If you are experiencing an issue with your energy supplier, you should contact them in the first instance. Suppliers should have their contact details clearly outlined on any correspondence to you, and on their website.
Before contacting your supplier, you should ensure you have your account number to hand. This should be provided on any communication you receive from your supplier.
New proposals from Ofgem
If you have been struggling to make contact with your supplier, new proposals from regulator Ofgem could result in shorter holding times and help you get through to your supplier more easily.
The proposed changes will also help provide support for domestic consumers that are struggling with their energy bills and improve overall customer satisfaction.
The proposals come in response to a decline in customer service during the energy crisis with customers reporting long call waiting times and difficulty contacting companies.
Under the new proposals, energy suppliers may have to keep their phone lines open on evenings and weekends in addition to their current operating hours. Suppliers will also need to be easier to reach through other contact methods, including via email, webchat or other digital platforms.
Energy suppliers may also be required to offer vulnerable households dedicated phone lines in a drive to improve poor treatment of the most disadvantaged customers. They may also have to provide customer service performance data to help households make a more informed decision regarding which energy supplier they wish to use.
The new protections could also extend to business customers, who have not been shielded by a price cap during the energy crisis of the last two years.
Making a complaint
If you wish to make a complaint with your supplier, you should follow the individual process for complaining to your energy supplier. The process can usually be found on the energy company’s website, with timescales for responses to complaints typically set at eight weeks.
It is always best to ensure the complaint is submitted in writing, either by email or letter to them, so that you have evidence of your communication.
The supplier should send you a ‘decision letter’ or ‘letter of deadlock’ within 8 weeks. This explains how they’ll deal with your complaint.
You can find more information about resolving complaints with your supplier by visiting the Knowledge Centre at energyadvice.scot, or calling the team on 0808 196 8660, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.
The team at energyadvice.scot can escalate your complaint if you have not had a response or help you to take it to the next stage with the Energy Ombudsman.
Advice Direct also administers the Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund, which is available to those who are struggling with energy costs or rationing fuel to get by – regardless of the type of meter or fuel used.
Individuals can apply directly through the website at www.homeheatingadvice.scot if they have received money and/or energy advice from an accredited agency.
Alternatively, applications can be made through Advice Direct Scotland, or through an accredited partner organisation.
You can access free, impartial advice on any topic from advice.scot by contacting 0808 800 9060 or by visiting www.advice.scot. Advice is available to everyone in Scotland, at no cost, regardless of personal circumstance.