We will always do our best to try and help your resolve an issue with your supplier however, there may be times where you need to raise this directly with them.
Making the complaint
If you have a complaint about your gas or electricity supplier, or distribution network operator on a connections issue, you should first contact them. Your supplier's phone number and website will be on your energy bill.
Explain what the problem is and what you want your supplier to do about it.
Your supplier will have a complaints procedure. You should follow this so they have the information they need to resolve the issue.
All gas and electricity suppliers are required through strict complaints handling standards to deal proactively with complaints. They have up to eight weeks to come to a decision on the complaint.
You can make a complaint by email, in writing or on the phone. Keep records of contact you have with the supplier on the issue.
If you want to complain in writing, Citizens Advice have template complaints letter formats you can use relevant to the type of complaint, for example if you feel you have been mis-sold into an energy contract. See their website: Complain to your supplier (opens another website).
Resolving the complaint
Your supplier should respond and try to resolve your complaint. They may ask for more information or ask to visit your home, for example to take a meter reading, to help them understand the issue.
You then need to decide if you think their response is reasonable and will solve the problem you have. If it doesn’t, tell them.
If you’re not happy with your supplier's response
You should first complain to your supplier. You can take your case further and complain to the Energy Ombudsman if:
- you're not happy with their response
- you’ve still not resolved the issue with your supplier and it’s been eight weeks since you first made a complaint
- for complaints made before 1 October 2015, you referred the case within six months of a deadlock letter or within nine months of your complaint being raised with your supplier
- for complaints made after 1 October 2015, you refer the case within 12 months of a deadlock letter. If you have not received a deadlock letter, they may be able to investigate a complaint older than 12 months.
Your energy supplier should write to you at eight weeks or ‘deadlock’ – when neither of you can reach agreement - to tell you how to do this.
See the Energy Ombudsman's website for more on their process: Complain to the Energy Ombudsman (opens another website)
What can the Energy Ombudsman do?
The Energy Ombudsman is a free, independent and impartial service. They can get the supplier to:
- correct the problem
- respond to you and explain the issue
- in some cases, make a financial reward.
Getting help with a complaint to an energy supplier
You can get help and support from Citizens Advice at any point during your complaint.
Their powers include the right to investigate any consumer complaint about actual or threatened disconnection and to investigate complaints from vulnerable or potentially vulnerable consumers. They can refer your case to their Extra Help Unit or other consumer bodies better able to assist if needed.
- Citizens Advice consumer helpline (opens another website)
- Telephone: 03454 040506 - Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
There are other sources of help available to you. For example, Resolver.co.uk* is a free online service and app that offers advice and helps consumers with their complaints.
*Ofgem does not in any way endorse or promote Resolver’s services and have no responsibility for Resolver’s handling of the matter.
Where we can get involved
Complaints about your gas or electricity distribution network operator
If you aren’t happy with the service you receive from a network company and can’t resolve this with your distribution network operator, you can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline (opens another website). They can advise if you can refer your case to the Energy Ombudsman.
You can also refer a dispute you are having with your network operator to Ofgem to determine. The 'Authority' (Ofgem's governing body) will make the determination. These circumstances are set out in statute, in particular, the Gas Act 1986 and the Electricity Act 1989 and in the licence obligations on network companies. See their Guide to determinations.
You can access the detailed policy on electricity connections at: Ofgem guide to electricity distribution connections.
You may also want to look at the advice guide: Get or alter a gas or electricity connection.