UK energy companies must include Quick Response or QR codes on bills to smooth the way for customers to switch suppliers, according to energy minister Ed Davey.

Under new rules coming in by April 2014, putting a QR code on all bills will become a condition of energy licences.

Customers can scan the code using a smartphone or tablet allowing the data and tariff information to be fed onto a price comparison website giving an accurate assessment of the best deal.

By March 31, there will be a new tariff comparison rate in pence per kilowatt hour, to enable people to compare prices quickly.

The move is part of a UK government drive to ensure greater fairness and transparency in the energy sector.

Mr 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.”

Davey was behind new rules to reform the wholesale electricity market.

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