All You Need to Know About the Energy Ombudsman

If you have a complaint regarding your energy company, you may wish to contact the energy ombudsman.

What Can They Do?

The energy ombudsman’s role is to act as a free, independent party to help resolve disputes with energy suppliers.

They can get your energy supplier to look at your complaint again, agree that the supplier made the right decision, or force the supplier to give you a response to your complaint.

Who Can Complain?

The energy ombudsman is a service for domestic, residential consumers and for small business consumers in the energy sector which have “an annual consumption of electricity of not more than 100,000 kWh, or gas consumption of not more than 293,000 kWh; or fewer than 10 employees (or their full-time equivalent), and an annual turnover or annual balance sheet total not exceeding €2 million.”

When Can I Complain?

You can raise a complaint with the energy ombudsman if you have already done so with your energy company and are unhappy with their decision, or have not been given a decision within 8 weeks.

If your energy supplier decides they can’t do anything else to resolve your dispute, they may contact you via email or letter. This is known as a ‘deadlock letter’, and it will tell you that you can now contact the energy ombudsman, rather than waiting for those 8 weeks to pass.

Once 8 weeks have passed or you have received a deadlock letter, you can register your dispute with the energy ombudsman if you’re still unable to resolve the issue with the supplier.

You must contact the energy ombudsman within 12 months from the point of the supplier telling you their decision, or within 12 months of receiving the deadlock letter.

You may have longer than this if the supplier never gave you a decision, but it’s still a good idea to raise your complaint with the energy ombudsman as soon as you can to ensure your dispute is resolved quicker.

Gathering Information

After creating your case, you then have up to 14 days to provide them with all of your supporting information. Therefore, you may wish to start collecting this before your case is created, to ensure everything is in order.

You should keep hold of any evidence of the contact you have had with your supplier, such as copies of letters, screenshots of emails and details of phone calls with note of dates, times, and names to people spoken to. You may also wish to include any bank statements, bills, etc, that help to show the issues you have been experiencing.

Your energy supplier will also have the opportunity to supply any information that they think is relevant.

All of this information will then be reviewed by the energy ombudsman and they will come to a decision. The decision-making process tends to take around 6 weeks; the quicker you provide all of your details and evidence, the quicker the process will be.

Accepting or Rejecting their Decision

Once a decision has been reached, it will be sent to both you and the supplier. If the energy ombudsman has decided the supplier is in the wrong, your supplier is then legally bound to implement any proposed action within 28 days.

If they fail to do so, the energy ombudsman will contact them to find out why and will keep you in the loop until the outcome has been reached.

If you disagree with the decision and want to take your dispute further, you can then escalate this in court with the supplier.

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