Who the energy ombudsman can help

The energy ombudsman can only consider complaints about companies that have joined its service. Please check the latest list of companies that have joined our service. We can help the domestic and small (micro) business customers of energy companies.

Energy customers

What is a domestic customer?

A person who has energy provided to their home.

What is a small (micro) business customer?

If you are unsure if you meet the small (micro) business criteria you can use the calculating compliance document.

This is defined as a company which has:

  • an annual consumption of electricity of not more than 100,000 kWh, or gas consumption of not more than 293,000 kWh; or
  • fewer than 10 employees (or their full-time equivalent), and an annual turnover or annual balance sheet total not exceeding €2 million.

When the energy ombudsman can help

There are some rules about when we can help

Before you can use our service you must tell the company about your problem, let it know that you are unhappy and follow its complaints procedure. The company has up to eight weeks to resolve your problem*. If, during this time, you receive a letter from the company which says that it will no longer be handling your complaint or the company tells you that it has reached its final position, and you are not satisfied, you should let us know. The company may refer to this as a deadlock letter. If at least eight weeks have passed since you first complained* and it has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you should let us know. If you have done your best to follow the company’s complaints procedure but you are not getting anywhere, or cannot get through to the company, you should let us know.

*If your complaint is with SSE, the company has six weeks to resolve your problem.

There is a deadline for bringing a complaint to us

If your complaint began before 1 October 2015 - we can accept a complaint within six months of a deadlock letter or within nine months of your complaint being raised with your supplier. If your complaint began after 1 October 2015 - we can accept a complaint within 12 months of a deadlock letter. If you have not received a deadlock letter, we may be able to investigate a complaint older than 12 months.

Terms of reference

What we can and cannot do is set out in our terms of reference. We will decide if your complaint fits in with these terms and whether we have the power to deal with it.

Getting help and advice

If you would prefer someone else to handle your complaint for you, we can make arrangements with you to do this.

Citizens Advice

If you want information about your rights or advice about how to make an effective complaint you can contact the Citizens Advice consumer service at any time during the complaints process.


Resolver.co.uk is a free online service and app that offers consumer advice and simplifies the process of complaining. resolver.co.uk guides you through the complaints process, helping you to draft letters and emails and record telephone conversations for reference. It records each step for you in a case file and, if your complaint remains unresolved after you've exhausted all levels, it sends an e-case file to you so you can decide whether you want resolver.co.uk to forward that complaint to us rather than having to call us and complete further paperwork.