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Energy firm complaints hit record high

June 2014 saw a rise of 216% compared to last year
Gas flame

Customer complaints about energy companies have soared to their highest ever level, according to the Energy Ombudsman.

During the first half of 2014, complaints more than doubled to an all-time high of 22,671 – from 10,598 over the previous six months.

June broke the record for the most complaints received by the ombudsman in one month, with 4,124 consumers complaining – an increase of 216% from the previous June.

Visit our energy complaints guide to find out how to get your complaint heard.

Issues sparking energy complaints

Billing-related issues have continued to be the biggest source of pain for consumers, accounting for 84% of the complaints made between January and June 2014.

Issues to do with switching suppliers were the second largest cause for complaint, at 13%.

Energy watchdog Ofgem last month warned Npower to resolve its billing problems by the end of August, or the firm must halt all telephone sales to new customers.

Chief Energy Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said: ‘The spike in complaints is in part a result of the rising cost of living, but also as a result of consumers becoming more aware of their rights and feeling more empowered to act and fight for a fair deal.’

Complaints to energy companies

Last month, Which? research showed that complaints to energy companies had reached record levels.

We revealed that 1.7 million complaints had been made to the major six energy providers in the first three months of 2014. 

This was the highest quarterly number of complaints received by the energy companies since consistent recording began at the end of 2012.

The big six energy companies are British Gas, Eon, EDF, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE.

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