New Energy Price Comparison Tool Offers Automatic Invoice Reading

Understanding energy or gas bills can be daunting for many people. Especially if they want to compare prices to potentially save by switching suppliers. A new tool developed by the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) is about to make this task much easier.

The new tool allows users to upload invoices from major suppliers such as ČEZ, Innogy, E.ON, PRE, Pražské plynárensky, Centropol, and MND. It utilizes artificial intelligence to read the details from the invoice, fill in the form, and perform a comparison.

“Consumers no longer have to leaf through their invoices and transcribe their consumption data or the rates they use. All they need to do is upload the invoice, and the website will do it for them,” said Stanislav Trávníček, chairman of the Office Council.

The regulator’s comparator will assess offers from thirty-three electricity and thirty gas suppliers. According to spokesman Michal Kebort, based on the number of customers, it covers 99 percent of the market.

For the comparison to work correctly, the invoice must be uploaded in machine-readable PDF format. Suppliers typically send invoices in this format as part of electronic communication, and people can find them in their email inbox.

Kebort pointed out that although energy prices are falling, they do so at different rates. “For example, with the most commonly used D 02d tariff, the lowest offer is less than half the highest price. In annual payments, this makes a difference of thousands of crowns, even for customers with low consumption,” he said. The comparator also offers other functions according to the customer’s preferences, such as filtering products according to whether the applicant requires a fixation and for how long.