QR codes on energy bills to be compulsory

10 March 2014

QR codeRemember QR codes? Those funny looking squares that were supposed to be the Next Big Thing in technology but were really a bit crap? Never fear, always on the cutting edge of everything the UK Government has decided to force the issue of putting QR codes on energy bills, despite everyone else being decidedly meh about it.

In a statement, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said “We’re determined to make energy markets work better for consumers – and despite all the evidence showing that QR codes on bills would make a real difference to people, energy companies still haven’t done anything about it.”

The idea is that these QR codes will link through to tariff and usage information, allowing consumers to check and compare their bills more easily. There is even a suggestion that the data could be fed straight into comparison sites to allow consumers to switch more easily. And no doubt the selected comparison site will be very grateful for all that free customer data...

A previous feasibility study on this issue found that there were “no barriers” to the implementation of QR codes on customer energy bills and that the technology would in fact be “helpful in increasing consumer engagement.” However, there has been no voluntary move by the energy sector to introduce QR codes, presumably as they are looking towards smart meters and other new technologies, rather than something most of us no longer use (if we ever did.)

The Government has now opened a consultation under the Energy Act, which will run until April 21, which will look to modify the energy company licences to have QR codes compulsorily included as part of energy bills.

So what do you think? Is your energy bill just crying out for a randomly printed black-and-white square or is the compulsory implementation of such a system only going to increase energy companies’ costs (and therefore consumers’ bills) without actually offering anything of value?

TOPICS:   Utilities   Consumer Advice

2 comments

  • Billybobjimbob
    The government's laudable intention is to help the poorest in society, the disabled, and pensioners who might be afraid or otherwise reluctant to switch energy provider. So they come up with a gimmick that requires an expensive smartphone and some degree of technical knowledge. Way to go.
  • God
    Why cant they make accurate bills and decent customer service compulsory instead??

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