Complaints about energy firms soar to all-time high

The number of customers complaining to the energy ombudsman about suppliers have risen to their highest level, new figures reveal. Complaints more than doubled to 22,671 during the first half […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The number of customers complaining to the energy ombudsman about suppliers have risen to their highest level, new figures reveal.

Complaints more than doubled to 22,671 during the first half of the year from 10,598 in the same period last year – with 84% related to billing.

Switching energy suppliers was the second largest cause of complaints, accounting for 13% during the first six months of 2014.

Chief Energy Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said: “The spike in complaints is in part a result of the rising cost of living but also as a result of consumers becoming more aware of their rights – and feeling more empowered to act and fight for a fair deal. Addressing these concerns is crucial to restoring consumer confidence in the sector.”

The trade body for the energy industry claims the sector “works hard to provide the best service” for its customers and suppliers try and resolve issues “as quickly as possible”.

A spokesperson from Energy UK added: “Most complaints are dealt with by the end of the next working day with no more than a phone call. The industry will be consulting stakeholders this summer about the complaints it cannot fix in 48 hours.”