Consultation follows open letter in April outlining plans to protect customers

Ofgem has confirmed it is launching a consultation on plans to protect customers from back billing next month (November).

The consultation follows an open letter from the regulator in April, which outlined a series of proposals, including a 12-month time limit on energy back bills.

A voluntary 12-month limit back billing limit has been in place since 2007, but the regulator warned in the letter that it is “not confident that the principle is being applied consistently across the market” and was concerned “not that not all suppliers have appropriate back billing arrangements in place”.

“When the principle was originally introduced, we stated that we would regulate to protect customers if we became aware that the principle was not being applied universally,” the letter added.

The charity Citizens Advice has been calling for the 12-month limit to be a mandatory requirement in supplier’s licences.

Speaking in April, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, said “people are being hit with large back bills costing hundreds or even thousands of pounds”.

“We’ve long been calling on the regulator to introduce a mandatory time limit for back bills,” said Guy. “Given that smart meters are supposed to provide an accurate bill first time, we’d like to see this back bill limit eventually reduced to three months.”

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