Six in 10 consumers still baffled by energy bills

A majority of consumers still don’t understand their energy bills. That’s according to a new survey which revealed six in 10 consumers are still confused about the information provided on […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A majority of consumers still don’t understand their energy bills.

That’s according to a new survey which revealed six in 10 consumers are still confused about the information provided on their gas and electricity use.

Almost half (48%) of those surveyed said they have seen no difference to energy bills and more than half are unable to recall information about cheaper deals.

Of those aware of the cheapest tariff is displayed on bills, 47% of them deals or suppliers.

However more than a quarter (27%) of consumers admitted they don’t bother to check any details on their energy bills beyond the amount they have to pay.

Younger consumers were found to have the lowest level of bill comprehension, with almost seven in 10 of those aged between 18-35 admitting they don’t fully understand their bills.

That’s in comparison to 62% of those aged 25-54 and just 53% aged 55 and over.

Customers also voted energy suppliers the worst offenders for sending confusing bills, coming behind those including water companies, mortgage lenders, councils, phone companies and credit card lenders, the survey claims.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com said: “The confusion around bills is a problem that must be tackled if consumers are to get in control of their energy use and spend. If they can’t make sense of their bill, customers could be missing out on better deals or risk bill shock by accumulating significant debt.

“Given that Ofgem’s reforms – which were designed to give clearer information to customers – came in two years ago, it’s worrying that so many remain baffled and bewildered by their bills. We’re urging Ofgem and suppliers to press ahead with plans to make bills easier to understand, making it simpler for consumers to use less, waste less and pay less for energy.”

Last month the competition watchdog found householders and businesses have been paying hundreds of millions of pounds more for their gas and electricity every year.