Energy complaints procedure: A video guide
Before you make a 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. If you don’t have this, or if you aren’t sure who your supplier or network operator are, see:
Making the complaint
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 with you.
How to complain
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.
Its decisions are binding on the energy supplier but not the consumer.
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.
Ofgem’s role in gas and electricity complaints
We don’t have a direct role in dealing with individual disputes between customers and energy suppliers.
We collect information from a range of sources as part of our market monitoring activity, and keep the energy markets under review to ensure that all energy licensees comply with the law and their licence obligations. Where suppliers fail, we will act. We publish data to help you see who the best and worst performers are. See:
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 us to determine. The 'Authority' (our 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 our Guide to determinations.
You can access our detailed policy on electricity connections at: Ofgem guide to electricity distribution connections.
You may also want to look at our advice guide: Get or alter a gas or electricity connection.
Complaints about Ofgem-accredited energy price comparison sites
Energy price comparison sites we approve under the Confidence Code must operate an effective complaints process.
You should contact the comparison site first to raise your complaint and so they can try to resolve it.
If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you can then contact Ofgem so we can follow up the issue with the site concerned. You can do so by:
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: 020 7901 7295
Complaints about Ofgem
If you have a complaint about Ofgem policies and functions, see our guidance on how to complain to us at Complaints about Ofgem.
If you think you’ve been wrongly switched
If you get an unexpected welcome letter or bill from an energy supplier, your supply may have been switched without your agreement. This is sometimes also called an ‘erroneous transfer’.
We’re working to standardise and improve reliability in the switching process through better management and oversight of industry data.
If you think you’re affected, we can’t complain to suppliers on your behalf or deal with unresolved complaints. This guide from Citizen’s Advice explains what to do, what suppliers must do and your rights: If you didn’t agree to switch energy supplier (opens another website).