Emerging technologies could help rebuild trust between customers and under-fire energy suppliers, according the blockchain company Electron.
Speaking to Utility Week, the company’s chief operating officer, JoJo Hubbard said figures published by the consumer website uSwitch.com, which claimed 1.3 million energy customers have been overcharged are “another example of energy suppliers failing their customers due to inadequate service and systems”.
New research published today (16 August) by the website shows customers have been overcharged by a total of £102 million – the equivalent of more than £79 each – as a result of billing errors by energy companies over the last 12 months.
“We are seeking to ‘engage customers’ in optimising the new distributed energy market, whilst in practice most of our ‘engaged consumers’ are chasing down incorrect bills and mistaken between suppliers,” Hubbard told Utility Week.
“New digital technologies such as Blockchain offer compelling solutions for transitioning from analogue to digital, rebuilding trust between customers and suppliers, and guaranteeing certain simple processes such as correct billing and supplier switching.
“Blockchain technology could remove billing discrepancies, improve the transparency and accountability of the system and provide consumers with a faster, cheaper, more accurate service to help them,” she added.
In May, Electron announced it is developing a nationwide blockchain energy platform, which it claimed can switch customers in seconds.
Speaking to Utility Week then, company director and former Npower chief executive, Paul Massara, said 22 independent suppliers have expressed an interest in the system, which has been fully-scaled to handle 55 million supply points.