Many claim that the UK energy industry is in drastic need of reform and now new research shows that complaints about the industry have soared in recent months.
As reported in the Daily Telegraph, there were more than 3,500 complaints in February, meaning that complaints against the main energy companies have trebled since this time last year.
In 2013, a Which? Consumer survey showed that there were 5.5 million complaints against the main six players in the energy company. The findings have led Which? To announce that they feel that Ofgem and the Office of Fair Trading should investigate how the industry is serving consumers, how trust in the industry can be improved, and what can be done to make energy prices lower for consumers.
However, in the defence of the energy industry, Energy UK has said that most complaints are dealt with within a “couple of working days” and that the energy industry was putting in a lot of effort into resolving problems.
In a statement issued regarding the growing number of complaints, Energy UK, said:
“Energy companies are already making a number of changes which put customer service at the heart of what they do. They are making it easier to compare and find the best deal available - most recent figures show that around 1.3 million customers switched in the last quarter of 2013 alone. “
Energy UK went on to say:
“No one should be afraid to heat their homes and help is always available. Our members want to make sure people get the support they need. There are many schemes helping consumers make their homes more energy efficient, cut usage and keep warm.”
In the meanwhile, Ofgem has announced the results of a report into the blackouts that occurred over Christmas 2013, which led to a surge of complaints after millions of people, were left without energy in December.
Ofgem has announced that it is to investigate the companies that were slowest to respond to the emergency. Ofgem has stated that there was also an inconsistency among the energy companies when it came to dealing with customer inquiries about the power cuts - some of which lasted for five days.
Ofgem also announced that they would look into the possibility of increasing payments to customers that were left without power during the winter storms and that the distribution companies will have to report back to Ofgem about the improvements made to their services.