Government Sends Final Demand to Energy Companies for Compulsory QR Codes on Bills

By Gary Cutlack on at

Despite David Cameron's promise of a world in which the "Internet of Things" has our microwaves asking us what ready meal we'd like partially heated up for dinner tonight, the government's energy secretary Ed Davey foresees a tamer and more realistic tech future in which the old QR code is used to help customers save money on energy bills.

Davey has put forward a plan that would require energy companies to stick QR codes on all paper bills, which would enable customers who have a clue what they are and how they work to quickly compare tariffs. Davey said: "We’re determined to make energy markets work better for consumers -- and despite all the evidence showing that QR codes on bills would make a real difference to people, energy companies still haven’t done anything about it."

We put it to the court, m'lady, that anyone aware enough and able to read a QR code on their mobile phone would also easily be able to compare tariffs on the internet were they minded to do so, so while it's a useful move for some, those least able to grasp the concept of switching energy providers to save a few quid -- the elderly in particular -- are unlikely to find this much of a help. Nice idea, though. [Department of Energy & Climate Change via Guardian]