Utilities: Billing

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of Gerry Sutcliffe Gerry Sutcliffe Labour, Bradford South

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the effect on consumers of decisions by utility companies to introduce charges for receiving information and bills in paper format.

Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Education) (Women and Equalities) , The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Charges for a paper bill must reflect only the additional costs actually incurred by the business concerned for providing this service. Consumers who believe they have been overcharged should consult the Citizens’ Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 (www.adviceguide.org.uk).

In many instances, consumers could re-negotiate or find an alternative provider to obtain better value for money overall. Especially for financially or otherwise vulnerable customers, paper bills will not always be the best choice - but any consumer can obtain information from Citizens’ Advice on how to find the best tariff for their needs.

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