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Energy Ombudsman Tasmania: Free and Fair Dispute Resolution Services

Ombudsman

Issues with your energy provider are bound to happen, often through no fault of anyone. When problems arise, we hope our energy provider can resolve them quickly and satisfactorily. Sometimes though, this is not the case and impartial mediation might be necessary for everyone to remain happy. Ombudsmen are that impartial mediation, and the energy ombudsman in Tasmania is available to all residents of the state, offering free and fair dispute resolution, general advice, and mediation when things with your energy provider might go awry. Find out everything you need to know about the energy ombudsman in Tasmania, including their investigations process and how to contact them to file a complaint, by reading more below.


About the energy ombudsman Tasmania

Ombudsmen are independent agencies, providing free and fair dispute resolution services for a variety of private and public industries and sectors. In Australia, disputes involving energy are left to each state’s energy ombudsman. The energy ombudsman in Tasmania is a free and fair service available to energy customers who have a dispute with an energy provider, supplier, or generator.

The energy ombudsman in Tasmania can help by:

  • Providing general information about your rights and responsibilities as an energy consumer
  • Arranging for a senior person in the company to contact you directly about your complaint
  • Investigating the circumstances that led to your complaint
  • Trying to negotiate an agreement between you and the energy company
  • Making a binding decision if no resolution can be reached

How can the energy ombudsman Tasmania help me?

The energy ombudsman in Tasmania is available to help with disputes relating to energy companies in Tasmania. Issues the ombudsman can assist with include:

  • Disputed accounts or high bills
  • Debts and arrears
  • Disconnections or restrictions of supply
  • Actions of an energy provider or distributor that affect your property
  • Reliability and quality supply
  • Connection or transfer issues
  • Vegetation and easement issues

The energy ombudsman works with certain energy companies within the Tasmanian energy market, and as such can only help if the complaint or dispute involves one of these companies.

  • What companies can the Ombudsman help me with?
  • Aurora Energy
  • 1st Energy
  • Hydro Tasmania
  • TasNetworks
  • TasGas Networks
  • TasGas Retail

If your dispute is with a provider outside of Tasmania, you will need to get in contact with the energy ombudsman for that state.

There are certain issues within the Tasmanian energy market that the energy ombudsman can’t assist with, however there might be other organisations that can help you.

Other organisations that can help you
Complaint Organisation
Electricians, electrical contractors or suppliers of gas or electrical appliances (including solar installations) Consumer, Building and Occupational Services
Energy pricing (including tariff structures) Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator
LPG bottled gas Consumer, Building and Occupational Services
National Electricity Market concerns/queries Australian Energy Regulator

What is the process to file a complaint with the energy ombudsman in Tasmania?

As with any complaint with any energy company, no matter your state or territory, your first step is to get in contact directly with that energy company. Make sure to explain the problem, and ask how they intend to help. When contacting your energy provider, make sure to take note of:

  • The operators name
  • Date and time of the call
  • Details of what was said

If you’ve spoken to an operator, and they can’t help you, ask to escalate your problem to a senior staff member. Once you’ve escalated the problem, and you still don’t feel like the energy company can help you to fix the problem, it’s time to contact the energy ombudsman Tasmania.

If your complaint is lengthy, but not time-sensitive, it could be beneficial to write a letter to the person in charge of handling your complaint

Filing a complaint with the energy ombudsman Tasmania

After you speak with your energy company, and still feel like your issue was not resolved, you can lodge your complaint with the energy ombudsman in Tasmania. When contacting the energy ombudsman, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your contact details
  • The name of the energy company you have a dispute with
  • The supply address
  • An outline of your complaint
  • Relevant details such as copies of letters, bills, or notes

Once you’ve lodged a complaint, the energy ombudsman might direct you back to the energy company to give them another chance to resolve the matter independently.

Next step: Investigation by the energy ombudsman Tasmania

Once you lodge a complaint with the energy ombudsman in Tasmania, a number of things might occur:

 First, the ombudsman might refer you back to the energy company again, and give them another opportunity to resolve the situation

 If referring you back to the energy company doesn’t work, the complaint will be investigated by an investigations officer. During this, the officer might ask for the following information from you, the energy company, or an outside expert authority

  • Account records
  • Copies of letters and correspondence
  • Technical reports
  • Details of any offers or compensation
  • Reasons the energy provider might have regarding your complaint

 During the investigation, your energy company might propose a resolution. The energy ombudsman will contact you to see whether this is a satisfactory resolution. If the resolution is satisfactory for you, the case will be closed.

 Occasionally, during the investigation process, the ombudsman might decide the complaint is unwarranted. If they decide this complaint is unwarranted, they will notify you with the reasons and close the case.

 At the end of the investigation, if you and your energy company have not been able to come up with a resolution, the ombudsman might make a binding decision.

How do I contact the energy ombudsman Tasmania to file a complaint?

To submit a complaint for investigation, you need to fill out a complaint form online, download a complaint form PDF, or by ringing the energy ombudsman Tasmania and requesting a form be posted to you. Once you have a form, you can submit it online, by email, in the mail, or even hand delivered to their office address.

How to contact the energy ombudsman Tasmania
Contact method How to contact
Phone 1800 001 170
Email energy.ombudsman@ombudsman.tas.gov.au
Mail GPO Box 960, Hobart, 7001
Head office
Mon-Fri 9am to 4:45pm
Level 6, NAB House, 86 Collins Street, Hobart

The energy ombudsman doesn't only deal in disputes and complaints, and is also available for general advice and support. If you need advice, but don’t want to file a formal complaint against an energy company, you can use any of the methods above to contact the energy ombudsman.

Other services provided by the energy ombudsman Tasmania

The energy ombudsman in Tasmania, in addition to offering free and fair dispute resolution services, offers a number of resources where you can find additional information. These include:

  • Billing and payment difficulties including high bill disputes
  • Planned and unplanned electricity outages
  • Disputes involving ownership of electricity infrastructure that crosses private land
  • Vegetation management responsibility surrounding electricity infrastructure
  • Electricity metering
  • Moving house and your electricity supply
  • Easements

Responsibilities of your energy supplier

The energy ombudsman Tasmania also outline the responsibilities of your energy supplier. Knowing these responsibilities will help you to better understand your rights as an energy consumer.

 Disconnections: Disconnections can only be done under specific conditions, including failure to pay an amount due, not giving access to the property or meter, or tampering with the metering equipment. If your supplier wishes to disconnect your property, they must notify you by written notice or telephone.

 Miscellaneous charges: The energy ombudsman does not set additional fees, which are charged by electricity and gas suppliers. The only time the ombudsman can investigate is if a fee is administered incorrectly.

 Supply quality: The ombudsman can assist with supply quality complaints for issues such as frequent or lengthy interruptions, poor supply quality, damages due to issues in supply, or lack of notification for planned interruptions.

 Compensation: You may request compensation from your energy supplier for damage to property or appliances, loss of food, or other loss caused by an interruption or poor supply quality. Suppliers, however, are not usually responsible for factors outside of their control such as weather or motor vehicle incidents.

 Privacy concerns: The Privacy Act of 1998 details how energy suppliers can deal with personal information including name, address, date of birth, or account number. If you have concerns about your privacy, contact your energy supplier directly.

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