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Ofgem welcomes 32% drop in domestic energy customer complaints

PUBLISHED: 08:58 02 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:58 02 March 2017

A metal pylon between Earlham and Bowthorpe. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A metal pylon between Earlham and Bowthorpe. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

New figures show complaints by household energy customers reached their lowest point in three years in 2016.

The total number of complaints from domestic consumers dropped by almost a third (32%) from around 5m to 3.5m, according to data published by Ofgem and the Energy Ombudsman.

A report from regulator Ofgem last week showed the number of households switching their supplier reached a six-year high in 2016 as people shopped around for better deals.

Its chief executive Dermot Nolan said: “Ofgem welcomes the overall fall in complaints since 2014.

“We are seeing clear signs that some suppliers are competing harder on customer service. This is good, as it puts pressure on poor-performing companies to up their game or lose market share.

“We want to see all suppliers take steps to bring down complaints further. We take strict action where we see companies failing and have imposed over £50m penalties for companies for poor customer service.”

Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said: “The steady decrease in the volume of complaints over the last year is encouraging for the energy industry as it indicates that providers are improving their service and complaints handling.

“It’s clear that energy companies’ steps to improve their customer service are starting to pay off, but there is still more that could be done to ensure the service customers receive matches their expectations.”

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