Nearly a third (30%) of Brits have found an error on their energy bill, with over a quarter (28%) discovering that they have been overcharged, according to independent research conducted by the Keep Me Postedcampaign. With the average overcharge leaving energy customers £121 out of pocket.
People who choose to receive their bills via the post are more likely to pick up an error. 41% (two out of five) have noticed an error on their energy bills compared to those who check online (29%). Paper bills and statements appear to encourage consumers to take action, with a massive 82% of those who receive their bill by post checking them immediately on arrival, compared to just 72% of those who receive their bills online.
The research also found that online statements may affect how effectively young people manage their energy bills. It found that young people are the less likely to scrutinise their bill for errors – only 44% say they do, compared to 77% of over 65s. Failure to understand and check online bills is leaving young people exposed to losing control of their finances and risking being overcharged.
Judith Donovan CBE, Chair, of the Keep Me Posted campaign, says: “For many, the arrival of a letter on the doormat is a welcome prompt to consider and act on their bills in a timely manner. With a high percentage of people finding costly mistakes in their bills, and energy companies squeezing customers with price hikes, Keep Me Posted is urging energy providers to give consumers the choice of receiving paper statements which has been proven to help consumers manage their finances more effectively.
The Keep Me Posted campaign is made up of businesses, charities and consumer interest groups who are campaigning for the consumer’s right to choose whether they receive postal bills and statements from their service providers, without additional cost or penalty. The campaign is being championed by partners including Mind, The National Consumer Federation, The National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, The National Association of Retired Police Officers, Post Office Financial Services, The Civil Service Pensioners Alliance, The National Pensioners Convention as well as UK postal operators Royal Mail, TNT Post and UK Mail.