Warrington, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — October 22, 2007 – By the end of the year, customers across England, Scotland and Wales will be able to turn to the independent Energy Supply Ombudsman about any complaint with their electricity and gas supplier after eight weeks rather than 12 weeks. This reduction in time has been agreed by the six member companies – British Gas, EDF Energy, Powergen, npower, Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Energy – under the auspices of the Energy Retail Association.
The Energy Supply Ombudsman is the free and independent service for people who cannot resolve their complaint with their energy supplier. Its job is to investigate complaints fairly, listen to both sides of the story and make a decision based on the facts. The Ombudsman, Ms Elizabeth France CBE, has the power to award compensation up to £5000 ($10,000) which is binding on the energy supplier.
Duncan Sedgwick, chief executive of the Energy Retail Association, said: “This is a progressive step being made by the energy industry and it demonstrates our commitment to independent resolution of customer concerns. Over the last four years, complaints about doorstep sales have decreased by 97% while complaints about switching supplier have decreased by a further 75%. The total number of complaints around billing issues have also gone down by 50% during this timeframe.”
Elizabeth France said: “It is imperative that complaints are resolved as quickly as possible. We welcome the initiative taken by the industry so early in the life of the Ombudsman Service to move from twelve to eight weeks.”