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Ofgem’s Consultation Smart Billing For A Smarter Market: Our Proposals

5 October 2015

Citizens Advice is pleased Ofgem has decided to take the opportunity presented by smart meters to exert pressure on suppliers to improve their billing practices. Mandating a six month smart meter backbilling limit in licence conditions and obliging suppliers to declare how many of their smart meter customers are receiving accurate bills will go some way to ensuring this new technology delivers material benefits for consumers.

Despite this, the overall business case for smart meters remains contested. In order for the programme to represent a significant opportunity for consumers, industry needs to deliver tangible improvements and lead by example in implementing better billing practices. As well as the proposals in this consultation, this should include a more flexible approach to billing frequency, and timelier provision of closing and opening bills to help consumers avoid shock charges on leaving their supplier. In our role as the statutory consumer watchdog, Citizens Advice will be using our influence to encourage good practice on these matters.