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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 July, 2004, 02:10 GMT 03:10 UK
Energy bills 'should be clearer'
Gas ring
Bills can be confusing says energywatch
Gas and electricity suppliers should standardise billing to help consumers, says energy regulator Ofgem.

The energy regulator for England, Scotland and Wales wants bills to be clearer and more informative.

One in five customers were dissatisfied with explanations of how bills are calculated, its research found. One in four want meters read more often. But energy companies say their bills are already accurate and clear.

The consumer watchdog, energywatch, says gas and electricity bills can be so confusing that many people do not know what they are using or at what price.

Ofgem is urging energy companies to agree on a standard form of billing - one which consumers would find easier to understand.

But the body which represents domestic power and gas companies, the Energy Retail Association, says suppliers make every effort to make bills accurate and clearly presented, and that standardising bills might damage competition.

The BBC's Hywel Jones
"The bills are often so complex people can't figure out what they are using, or at what price"

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