Energy bills are going to be updated to include Quick Response or QR codes to make switching energy companies more easy, according to the government.
These barcodes can be scanned using a smartphone or tablet, easily accessing usage data and tariff information straight from the bills, which could then be fed directly into price comparison websites to enable an accurate decision on switching to the best rate for them.
According to Energy UK, suppliers are already assisting customers to find better deals to suit them, with latest figures showing that over 250, 000 customers switched suppliers in February.
“New rules, coming in by April, will help customers find their best deal by providing more information to help compare deals,” it added.
The government hope that this will encourage the development of smartphone apps. “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,” said energy minister Ed Davey.
New conditions for energy licences will mean it is a condition that companies use the QR codes on all bills.
By 31 March, there will be a new tariff comparison rate in pence per kilowatt hour, to enable people to compare prices quickly.
The bills will also include a personal projection and an estimate of future charges.