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Citizens Advice asked to help solve energy industry problems

5 October 2015

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd today announced Citizens Advice and Ofgem will work together to help strengthen the role of the Energy Ombudsman.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Poor energy complaints handling adds insult to injury.

“When something goes wrong people want to know that the problem will be fixed quickly and any complaints handled properly.  But the 100,000 energy issues we help with each year, and our complaints league table, shows people are wasting time and money trying to sort out problems and firms aren't learning lessons.

“Too often complaints are dealt with in isolation which means systematic failures across the energy industry are not properly addressed. The Government’s announcement that it will strengthen the role of the energy ombudsman with the help of Citizens Advice and Ofgem is encouraging news and will hopefully help to create a market that works better in the interests of customers.

"Citizens Advice is often the first port of call when people have an issue with their supplier as consumers trust us to guide them through their problems. This provides us with vital insight and data which we look forward to sharing in these discussions."

Citizens Advice last week published quarterly energy complaints data, which showed consumers have made nearly 20 times as many complaints about the worst company as they did about the best performing supplier.

The consumer champion also published a new comparison tool to help customers to choose their supplier. The website offers information on a range of services, including: opening hours, billing frequency and different ways consumers can contact firms.

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.