Complaints to energy regulator increase 43.5%

An Airtricity customer whose energy usage appeared considerably higher because their meter was also connected to the premises next door has featured as just one of the cases in a complaints report by the Commission for Energy Regulation.

Airtricity agreed the customer was due a sizeable refund but did not carry out a reset of the meter. The CER ruled that Airtricity had not taken adequate steps to resolve the complaint and should make a payment to the customer as a goodwill gesture, as well as issue an apology.

This case emerged as part of a new report by the CER which showed that 2,770 complaints and requests were handled by its energy customers team in 2011 — up 840 on the previous year, a 43.5% rise.

However, the CER attributed part of the increase to freezing weather at the start of 2011. Airtricity accounted for more than 60% of all serious complaints, despite supplying less than 18% of all electricity and gas customers. Both Bord Gáis and Electric Ireland were the subject of considerably fewer complaints. In total, 52% of all complaints examined by the CER were upheld — the majority again in relation to Airtricity.

However, the CER report shows that the large majority of complaints and queries were referred back to the supplier.


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