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DTe and Energy Companies Agree on Clarity of Consumers' Invoices

Energy companies will have to produce clearer invoices for consumers. DTe has agreed to this with the energy companies. In consultation with the sector, DTe has drawn up a guideline which includes minimum criteria which the annual statement must meet if it is to be clear to consumers.

DTe receives many complaints from consumers on the (lack of) clarity of the final statement. DTe is in favour of the sound operation of market forces and competition on the energy market, which ultimately benefits consumers. "If liberalisation is to be successful, it is essential that consumers understand their invoices," according to Gert Zijl, the Director of DTe. "On the basis of the agreed criteria, a step has been taken towards a final statement which in many respects will be clear and provide more insight."

In total, the agreed guideline contains 16 criteria. According to these criteria, energy companies must, for instance, indicate the period to which the consumption of gas and electricity relates, so that the customer knows the precise period to which the settlement relates. In addition, concepts such as the supply, transport and tax components must be clarified. Furthermore, the method of calculating the instalments must be specified.

DTe has requested energy companies to make adjustments to their annual statements in line with the criteria before 1 January 2005. At the beginning of 2005, DTe will check whether the energy companies' final statements meet the criteria. DTe will publish the results of this check on its website. An overview of the criteria can be found on DTe's website.