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What is the Energy Ombudsman service?

  • The energy ombudsman is a free, impartial service for resolving energy-related disputes.
  • Complaints must first be directed to the provider before involving the ombudsman.
  • Acceptance of the ombudsman’s decision by the consumer is binding for the supplier.

The Energy Ombudsman is an impartial entity whose role is to resolve disputes between consumers and companies in the energy sector.

When you face issues with your energy supplier or service provider, such as billing problems or service disruptions, the energy ombudsman mediates and works towards a fair outcome.

This service is typically free to the consumer and is an alternative to legal proceedings. It offers a less formal and more accessible way of resolving issues that arise.

A brightly lit office with a friendly reception area, a team of professionals assisting customers, and a prominent sign reading "energy ombudsman service. "

Engaging with the energy ombudsman service begins by complaining directly to your provider. If your problem is not addressed satisfactorily, you can escalate the matter to the ombudsman.

The energy ombudsman then reviews the case, considering all information provided by both parties. They make a decision that the supplier is obligated to follow if you accept it.

A person sitting at a desk, reading a document labeled "energy ombudsman service. " a computer screen displays the service's logo and contact information

The Ombudsman Service plays a critical role in the UK energy industry. It operates as an independent body endorsed by Ofgem, the government regulator for electricity and gas markets in Great Britain.

Its primary function is to resolve complaints between consumers and companies providing energy services. When you have an issue with your energy supplier that you can’t resolve directly, the Energy Ombudsman steps in to help mediate and seek a fair resolution.

Process of handling complaints

After you’ve been through the energy supplier’s own complaints procedure and are still dissatisfied, you can escalate your complaint to the Ombudsman. The process is straightforward:

  1. Submission: You submit a complaint, detailing your issue and the solution you’re seeking.
  2. Assessment: The Ombudsman reviews your case to determine if they can help.
  3. Investigation: If they take on your case, they’ll carry out an investigation. Sometimes, this involves gathering additional information from you and the supplier.
  4. Recommendation: Based on their findings, they will make a decision that the supplier is obliged to follow if you accept it.

The service is designed to keep energy suppliers in check and ensure you receive fair treatment, underpinning consumer confidence in the energy market.

If you’re experiencing issues with your energy supplier or energy broker, here is how to make a complaint.

Initial Steps and Contacting the Supplier

Your first course of action should be to get in touch with your energy supplier directly. Explain your concerns clearly and provide any relevant account details. Remember, it’s important to document your communication for future reference.

Energy suppliers usually have specific contact details for complaints, which could include phone numbers, email addresses, or online forms.

  • Contact Information: Find the necessary contact details on your supplier’s website or your energy bill.
  • Clarify the Issue: Clearly state what the problem is and how you would prefer it to be resolved.
  • Document Communication: Keep a record of all correspondence, including dates and the names of any representatives you speak with.

Deadlock letter and formal complaints

If you disagree with the supplier’s response or if a resolution is not reached within a reasonable timeframe, usually eight weeks, you may receive a deadlock letter. This letter indicates that no further progress can be made with the supplier’s internal complaints procedure.

At this point, you can escalate your complaint to an independent party like the Energy Ombudsman.

  • Deadlock Letter: Request this formal document if it’s not provided and you believe you have reached an impasse.
  • Energy Ombudsman: Prepare to submit a formal complaint, which must often be done within a specified timeframe after receiving the deadlock letter.

It’s important to follow these procedures meticulously to ensure that your complaint is heard and adequately addressed.

When you bring a dispute to the energy ombudsman, a resolution process aims to adjudicate the matter fairly. This process leads to binding decisions and, where appropriate, the provision of remedies or compensation to the complainant.

Decisions and acceptance

Once the energy ombudsman assesses your complaint, you can expect a decision that details the outcome. If the ombudsman rules in your favour, you have the option to accept their decision. The energy company involved must follow through with the resolution as stipulated.

Types of remedies and compensation

Should the energy ombudsman service find that you are owed a remedy, the types of compensation can vary.

This could include financial awards, adjustments to your tariff, or account credit to reconcile overcharged amounts.

In some instances, a formal apology may also be issued. Each remedy aims to put you in the position you would have been in had the issue not occurred.

In this section, you’ll find specific answers to common enquiries about engaging with the Energy Ombudsman service.

How can I contact the Energy Ombudsman?

You can reach the Energy Ombudsman through their official website, where you’re able to submit an enquiry or complaint. Alternatively, you may consider calling their helpline for more direct assistance.

Can the Energy Ombudsman resolve my complaint?

Yes, the Energy Ombudsman has the authority to resolve disputes between consumers and energy suppliers. If you’re having issues, it’s worth submitting a complaint for review, as they offer a free and impartial service.

What is the process for filing a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman?

When filing a complaint, you will need to submit it through the Energy Ombudsman’s online portal. Following this, you must provide any supporting evidence within 14 days to facilitate a thorough investigation of your case.

Is there a cost associated with using the Energy Ombudsman service?

The Energy Ombudsman’s service is free. It aims to deliver an unbiased resolution to energy disputes without adding additional financial burden on consumers.

What are my options if I am unsatisfied with the Energy Ombudsman’s decision?

If the outcome of the Energy Ombudsman’s decision is not to your satisfaction, you retain the right to seek legal advice or pursue alternative measures.

However, it’s important to note that the ombudsman’s decision is typically seen as binding if you have agreed to it.

Rob
Rob

Hi, I'm Rob and I run Energy-Review.co.uk. I initially started this project 5 years ago when I was looking to switch energy suppliers and found there wasn't a website that provided simple, data backed reviews on all the suppliers available. Since then, I spent have a lot of time (too much some may say!) looking at all publicly available data about each supplier and writing reviews using this information. These reviews are updated as regularly as possible and any data is backed up by a source where necessary. I have also started writing guides on various energy related topics which hopefully you will find useful. If you find any issues, please use our contact form to let us know.

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