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Contacting your energy supplier about a problem

This advice applies to England

If you’re having a problem with your energy supply, call or use webchat to contact your supplier straight away. You can get their contact details from their website.

Tell them what’s happening, and what you want them to do about it. They might be able to sort it out then and there.

You should note down the:

  • date and time you get in touch
  • person you speak to
  • problem you talk about

If your supplier doesn't solve your problem while you're on the phone or webchat, send them an email or letter repeating what you said. This means you’ll have a record of your conversation with your supplier.

When you write to your supplier include your account number and any case reference numbers you have. This makes it quicker and easier to sort out your problem.

You can use our template letter to write to your supplier.

If you can't get an answer from your supplier

If your supplier won't answer the phone or send you a reply in writing, you can complain.

You can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline for free, impartial advice.

The consumer service can help you if you:

  • have tried to contact your supplier and not got through

  • contacted your supplier but your problem hasn’t been fixed

  • have been disconnected or think you might be disconnected

  • have complex problems with your energy supply - for example, if your energy supply was switched without your agreement

  • are considered to be ‘vulnerable’ by your supplier

You could be classed as vulnerable if you:

  • are disabled or have a long-term health condition

  • are recovering from an injury

  • have mental health problems

  • don't speak or read English well

  • have children under 5 or are pregnant

  • have reached your State Pension age

Making a complaint

The first thing you should do is gather any supporting evidence. What you’ll need depends on your issue - for example you could:

  • take photos of a faulty meter
  • get together copies of unusual bills
  • gather notes from phone calls you’ve had
  • look for emails from your supplier about the problem

You’ll also need details of your complaint and your energy account number to hand. You can find this on a recent bill.

When you’re ready, you can complain to your supplier over the phone, or in writing by email or post.

Look online for your suppliers ‘complaints procedure’ - this should be listed on their website, and includes contact details for complaints.

Complain over the phone

You’ll need to explain the problem when you call, and tell them how you’d like them to resolve it - for example, by giving you money back if you’ve been overcharged.

Ask them how long it’ll take for their response, and if they have a reference number for the complaint.

It’s a good idea to note down the time and date you call, and who you speak to - you might need to prove this later.

Complain by email or post

When you put your complaint in writing, you’ll need to explain:

  • what the problem is, and when it started
  • how your supplier can resolve it - for example, by giving you money back if you’ve been overcharged

If you’re complaining in writing, you can fill in this template letter. You can email it or print and post it - the email and postal addresses are listed in your supplier’s complaints procedure.

Ask the Post Office for proof of postage - you might need to prove when you sent the letter.

You can complain by email using the address listed in your supplier’s complaints procedure. If you can’t find an email address, you can call your supplier and ask them for it.

Make sure you keep a copy of any emails you send to or receive from your supplier - you might need to refer to them later.

What happens next

Your supplier will get in touch with you if they need any more details about your complaint.

They should send you a ‘decision letter’ or ‘letter of deadlock’ within 8 weeks. This explains how they’ll deal with your complaint.

If you need to take your complaint further

You can complain to the energy ombudsman after complaining to your supplier if you:

  • have a letter of deadlock and aren’t happy with the decision

  • didn’t get a decision letter or letter of deadlock within 8 weeks

The ombudsman is impartial - they’ll look into both sides of the case and make a decision. If they think your complaint was dealt with unfairly, the ombudsman can make your supplier change their decision.

Find out how to complain to the energy ombudsman.

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