This week, ACCES published its Summer 2018 newsletter on the topic of supplier consolidated billing.
Several markets allow Competitive Energy Suppliers to offer Supplier Consolidated Billing (SCB) as an option for customers, to allow a more seamless billing experience. With SCB, a qualified supplier is responsible for billing and collecting from the customer for both the supplier’s services and the utility’s distribution charges. SCB avoids the duplication from dual billing (in which utilities and suppliers send separate bills) and offers opportunities for innovation by the supplier which is typically not possible through the common Utility Consolidated Billing approach. SCB strengthens the retail market by allowing enhanced product availability while ensuring broad customer protections.
Stakeholders in favor of SCB believe it is necessary for the continued development of consumer choice in competitive energy markets. SCB empowers energy consumers to choose their energy services and control their energy usage. Under the current model of billing customers through their utility bill, suppliers are limited in the products they can offer – with SCB and direct access to customers, suppliers can introduce new options such as flat billing or prepay options. SCB results in increased communication between customer and supplier and allows for greater feedback on what consumers want from the energy market. Of note, consumer protection advocates have some concerns about the implementation of SCB – particularly in regard to the option of allowing suppliers to have the “power of the wrench” to turn off a customer’s electricity or natural for non-payment (a power currently held by the utility alone).
The full issue is available here; sign up to receive our quarterly update here.
View this News Release (external link)