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Response to Ofgem’s statutory consultation on protecting consumers who receive backbills

19 December 2017

Response to Ofgem’s statutory consultation on protecting consumers who receive backbills [ 260 kb]

We are broadly supportive of Ofgem’s proposal to introduce new rules to ensure suppliers only charge their customers for energy used in the previous 12 months, unless the consumer is at fault. We agree with Ofgem’s assessment that such a limit should cover both domestic and micro-business consumers.

We are disappointed that Ofgem is not proposing a shorter back billing limit for consumers with smart meters. Consumers have been promised that smart meters mean an end to estimated bills, but our evidence shows that around 3% of smart meter users had gone more than 6 months without an accurate bill (as at June 2017). If this billing performance persist at the end of the smart meter rollout it would equate to around 750,000 consumers. A shorter back billing limit would incentivise suppliers to improve their billing processes and ensure that consumers with smart meters receive the benefit of accurate bills.