UK consumer watchdog Energywatch has launched a Better Billing campaign, saying that over 2 million customers have found themselves in debt in recent years because of billing mistakes made by energy firms.

Almost half the 86,000 complaints received by energy-watch in 2002 related to billing and account problems. In-accurate estimated reads and late or non-receipt of electricity and gas bills have been cited as the major problem areas.

Energywatch chairman Ann Robinson says bills should be “on time, accurate and understandable”. Energywatch is asking utilities to agree to minimum standards in the way they issue bills as part of the campaign.