New ombudsman to keep an eye on energy bills

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London, UK — (METERING.COM) — July 1, 2006 – Following pressure by national regulator Ofgem, energy supply industry members have agreed to set up an ombudsman service that will oversee disputed bills.

The new body, appropriately named the Energy Supply Ombudsman, will settle disputes and will be able to award customers compensation of up to £5,000. Under the plan energy companies will no longer be able to recover charges on overdue bills older than two years.

In a survey by independent energy watchdog Energywatch, customer billing irregularities surfaced as the main cause of complaint in the 39,000 calls to the body in the last year.

Commenting on the new body, Ofgem Chief Executive Alistair Buchanan said: “I am very pleased that the industry is taking steps to put its own house in order and has risen to the challenge to deliver a better service for customers.”