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Filing a Complaint with the Energy Ombudsman QLD (EWOQ)

Energy ombudsman

Ombudsman are impartial and independent agencies, tasked with resolving disputes in a free and fair way. In Australia, each state has their own energy and water ombudsman which is available to help resolve complaints or disputes you might have against your energy provider. If you’re having a problem with your energy provider, or just want to know more about the complaints resolution process in case you need it in the future, keep reading below to learn more about the Energy Ombudsman in Queensland.

Who is the Energy Ombudsman QLD?

Ombudsmen are independent agencies that assist in dispute resolution. There are ombudsman for different government departments and private industries. In Australia, each state and territory has their own Energy and Water Ombudsman to help with disputes and complaints relating to electricity, gas, and water supply.

Energy and Water Ombudsman are industry-based, meaning they resolve complaints against their members in a fair and impartial way, without taking either the industry or consumers’ side.

The Energy Ombudsman QLD (EWOQ) is available to residents in Queensland, who are having trouble with their energy provider. They resolve a number of different types of complaints or disputes, including problems with billing and payment difficulties, misleading marketing tactics, or issues with energy supply.

How can the Energy Ombudsman in Queensland help me?

The Energy and Water Ombudsman in Queensland can help you with a number of issues. If the problem or dispute you have isn’t part of EWOQ jurisdiction, they’re also able to help you get in touch with the appropriate authorities.

Energy Ombudsman QLD jurisdiction
Type of issue What the ombudsman deal with
Billing issues
Contract issues
  • Changing providers
  • Cancellations
  • Cooling-off period
Customer service
  • Incorrect or misleading marketing
  • Unprofessional behavior
  • Privacy breaches
  • Lack of contact or communication
Damages or loss
  • Damages to property
  • Vegetation management around powerlines
  • Maintenance obligations
Connections and supply
  • Problems with connections
  • Disconnections
  • Planned and unplanned outages
  • Damage to your smart meter due to an outage
  • Problems with salespeople or telemarketers
  • Misleading marketing tactics
Payment difficulties
  • Payment plans
  • Debt collectors
  • Credit issues
  • Default listings

It’s important to remember that there are problems the Energy Ombudsman in Queensland can’t help with, or that are outside of their jurisdiction, such as:

  • Any problems you have where you first haven’t contacted your provider
  • Any problem that’s been ongoing for more than 12 months since you became aware of it
  • Frivolous or vexatious problems
  • Decisions the Ombudsman or legal proceeding has already made
  • Problems the Australian Energy Regulator or Queensland Competition Authority can help with.
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How to lodge a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman QLD

If you’re having a problem with your energy provider, there is a process you need to go through in order to submit and resolve a dispute.

The first step is to contact your provider to give them a chance to fix the problem. When you contact your provider, you should:

  • Read their dispute resolution process
  • Clearly explain the problem and how you would like to fix it
  • Take notes about the conversation
  • Give them a chance to check the problem, and get back to you with their decision.

If you’re still unhappy with the resolution, you can request and review or appeal with the energy provider or you can choose to involve the Energy Ombudsman.

If you choose to involve the Ombudsman, you can send your complaint to them via their online form. If you’re speaking on behalf of someone else, they will need to confirm over the phone that you are authorised to speak on their behalf or they will need to send an Authority to Act Form.

Once you’ve submitted a complaint online, the Energy Ombudsman will contact you by telephone, and will give you the choice of escalating your complaint through your energy provider’s dispute and complaints team or opening an investigation. If you choose to escalate your complaint to a higher level through your energy provider:

  • The Energy Ombudsman will contact your provider to explain the complaint and the result you want
  • Your energy provider will get in contact with you within five business days
  • If your problem isn’t fixed through your energy provider, you can contact the Energy Ombudsman for more help

If you and the Energy Ombudsman Qld feel that opening an investigation is a more appropriate way to resolve your dispute, they will:

  1. Send your energy provider a “Notice of Investigation” explaining your problem and how you would like it fixed, as well as a request for the energy provider to tell them how they will fix it.
  2. The Ombudsman will read their response, and possibly ask for more information. This can take some time depending on the complexity of the problem.
  3. If the Ombudsman feels the response and resolution is adequate, they will contact you. If the Ombudsman cannot get a fair and reasonable result that both you and your provider can agree upon, the Ombudsman may make the final decision.

If you are still unhappy, you may want to compare energy providers and consider switching.

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What if the Energy Ombudsman QLD has to make a final order?

A “final order” occurs when a complaint can’t be resolved through negotiation or conciliation. When this happens, the Energy Ombudsman will make a final order, requiring the energy company to take a certain action to finalise the dispute. It should be noted that no final orders have been needed since 2015.

In most instances, the final order has been due to the energy provider failing to pay a customer’s solar feed-in-tariff, with one instance being the energy provider failing to close a customer account.

What if I’m unhappy with how the Energy Ombudsman handled my complaint?

While this doesn’t happen often, there are times where you might feel the Energy Ombudsman didn’t do their job fairly and impartially, or you might feel you were mistreated during the process. If you have any complaints about the Energy Ombudsman Qld, you can submit a complaint either by phone, in writing, or via online form.

Contact the Energy Ombudsman QLD to make a complaint
Phone Writing
1800 662 837 PO Box 3640, South Brisbane BC Qld 4101

If you submit a complaint to the Energy Ombudsman Qld, they will first contact you upon receiving the complaint, and again after they investigate your complaint.

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How to contact the Energy Ombudsman QLD

If you would like to submit a complaint against an energy provider, you must do so through their Online complaint submission form

If you need to contact the Energy Ombudsman Qld for anything other than submitting a complaint, you can do so by their online form, over the phone, by fax, or by post.

Ombusdman services include:

  • Feedback about EWOQ services
  • Media enquiries
  • Invitations to events
  • General questions or concerns
Contact Energy Ombudsman QLD
Phone Fax Post
1800 662 837 (07) 3087 9477 PO Box 3640, South Brisbane BC Qld 4101.

The Energy Ombudsman Qld have three offices, which can be found at:

  • Brisbane: Level 16/53 Albert St, Brisbane City QLD 4000
  • Rockhampton: 2/209 Bolsover St, Rockhampton QLD 4700
  • Cairns: 15 Lake St, Cairns City QLD 4870

What else can the Energy Ombudsman Qld help me with?

In addition to helping to resolve complaints, the Energy Ombudsman Qld have a list of additional support services and information about a number of topics, so you can find the exact help you need about a number of topics. Other ombudsman services include:

  • Cultural services
  • Indigenous services
  • Financial services
  • Legal services
  • Tenancy services
  • Community services

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