QR barcodes set to become mandatory feature on energy bills, government claims

The UK government will force energy suppliers to print Quick Response (QR) codes on their energy bills, in an attempt to help people switch supplier more easily, a news report in the central media has just revealed.

The QR codes, which can be easily scanned with the help of the camera module installed on a smartphone or tablet, can be used in order to easily access information available online regarding the user’s bills and energy spending. The data could then be fed into one of the many online comparison websites, thus helping users find the best available deal, depending on their specific consumption habits.

The UK government hopes that such an initiative would encourage various developers to create smartphone apps that let consumers swipe their phone over an energy bill to read data such as tariff and consumption.

QR codes will also benefit vulnerable consumers or those who do not use smart phones, meaning people with smartphones will be able to help friends and family less comfortable with technology, and trusted members of community and advice organisations including those from the ‘Big Energy Saving Network’ to be able to easily access accurate information to help people who need additional support.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey said: “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.

“That’s why we’re acting to make sure people have a quick, straightforward way to compare the best deal for them with a simple swipe of their phone.

“Consumers now have a real choice with the number of small energy suppliers doubling since 2010. By opening up the energy market and the steps we are taking to make switching easy, we have already seen more than 1.5million people make the switch in the last quarter alone.

“With so many of us using smart phones and tablets nowadays it would be strange if we weren’t using the latest technology to help us save money at home.”

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