Making a complaint about your energy supplier
This step-by-step guide is a great place to start if you need to make a complaint to your energy supplier.
For any product you buy or service you sign up to, it’s really important that you’re aware of what to do if something goes wrong and you need to complain about any aspect of the product or service.
How to make a complaint about your energy supplier
If you have a complaint about your energy supplier or the service you’re receiving, you should first raise your complaint directly with the energy supplier and exhaust the complaints process with them.
If you can’t resolve your complaint with the supplier, you can then approach the Citizens Information Board for advice, or escalate the complaint to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).
These three steps explain how the process works:
Step 1: Raise a complaint with the energy supplier
In the first instance, if you have an issue, you should contact your supplier to discuss it with them. You can do so by phone, email or post, and many suppliers also have online help centres now too - so choose whichever method works best for you.
When you contact your supplier, outline your complaint clearly, and be sure to include contact details so they can update you on the status of your complaint.
Your supplier’s code of conduct will outline the timelines within which they aim to respond to complaints, but if it’s unclear, just ask them to clarify.
As a guide, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) says that generally suppliers will acknowledge and resolve customer complaints within a few days, and consumers should have a final answer within two months.
This timeframe may be extended for technical reasons, or if the supplier states you are not engaging with their process. If it is extended for any reason the supplier has to let you know what the new timeline is.
Step 2: Seek advice from Citizens Information
The vast majority of complaints are explained or rectified fairly quickly by suppliers. However, for a variety of reasons, there will always be exceptions to this.
If you’re not happy with how your complaint has been dealt with, one of the things you can do is to seek advice from Citizens Information.
How Citizens Information can help
When you contact them, you should outline the problems you’ve experienced and what steps you have already taken - for example the complaints process you’ve gone through with your supplier.
Citizens Information will give you advice about how to proceed, which may include contacting the energy company again to escalate the complaint.
You’ll also be given a reference number which you can reference in further communications with Citizens Information, so they’ll be able to find information on your complaint quickly and easily.
How to contact Citizens Information
You can reach Citizens Information by phone on 0761 07 4000 (it’s open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8pm), visit your local Citizens Information centre, or contact them by post or via their website.
Step 3: Raise a complaint about your energy supplier with the CRU
If you don’t get the resolution you’re looking for after exhausting the complaints process with your supplier and taking advice from Citizens Information, you could look at raising the complaint with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).
What does the CRU do?
The CRU protects the interests of customers by making sure that standards of services are set and codes of practices are in place.
It has the power to direct energy suppliers and network operators to award financial compensation to customers or to resolve complaints - according to set guidelines - if the complaint is upheld.
The CRU can only investigate your complaint if you’ve already contacted your supplier or network operator about the issue and gone through the complaints process with them.
How to escalate a complaint with the CRU
If you’re at a stage where you’re ready to speak to the CRU, take a look at their guide on escalating a complaint and follow the steps they outline.
They will investigate the matter and come back to you with a decision - if you’re not happy with this, you can appeal.
How to contact the CRU
You can contact the CRU by phone on 1890 404 404, by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by post at Commission for Regulation of Utilities, P.O. Box 11934, Dublin 24.
Should you switch if your complaint is not resolved?
While the majority of complaints are resolved by suppliers, it is possible that occasionally you may have a complaint that can’t be resolved for whatever reason.
If this is the case, and the particular problem is a red-line issue for you, it would definitely be worth seeing if you can move to a supplier that can rectify it for you.
Switching energy supplier is quick and easy, and if you haven’t switched in over a year, you could save up to €487.