If you are having trouble sorting out a problem with your energy
supplier it can be frustrating, and you may wonder how you’ll ever get the problem fixed. Energy regulator Ofgem have set up the energy ombudsman to help handle any complaints you may have with your energy supplier. Individuals and micro businesses can complain about their energy supplier and the ombudsman will help to solve the dispute. Our useful guide explains how the energy ombudsman can help you.
How do I complain to the energy ombudsman?
Before you complain to the energy ombudsman make sure you have done all you can to make your complaint known to your energy supplier. Going to the ombudsman should be a last resort if all else has failed and your complaint has still gone unresolved.
The first step when you have a complaint about your energy supply should be to contact your energy supplier. A lot of the time problems can be sorted out with one phone call to your supplier. If an issue persists then send a letter or an email to your supplier, with all of your details and account number, outlining the problems and including any photos, bills or paperwork that may be relevant. Remember to keep a record of all the contact you have with your supplier.
If you still don’t receive any help from your energy supplier, then you can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service. You can visit the Citizens Advice website
for advice on what to do next.
When contacting your energy supplier and Citizens Advice fails, then it may be time to contact the energy ombudsman. You can complain to the ombudsman once you’ve already complained to your energy company and either, you are not happy with their decision, or, you haven’t been given a decision for 8 weeks. The ombudsman is independent and will judge whether your supplier is in the right or the wrong.
Useful Tips when Complaining to the Ombudsman
When complaining to the ombudsman it helps if you have followed the complaints procedure correctly and have kept a record of all correspondence with your energy supplier. Here are our key tips to help you get a favourable decision from the ombudsman:
- Follow your energy supplier’s complaint procedure correctly.
- Complain to your energy provider in writing, via letter or email, and keep the times and dates of any phone calls you had with your provider.
- List your case to the ombudsman chronologically.
- If your provider has not replied to your correspondence within their own stated guidelines, make a note of it.
- Keep a record of any financial costs incurred directly or indirectly as a result of the problem.
- If you want to be compensated for your time, then be sure to keep a record of the length of time you took complaining.
When should I take a case to the ombudsman?
If your complaint is with one of the ‘big six’ energy companies (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, Npower, ScottishPower and SSE) and it has not been resolved within eight weeks you can go to the ombudsman. If you are with a smaller supplier, you have to wait 12 weeks without resolve before contacting the ombudsman. You may also complain to the ombudsman if your energy provider says that your complaint is ‘deadlocked’. You must complain to the energy ombudsman within 12 months of your supplier telling you their decision.
You may be wondering if contacting the ombudsman is worth it? The simple answer is yes! The ombudsman is a free service, funded by fees paid to them by energy companies. The only thing to consider is whether it’s worth your time. Compiling the evidence for your case and contacting your provider can be time consuming. Complaints to the energy ombudsman can take between 4 and 16 weeks to resolve so if you are after quick financial reimbursement then you may be out of luck.
What power does the energy ombudsman have?
The energy ombudsman is an independent body and is therefore completely impartial. They will look at your case objectively and decide upon the fairest result. This means that sometimes they will rule in favour of the energy supplier, so make sure be certain of the validity of your complaint before taking a case to the ombudsman. The ombudsman can force energy suppliers to compensate or apologise to you if they decide that your case is valid.
The Green Deal
The Green Deal helps homes and small businesses make energy-saving improvements. The energy ombudsman can help resolve complaints about Green Deal providers. For more information you can visit the ombudsman website
Contact the Ombudsman
Write a letter to the energy ombudsman at:
Ombudsman Services: Energy, PO Box 966, Warrington, WA4 9DF
0330 440 1624
0330 440 1600
On the Ombudsman’s website: