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05th July 2005

SUPER-COMPLAINT SHOULD LEAD TO BETTER BILLING

<p>The Consumer Council today welcomed GB energy regulator Ofgem’s response to the billing super-complaint submitted by energywatch.</p>

Wesley Henderson, Director of Energy at the Consumer Council, said: “A good billing system gives customers accurate, clear and frequent bills.  Sometimes it is the only contact a supplier has with customers, so getting it right is not just about informing customers and keeping them out of debt, it also makes good business sense.  Today's announcement should lead to better billing and fewer problems.

“Billing is a key issue for the Consumer Council.  We continually gather information about billing experiences of gas and electricity customers in Northern Ireland.  We will study the detailed opinion of Ofgem and link with energywatch as they develop standards for billing.  This will help us to assess how efficient billing is in Northern Ireland and to help and to help define a benchmark for the way forward in resolving billing issues. “

The Consumer Council said it would make it a priority to work with local energy suppliers and the energy regulator (Ofreg) in order to bring necessary improvements for consumers.

  1. Consumer Council media contact: Susie Brown, telephone, 028 9067 4807 or e-mail, [email protected]
  2. The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland's consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about electricity, natural gas, coal and passenger transport.
  3. For more information, visit our website at www.gccni.org.uk
  4. A super-complaint is the ultimate step that a consumer body can take under the new Enterprise Act.  energywatch (the independent watchdog for GB gas and electricity consumers) submitted a supercomplaint on utility billing to Ofgem in April 2005.
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