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How to complain to your energy supplier

By law, all energy companies must have a set complaints procedure. If you have a problem or complaint, you should first complain to your energy supplier. You can make a complaint about any of the services or products provided by your supplier. If you aren't happy with the way they have dealt with your complaint, you can also complain about this.

This page explains the steps you should take to complain to your energy supplier.

Top tips

Complaints procedure

Your supplier must have a procedure for dealing with complaints. You should be able to get a copy of this from their website or by telephoning them. The procedure should include names and contact details of all available sources of independent help, advice and information.

Supplier standard of conduct

Suppliers must carry out actions in a fair, honest, transparent, appropriate and professional manner. They must give information which is complete, accurate, not misleading and in plain language. The important information must be made the most obvious. They must also make sure it’s easy for you to contact them, and act promptly and courteously to put things right when a mistake is made.

If they don’t do this you can complain.

Transfer of energy supplier without your consent

If your complaint is about being transferred to a new energy supplier without your consent, known as an erroneous transfer, you can complain to your old or new supplier. If complaining to one doesn’t work, you can complain to the other.

Contact your energy supplier

You can make your complaint by letter, telephone, online or by email. You will find their contact details on your energy bill.

Keep a record of steps you've taken to resolve the issue

It is always useful to have a note of when certain events happened. This can help to ensure that the supplier doesn't break their promises, and can assist you if your complaint needs to be taken further.

If you have made a complaint by phone, it is important to keep notes of who you spoke to and when, together with details of key points discussed and any actions that were agreed.

If you're corresponding with the supplier by email, save messages and attachments that have been sent and received. If you're corresponding with the supplier by post, it is also worthwhile keeping copies of correspondence. Make sure you keep a copy of any letters you send, including enclosures, like energy bills, and note when they were sent. The Post Office can provide a proof of postage receipt for anything you send to your supplier.

Read your meters

If your problem involves energy billing or meter readings, it is important to make a note of gas and electricity meter readings, and to record the dates on which they were taken.

Dealing with your complaint

Once you have complained, your supplier must tell you the steps they will take to sort out your complaint and how long those steps are likely to take. During this time you must work with your supplier to sort out the problem. For example, they might ask for more information from you to help them solve the problem or may need to visit your home to check your meter.

In Great Britain, you can get advice and help with your energy complaint by calling the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06. Their independent advisers have energy industry knowledge. They can also arrange referrals to most of the larger suppliers' complaints departments and to other sources of help, like the Extra Help Unit.

The Extra Help Unit is a team of specialist caseworkers who assist customers who have been disconnected, are at risk of disconnection, are vulnerable and require support taking their complaint forward, or have a complaint that is of a complex nature. You can find out more about the Extra Help Unit on the Citizens Advice Scotland website at www.cas.org.uk.

Energy suppliers should resolve most complaints within eight weeks.

If your supplier can’t sort out your complaint

Help with making a complaint

For advice and help with any stage of the complaint making process you can call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0345 04 05 06. It is open from 9am to 5pm on Monday to Friday. To talk to a Welsh-speaking adviser call 0345 04 05 05.

If your supplier is unable to sort your complaint out to your satisfaction, they must tell you this in writing. This is called a letter of deadlock.

If you are unhappy about the resolution offered or the progress being made, and either:-

  • eight weeks have passed from the complaint being registered; or
  • a letter of deadlock has been sent to you by the supplier

then you can take your case to the Ombudsman Services: Energy, who can act as an arbitrator and can decide how the matter should be resolved.

In Northern Ireland, you should contact the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.

Next steps

Citizens Advice

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