QR Codes on Energy Bills

This is a necropost - resurrected from the now defunct blog of a previous employer. Sadly, the follow-up post has fallen down the memory hole. You can still read Sharon's response to it.

Well, we can finally unwrap one of the little projects The Lab has been working on. Along with the Department of Energy and Climate Change we're aiming to stick QR codes on customers' energy bills.

The proposal has the grand name of: "A consultation on proposals to amend domestic energy supply licence conditions - requiring provision of key energy data in a machine readable format"

How Will It Work?

Customers will receive their energy bill as normal. Printed on the bill will be a QR code which lets the customer compare their usage, get energy efficiency advice, and potentially switch to a cheaper tariff.

You can
BBC News,
The Guardian,
Sky News,
ITV News,
The Drum and
City AM.

This project has been gestating for a while - being first mentioned in the House of Commons in October 2012 - and is now being empowered via the Energy Act.

This is the first time The Lab has helped with such a stately project - and we certainly hope to do more of this sort of work in the future.

What Next?

We know that QR codes are divisive for some - but they remain the cheapest way to put complex information on a piece of paper. They don't require a proprietary app, and can be used even on really quite basic phones.

We'd love it if you were to respond to the consultation.


Terence Eden led this project, along with Lab Intern Yuan Phoon.

2 thoughts on “QR Codes on Energy Bills

  1. says:

    these exist now for utility comparisons - my gas and electricity bills both have them. The problem is that i get my bills as PDFs on my phone inside the company's app. So i have to save it, open it on my computer, and then point my phone at it. So really i can't use it - and they don't include all of the information for comparison sites in plain text on my bill...

    1. says:

      Hi Rob, this blog post was written in 2014 when most people were getting their bills as paper documents through the post.

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