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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 11:48 GMT
British Gas starts e-billing
Employers can benefit says British Gas
British Gas has started sending out its first batch of paperless bills.

The supplier has signed up close to 100,000 customers to receive their bills via e-mail rather than through the post.

The move is aimed at taking advantage of a growing trend of people paying their bills over the net while at work.

British Gas hopes to switch one million customers to e-billing by 2005.

Saving incentive

To encourage e-billing - which will make the company's life easier by cutting down on paper and postage - British Gas has introduced a discount of 10 on a dual fuel customer's annual bill - and 5 off for single supplies of gas.

Customers must receive a year of e-mail bills before they receive the discount.

If they fail to pay up, they will receive a traditional demand by post - and lose their right to that year's discount.

Internet use at work
41% checked bank balances
39% shopped for gifts
37% booked holidays
28% paid bills

Survey of 1,000 people

Research commissioned by British Gas has shown that more people are using the internet at work to pay bills and manage their finances.

According to its survey of just over 1,000 people, 41% of people checked their bank balance or transferred money while at work, 39% shopped for gifts, 37% booked holidays, and 28% paid bills at work.

Far from being bad for employers, British Gas said encouraging access to the internet could speed up the time it took for workers to deal with household chores.

Richard Hepworth of British Gas, said: "This study should start to persuade employers that good internet access policies can work in their favour and will help staff find a work/life balance."

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