What is back billing

We supply energy to nearly half a million micro businesses. Like most industries, when an energy supplier discovers they've undercharged a customer, they can create a bill to cover this amount owed - this is commonly known as ‘back billing’. If you’re a micro business, we’ll help protect you from large and unexpected bills, by limiting how far back we charge for business gas and electricity you’ve used in the past. We’ll contact you in advance if we intend to charge for energy you've used in the past.

Our commitment to limit back billing

We listened to our customers and recognised that sending unexpected bills was a cause of great concern and distress. In response to these concerns, we became the first non-domestic supplier to announce a voluntary micro business back billing limit in 2011.

In March 2012, we became founding signatories to the Energy UK voluntary standards on micro business back billing. The standards only limit backbills to three years for electricity bills and to 4-5 years for a gas bill but we have gone further:

Our back billing limit*

From when?

3 years

1 March 2012

2 years

31 December 2013

1 year only

31 December 2014

* Back billing limits apply after you (our customer) have done all that you can to avoid back billing and where we or industry processes are at fault.

Improving customer experience

To improve customer experience and reduce the likelihood of back billing, we are currently investing more than £30 million in our systems and processes. Customers will see real benefits from this investment:

  • Clearer and more accurate bills
  • Find it easier to contact us
  • Better customer service

We also offer smart meters to customers to improve billing accuracy and have already installed over 400,000 smart meters – over time smart meters will result in a considerable reduction in back billing.

Payment plans to help you

We recognise the need to support Britain’s businesses and so avoid imposing undue financial pressure. We therefore offer payment plans up to the length of the original back bill so that businesses can spread the cost and lessen the impact.

Where can you find further help?

There are a number of skilled third parties who can provide advice and support.

  • Business Debtline      Offer advice on managing debts
  • Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS)
          Free, impartial and independent advice on energy issues
  • Energy Ombudsman
          Support you in instances of redress and disputes

See more in Financial difficulty.

Our fair billing commitment

We introduced our Fair Billing Charter for micro business customers to help make sure those customers only pay for the energy used and that they're not hit by back bills caused by mistakes made by suppliers or the industry.

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Other pages in this section

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