Recommendation 5 of the 2018 Annual Report

Recommendation 5 : “On a bimonthly bill, the wording in the ‘Your billed usage’ box on the first page is incorrect in some cases”

0- Follow-up to the recommendation

This claim has been under investigation since 2018, and DTP changes have been made that as of March 2019 have not enabled ENGIE Grand Public and ENGIE Tarif Réglementé to plan their modifications.

1- Observation

The claimant did not understand and contested the usage billed over two months stated on the first page of his bimonthly energy bill in the box ‘Your billed usage’. This information caused dissatisfaction with the customer, who questioned the good working order of the meter.

2- Mediation solution

After analysis of the file, the Mediation team found that the consumption indicated on the first page of the energy bill resulted from a calculation. This corresponded to the difference in billed energy consumption between two meter readings, 6 months apart, from which the consumption estimates billed between these two readings were subtracted. It was therefore a consumption balance which was due and to be billed, as stipulated by the suppliers General Terms of Sale. The Mediation service therefore told the claimant that this sentence should be understood as “… you are being billed for x kWh …” instead of “… you have used x kWh …”. This explanation made it possible to resolve the claimant’s doubt about his consumption after the mediation team provided the proof by sending a detailed calculation note.

3- Generic observation

For a customer billed bimonthly, on the half-yearly bill issued when the distributor reads the meter (every 6 months), the usage stated on the first page of this energy bill in the “Your billed usage” box does not match the actual usage in the period concerned. This can confuse the customer and casts doubt on the good working order of the meter.

4- Recommendation / Generic solution

A bimonthly bill based on an actual meter reading states in the box headed “Your billed usage” a usage matching the balance of usage owed for a six-month period. Therefore the box “Your billed usage” on the first page of the bimonthly bill must be correctly worded, in other words, “… you are being billed for x kWh …” instead of “… you have consumed x kWh …”.