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Energy Ombudsman NSW (EWON)

EWON

Sometimes, you and your energy provider might get into a dispute. If you’ve exhausted all other options, and the dispute isn’t yet resolved, your next step is to contact your state’s Energy Ombudsman. In New South Wales, the Energy and Water Ombudsmen are there to help you and your energy provider reach a resolution through free and fair third-party support. If you think you might need to contact the Energy Ombudsmen in NSW, or just want to know more about what they do and how they work, continue reading more below.


What is an Ombudsman?

Ombudsmen are independent agencies, tasked with assisting in dispute resolution in a free and fair way. In Australia, each state has their own Energy and Water Ombudsmen to help with disputes and complaints relating to electricity, gas, and water supply.

Energy and Water Ombudsmen are considered industry-based, meaning that they resolve complaints made against their members and are expected to be fair and impartial, without taking either the industry or the consumers' side.

The Energy Ombudsmen NSW (EWON) are available to residents in New South Wales who have a dispute or complaint with their energy or water provider. They provide free and fair service for a number of complaints.

How can the Energy Ombudsman NSW help me?

The Energy Ombudsman NSW handle a variety of complaints and disputes about electricity and gas providers. Below, you can find a list of the types of disputes, and potential issues, they can assist with.

EWON jurisdiction and disputes
Jurisdiction Types of disputes
Billing
  • High bills or disputed accounts
  • Estimated bills
  • Billing delays
  • Rebate and concession errors
  • Backbilling or catch up bills
Payment difficulties
  • Negotiating payment plans
  • Payment extension or instalment denials
  • Disconnections or restrictions of service
  • Getting reconnected
  • Accessing the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA)
  • Debt collection or credit defaults
Marketing or transfers of account
  • Misleading or deceptive marketing
  • Misinformation or marketers not disclosing information about your rights
  • Pressure to sign or agree to a contract
  • Account transfers without consent
  • Transfer delays
  • Transfer request rejections by your retailer
Land and property
  • Health and safety concerns about the network
  • Network operations causing damage to private property
  • Vegetation management around power lines
  • Placement and maintaining the network assets
Supply to household
  • Quality of supply (including electricity voltage variation or low gas pressure)
  • Damage of property or household due to an event in the network (like a power outage)
Solar energy
  • Billing delays
  • Feed-in-tariff applications
  • Meter problems
Embedded networks
  • Disputed accounts
  • Fees and charges
  • Disconnection or quality of supply

Unfortunately, there are some disputes outside of the control of the Energy Ombudsman NSW, these include:

  • Complaints about private contractors
  • Issues or disputes with landlords
  • LPG gas
  • Energy prices

If EWON feels that your dispute is outside of their jurisdiction, however, they will work with you to find the appropriate organization to assist you.

What is the process to file a complaint with EWON?

The process for filing a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman in New South Wales is relatively straight forward, but there are a few steps you need to take to ensure the dispute is resolved quickly and fairly.

 You will first need to contact your energy provider about the problem. If you’ve already contacted them, the Ombudsman might refer you to a higher level in your energy provider’s dispute resolution team, who will contact you within five business days.

 If you and your provider have not been able to resolve the dispute, the Energy Ombudsman will allocate an Investigations Officer to your case.

 Your Investigations Officer will begin the investigations process.

Once your Investigations Officer begins the investigations process, a few things will happen:

 The Energy Ombudsmen will seek information from both the provider, and yourself. This can include account records copies of bills, receipts, or other documents.

 Occasionally, the Ombudsmen might get independent, expert advice, such as from an engineer or loss assessor.

During the investigations process, it’s important to continue to pay any new energy bills, or any outstanding amount owed to the provider that is not the subject of the dispute. If you cannot pay your energy bill during this time, let the Energy Ombudsman know as they are able to help.

During the investigations process, all communication between the disputing parties about the case must be done through the Energy Ombudsmen. Direct communication between yourself and your provider can continue for anything not relating to the disputed case.

What if I’m not happy with how the Energy Ombudsman resolved the problem?

If you’re not happy with the outcome of the dispute resolution, you can request for a review to be made in writing, within 28 days of the case’s closure, and include supporting information that might help with the review. You can request a review of the result of the investigation if:

 You believe there was bias or lack of impartiality from the Ombudsmen

 There is additional information that was relevant to the case but not available during the investigation

 There may have been an error or omission by the Ombudsman due to incorrect information, or you believe they did not adhere to their case handling procedures during the process.

How to contact the Energy Ombudsman NSW to file a complaint

The Energy Ombudsmen in New South Wales have a number of ways to contact them, not only to file a complaint or dispute, but to also provide free and independent advice. EWON is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

How to contact the Energy Ombudsman NSW
Contact method How to contact EWON
Freecall 1800 246 545
Online form Submit a complaint or enquiry onlinen
Free Fax 1800 812 291
Free Post Reply Paid 86550
Sydney South
NSW 1234

Other services provided by the Energy Ombudsman NSW

In addition to complaint resolution services, the Energy Ombudsmen in New South Wales also offer free and independent advice for a number of questions, or concerns, you might have. They offer a number of online resources and guides, for everything from ways to save money on your energy bills, to information about energy account management and how to switch your energy provider. You can also contact EWON for advice or help, even if you don’t want to file a complaint.

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