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QR codes set to simplify switching energy provider

Government initiative is set to see QR codes appear on consumer energy bills to provide customers with a new way of comparing energy prices

Ed Davey is hoping QR codes will simplify switching for many energy customers

Ed Davey is hoping QR codes will simplify switching for many energy customers

Energy secretary Ed Davey has announced plans to include QR codes on energy bills in a move aimed at simplifying switching to a cheaper tariff.

It is hoped that by including QR codes which contain data relevant to a particular consumers’ consumption and tariff on energy bills, smartphone and tablet apps will be able to access this information via a simple scan. Customers will then be able to share the data with a price comparison website, for example, and enjoy a simpler switching experience.

‘We’re determined to make energy markets work better for consumers’

Speaking on the initiative 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.

“That’s why we’re acting to make sure people have a quick, straightforward way to compare the best deal for them with a simple swipe of their phone.”

Davey added that the emergence of a number of small suppliers on the energy market, offering competitive energy tariffs, had doubled since 2010 and 1.5 million Brits switching in the past quarter were all evidence of a more competitive energy sector.

The use of QR codes, he explained, would help even more people switch and save money at home.

Many continue to struggle to control their bills

Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch Ann Robinson said: “This is a great step forward in helping consumers to get easier and quicker access to better value energy deals.

“The reality is that many struggle to understand their bills and key information such as consumption which they need to compare prices.  This is one of the big reasons why only around 10% of us really engage in this market by shopping around.”

QR codes can help remove barriers to switching

“QR codes will help to remove this barrier as they are consumer friendly and easy to use. Most people either have a smart phone or tablet or know someone who does, so potentially many more us will be able to truly engage to make this market competitive.

“I don’t think any of us need persuading about the benefits of competition on pricing, quality of service and pressuring companies to become more efficient. This is why the benefits of QR codes could be immense,” added Robinson.

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