QR codes for over 25 million

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced a consultation yesterday which is basically proposing that future energy bills (electricity & gas) should have a QR code so that “… consumers can get an instant cross-market comparison.”

The consultation follows the publication at the end of January of a Feasibility study on the use of QR codes in the energy sector after discussions with these 12 organisations who are members of the QR code working group

  • British Gas
  • Consumer Focus
  • Department for Business Innovation & Skills
  • Department of Energy and Climate Change
  • EON Energy
  • EDF Energy
  • Moneysupermarket
  • Ofgem
  • SSE
  • Telefonica UK
  • UK Power
  • uSwitch

Their Conclusions and recommendations whilst not unanimous were:

  • “This study concludes that adding QR codes to energy bills or statements is relatively low cost and technically highly feasible.
  • The optimisation needed to maximise engagement will require additional commercial investment.
  • It is recommended that the solution to provide a QR Code with the supplier URL and twelve agreed items of data be adopted as the technical basis for discussion of options on how to progress.
  • It is recommended that energy supply companies place this QR Code on bills/statements.
  • For clarity, given the opportunity for the market in general to make use of QR codes, it is recommended that supply companies be free to choose whether to develop smartphone applications or existing online account/midata download-based solutions, or not to develop applications that use these QR codes at all.”

The current consultation runs through 21 April and you can participate here.

It looks to us as if this proposal will go ahead leading to a huge increase in the use of QR codes in the UK with virtually every household being involved! The ONS last year reckoned there are 26.4 million households in the UK.

Unsurprisingly uSwitch are 100% in favour!

We’re slightly surprised that the DECC QR code links to an actual O2 shop address in Slough! Well done Telefonoica UK, or more accurately The Lab at o2 – more from them here. They in fact they inform us that it’s their HQ! On the other hand 0/10 for whoever spelt  swich – we guess it wasn’t uSwitch!

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