Unfortunately, there is always something that can go wrong when dealing with your energy supplier. And, if you have a specific issue with your gas or electricity supplier, it’s a good idea to contact them right away to discuss your concerns. Alternatively, you can also contact the district network operator to discuss your problems. Whether you are a domestic customer or a business customer, you want your concerns to be addressed right away.
However, if your concerns cannot be addressed satisfactorily, then your concern can remain unresolved. Also, if the energy supplier is breaching their legal obligations, you can escalate the concern further. You should only start to compare business energy suppliers when everyone has failed to solve your concerns so that you can switch to a new energy supplier. This post discusses how you can file a complaint against your energy supplier.
Filing a complaint
First of all, you need to get in touch with your energy supplier so that you can explain your concerns and what you desire your supplier to do about it. Remember that each energy supplier tends to have a complaints procedure that you need to follow. This procedure can involve you sending information about your concern. You can do this by visiting their website, over the phone, or even through a letter.
It’s a good idea to keep all the records of what you send to the energy supplier. Electricity and gas suppliers have an obligation to deal with your complaint effectively and quickly to handle your concerns. When you submit any complaint. Your energy supplier can have at least 8 weeks to let you know the course of action they intend to take. Some problems can need further action. For instance, if you have concerns about your energy meter, then your energy supplier can contact you so that an engineer can visit your business premises.
On the other hand, if the 8 weeks period has elapsed and your complaint remains unresolved, then you can decide to escalate it further. The best way you can do this is to contact the energy ombudsman. There are several situations that can require you to contact the energy ombudsman to file a complaint.
This includes if you have sent a complaint to the energy supplier and the 8-week period has elapsed since submitting your complaint. The other circumstance is if you think the energy provider has been negligent when it comes to responding to your complaint. You can also decide to contact an energy ombudsman if you are within a 12-month period after receiving a deadlock letter from the energy supplier. But if you are yet to receive a deadlock letter from the energy supplier, then the energy ombudsman cannot consider your complaint that has lasted more than a year.
The UK electricity and gas regulator, the Ofgem approved the energy ombudsman to independently deal with disputes between energy suppliers and consumers. In cases where energy consumers suffer a financial loss, the energy ombudsman can secure a compensation or refund.
In other words, an energy ombudsman is legally mandated to deal with energy providers on your behalf. Therefore, they can correct any ongoing issue that has not been resolved. They can also seek an apology from an energy supplier for poor service.
Switching energy suppliers
There is a chance that you can leave your energy supplier without paying an exit fee. But this can depend on the terms of your current energy deal. Therefore, make sure that you understand your gas or electricity contract.
If you recently relocated to another business premises, you need to find out who supplies gas or electricity to the premises. If you are a tenant, then your landlord can tell you who is the current energy supplier, or you can get in touch with the previous tenant.
If the energy supplier has not sent your energy bill, you can contact them and ask for information about your current energy tariff. And, if you are a domestic user with a standard tariff, you can find a new energy supplier at any time without paying an exit fee. But if you are on a fixed-term energy tariff, there are good chances that there can be an exit fee for leaving the energy contract before its expiry, which can be a year but it is sometimes longer than this. An exit fee can vary, so you need to check your energy contract.
If you are on an energy contract that has no exit fees, you can still compare business energy and home energy deals. If there is a cheaper energy deal, it may be a good idea to make a switch regardless of the existence of a penalty fee. For business customers, it can be a bit more complicated. A business energy contract cannot be switched to another energy provider unless it’s approaching the expiry of the agreement. Therefore, you have to check your energy contract to identify the renewal date.
Ideally, there are a couple of situations where you cannot switch energy suppliers. This is if you are renting a business premises and your tenancy agreement says that your landlord is supposed to pay your bills directly. Besides this, you cannot switch energy suppliers if you are renting a property and there is a default energy supplier clause. This clause says that the landlord can choose your energy provider. Lastly, you cannot switch energy suppliers if you are a business energy customer, and the contract renewal date is not near.
That said, there can also be some restrictions on the way you can make the switch. If you are renting a property, you need to look at your tenancy agreement to find out if there is a clause that requires you to tell your landlord when you want to switch energy suppliers. Alternatively, check if there is a clause that says that you can only make the switch at the expiry of the tenancy.
And, if there is a prepayment meter, then you cannot just switch to another prepayment meter tariff without telling your landlord that you want to install a standard meter. A business energy customer can also lock in energy prices on their future energy contracts. Therefore, each energy supplier can have a different window in the energy contract you can make the switch, though it can allow up to a year before.