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Ban imposed on catch-up energy bills

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Energy firms will be banned from charging catch-up bills for gas and electricity used more than 12 months earlier.Regulator Ofgem's new rule, to start in May for domestic customers, should stop shock bills of thousands of pounds.Customers who pay via direct debit often receive bills based on estimated meter readings.When an actual reading is taken, the supplier "back-bills" the customer for any shortfall.Other supposed arrears have occurred as a result of errors in suppliers' billing systems.
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Ofgem said the typical back bill was Victoria MacGregor, director of energy at Citizens Advice, said: "We have long called for the changes announced today. The new rules will deliver better protections for households and small businesses across the country. No-one should face a massive unforeseen bill that goes back years when it is their supplier that is at fault."Previously we've seen evidence of suppliers trying to game the rules by blaming customers for billing errors, cases where suppliers have ignored their commitments entirely, and small businesses receiving unexpected bills running to tens of thousands of pounds."
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