Up to 138,000 energy bills unopened each day in UK

A quarter of UK billpayers have admitted to not always opening their monthly energy bill, according to our recently conducted research. 

As 138,000* bills go unopened each day, the risks of errors and direct debit rises continue to go unnoticed as consumers are paying very little attention. 

With customers not signing into online accounts, or with some being left confused by their bill’s contents, people are choosing to not regularly check their statements. This means a massive 50.4 million bills could be going unopened or unread over the course of a year. 

Below is a table revealing what is keeping people from opening their energy bills. 

Ranking and percentage of what keeps consumers from opening their energy bills

=1st

I feel no need to, since I think my direct debit will always be the same

16%

=1st

My bills are online and I don’t bother signing into my account to check

16%

3rd

They are too complicated and difficult to understand

10%

4th

I am on a prepayment meter / I pay by top up

9%

5th

I’m afraid of how much I may owe 

6%

As you can see, the most popular reason for people not opening their direct debit is due to the belief that the direct debit will always remain the same. However, we have recently warned that due to the increased energy use due to working from home amid the pandemic, bills could rise up to an average of £94 each. 

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Also, with most suppliers offering online bills instead of paper ones, consumers are choosing not to log in to check them, meaning they could be missing any vital mistakes on their bills and be costing themselves money by failing to do so. 

Following our research findings, we have renewed our recent calls on regulator Ofgem to revisit the existing rules that govern bill design – last overhauled in 2014 – to help more consumers instate better control over their energy use, especially at a time of higher energy usage during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the research, Tom Lyon, Director of Energy at Energy Helpline, said: 

“There is mass uncertainty among consumers about understanding and checking energy bills – and this is why it’s critical that customers  can quickly and easily check their bill is correct, that it is based on accurate meter readings, and that they are on their supplier’s cheapest tariff.”

“That’s why we’re calling on Ofgem to revisit the rules governing bill design, which were last overhauled six years ago as part of its Retail Market Review. We have also launched our own guides in the past few months to help consumers find the savings by looking closer at their energy bill.”

“Given increasing energy use at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that consumers feel more empowered to open and understand their bills to stay in control of their energy use and spend.”

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***

Research conducted by us, here at Energy Helpline


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