Guaranteed standards for energy companies
All energy companies are required by law to meet minimum levels of service for every customer, known as Guaranteed Standards. The standards are set by the Utility Regulator for Northern Ireland. If the energy companies fail to meet these standards, there is an agreed level of compensation they should pay you.
Often, you may pay your bill to your energy supplier but your gas or electricity may actually be supplied to you through a different gas transporter or electricity distributor company.
This page explains the key Guaranteed Standards for energy suppliers, gas transporters and electricity distributors and how you can claim compensation you’re left without an energy supply.
Standards for energy suppliers and network companies
The key Guaranteed Standards for energy suppliers and network companies say that you may be able to claim a set compensation:
- you report a faulty prepayment meter to your supplier and they do not send someone to repair or replace it within a specified time
- you make an appointment for your supplier to visit you at your home and they don't arrive within the agreed time slot
- your gas supply is interrupted because of a fault, depending on how long it is off for
- your electricity supply is interrupted because of a fault, and it is not restored within a specified time depending on the weather and the number of homes affected
- NIE plans to interrupt your supply but does not give you at least three days’ written notice
- your gas transporter digs up your garden or driveway and any damage caused by the work is not made good within five working days
Factsheets covering the standards of service you are entitled to and the payment you may be entitled to if these standards are not met are available on the Consumer Council website. You can also find information on your energy company’s website.
When the Guaranteed Standards don't apply
There are some exceptions to the Guaranteed Standards compensation schemes. For example, the company may not have to make a compensation payment for any of the following reasons:
- severe weather makes it impossible to restore the supply
- strikes or industrial action
- you’re out when the energy company visits and you knew they were coming
- you cancel an appointment.
Claiming a payment under the Guaranteed Standards scheme
If you are entitled to a compensation payment under the Guaranteed Standards scheme, in some cases the payment will be made automatically and in others you have to notify the energy company yourself. Check the Guaranteed Standards factsheets or your energy company’s website.
How much is the payment?
Guaranteed Standards payments are usually between £25 and £50, depending on the problem.
How the payment is made
If you are due a Guaranteed Standard payment, you may be sent a cheque or you may have the money credited to your account. Check with the energy company which is due to make the payment.