “too early to make these assessments” on energy bills as the reforms only came into force in April this year.

A spokesperson added: “We have set up a robust evaluation programme to assess the reforms’ effectiveness over the next three years, with the first set of in-depth research findings due by next summer. This will give us robust and detailed information about how our reforms have performed for consumers.”