How to make energy complaints step-by-step
If you’re having a problem with your energy provider, you can make a complaint. Follow these steps so you have the best chance at resolving your electricity complaint, gas complaint or other utility complaint – like incorrect meter reads and estimates, rising energy bills, connection and supply issues, problems accessing rebates, long call waiting times and more.
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Energy problems are common
We all need reliable access to utilities like gas and electricity, so energy companies provide essential services in our community. With so many consumers using these services, it’s not surprising that energy providers make mistakes. But it’s still tough for consumers when things go wrong with their electricity or gas. The good news is that you can follow a process to make a complaint that will get heard and resolved by your energy provider.
Making a complaint to your energy provider
Your energy provider must have a process in place to handle complaints. Sometimes complaints can be resolved easily, but sometimes you might need to engage more with the energy company to resolve your complaint.
The starting point is knowing who to contact. There are different entities responsible for different energy issues, so it can be tricky to know how to make a complaint.
Let's take a look at the 2 main places you can make an energy complaint with below.
When to contact your energy retailer for a complaint:
Your energy retailer is the company you choose to supply gas or electricity to your home or business. In general, you should contact your energy retailer if you’re having a problem with:
- connection to the network
- supply of energy to your property
- the way an energy plan was sold to you
- cancelling or changing your energy plan
- fees, billing and other payment issues
On the note of fees and bills, Ajust user Archie had a problem with his energy bill and we were happy to help him resolve it- click here read about his story!
When to contact your energy distributor for a complaint:
On the other hand, an energy distributor owns and maintains the energy network that allows you to buy power and gas from retailers. Usually, you can’t choose your energy distributor because there’s only one in your area. You should contact your distributor if you’re having a problem with:
- powerlines or gas pipelines
- electricity or gas outages
- energy supply quality
- issues with electricity or gas meters
Your energy provider can’t force you to accept a resolution. If you’re not happy with the way your energy retailer or distributor is managing your complaint, you can escalate the complaint to an “external dispute resolution” service or ombudsman.
In most Australian states, there’s an ombudsman specifically for energy complaints (in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia). If you’re in the ACT, you can make a complaint to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Find your local ombudsman on our page here.
Steps for resolving your energy complaint
When making a complaint to your energy provider, here are some important points to cover:
- What's the problem? Why are you making an energy complaint?
- Do you have any materials or evidence about the problem?
- How has the problem made an impact on you?
- What do you want your energy provider to do to resolve the problem?
Let’s take a closer look at these 4 points.
- Explain the problem:
When you explain the problem, keep it short, clear and specific. For example: “I’m still waiting on my gas and electricity to be connected to my property” or “I’m experiencing an electricity supply issue where my lights are flashing and dimming”. It can be useful to open your energy account online or have a paper bill with you, so you can easily provide details like your account number and the name of the energy plan that you’re on.
- Provide evidence:
You might also be able to use your online account or bill as evidence for the problem, like if you’ve been charged a different amount to the rate on your plan. Providing evidence or other materials about your complaint also helps your electricity or gas provider to act quickly to work out what’s happened and resolve your complaint.
- Talk about the impact of the problem:
Sharing information about how the problem has impacted you makes the complaint more meaningful and helps the business work out a fair resolution for your complaint. So instead of just saying there was a delay in connecting your electricity, you might also say that you lost a whole fridge of fresh food because of the delay.
- Look for a fair outcome:
Speaking of a fair resolution, your complaint should be clear about what outcome you want from the energy company. Thinking again about the example of a delayed electricity connection, you might be satisfied if the company connects the electricity quickly. Or perhaps you want a quick connection and a small amount of money to compensate you for the food that went off in your fridge. Whatever outcome you want, it’s important to spell it out in your complaint.
There’s always a chance things can go wrong with your electricity or gas service. If you’ve had a bad experience with your energy provider you should make a complaint so they can fix the problem for you.
Even better, you can use Ajust to make an energy complaint. Ajust makes sure your complaint includes all the important points – like what happened, how it impacted you and the outcome you want – so your complaint gets resolved fast and fair. It’s free and only takes a few minutes.
Resolve your issue the easy way
Take the effort out of making a complaint. Ajust sends the right details to the right place – so you get the right outcome.
OVO Energy credits $185 to Sue’s account following billing issue
OVO Energy credits $185 to Sue’s account following billing issue
Bill Hero customer Sue had signed up for a special offer with OVO Energy. When she received her first bill, she knew something went wrong as it was unexpectedly high. After she struggled to get in contact with OVO Energy, Sue asked the team at Bill Hero for guidance on how she could resolve the issue. The team told Sue about Ajust - a technology platform that helped consumers resolve issues with businesses. Sue found Ajust easy to use and within just a few minutes, her complaint had been sent to OVO Energy. Just 24 hours later, Sue received a call from OVO Energy to say that had resolved the issue and credited $185 to her account.
Read about the issues consumers are facing. Have a different issue? You can still make a complaint.
Behind on energy bills? What happens and what to do
Anyone can fall behind on their bills for any number of reasons. It’s a stressful situation to be in given that when you’re late on paying a bill, there’s a risk of your power being disconnected. Whether it’s your electricity or gas bill in question, we’ll take you through some of the steps you can take when you’ve fallen behind. This includes when your power can be cut and how to apply for hardship arrangements in case you need a little help paying a bill.
How to read your energy meter
If you’ve been given an estimated energy bill you may need to take your own reading of your meter to submit to your energy provider. Use this simple guide to review your energy bill and notify your energy provider of your reading.
How to make complaints to the energy ombudsman
If you’re having trouble with your electricity, gas or water provider you can make a complaint to the energy ombudsman or electricity ombudsman scheme in your state or territory. Follow these easy steps to raise a complaint with the relevant energy ombudsman if you’re not able to resolve your complaint with your electricity, gas or water provider.