Complaints to the Energy Ombudsman up 23% since 2014

by Communications Team | Jan 25, 2016

  • 65,168 complaints made in 2015, up from 52,937 in 2014
  • More than 10,000 complaints received in Q4

Ombudsman Services: Energy today publishes annual data for complaints received in 2015. Complaints increased to 65,168 in 2015 compared to 52,937 in 2014.

However, recent figures imply energy companies are starting to show signs of improvement, with complaints in the last three months of the year falling to 10,896, compared to 15,370 in the same period in 2014, a decrease of 29%.

Billing continues to be a common problem experienced by consumers, accounting for 83% of the complaints received by the Energy Ombudsman in 2015. These include gripes linked to late billing and inaccurate bills. Transfers issues, like switching supplier or tariff, are also a source of bother for consumers, accounting for one in 10 (9%) complaints received.

Chief Ombudsman, Lewis Shand Smith, commented: "Energy complaints rose by nearly a quarter over the course of last year as customers continue to be more vocal about their discontent with suppliers.

"Towards the end of the year, we've seen some suppliers take some encouraging steps, particularly when it comes to improving their billing processes, but there's still more that can be done. We encourage anyone experiencing an ongoing issue to speak to us - be it for advice or resolution, we're here to help and our complaints process is easy to use and free to consumers."

Ombudsman Services: Energy can investigate disputes between customers and energy suppliers that have been ongoing for eight weeks or more or those that have reached a deadlock stage. Consumers must contact their supplier directly in the first instance before they can escalate the complaint to the ombudsman.