We can receive a complaint about any electricity, gas or water provider in Western Australia who is a member of the Energy and Water Ombudsman Scheme.
To be a member of the Scheme, providers must have a licence issued by the Economic Regulation Authority for the supply of electricity, gas or water services to residential and small use customers.
Go to the Complaints we can & can't take page for more information.
Electricity and Gas issues
Complaints may be made by:
- Residential and small use consumers of electricity or gas and by persons directly affected by the provision of (or failure to provide) electricity or gas services; and
- Owners or occupiers of land or property affected by the way in which an electricity or gas provider has exercised its statutory powers.
"Small use" customer means:
- For electricity: a customer who consumes not more than 160 MWh of electricity per annum
- For gas: a customer whose consumption of gas is less than 1 terajoule per year.
Complaints may be made by anyone affected by a water service, including potable (drinking) water supply, drainage, irrigation and sewerage.
Before you contact us, we ask that you try to resolve your complaint with your electricity, gas or water provider. If your complaint is not resolved, or if there is an unreasonable delay, you can contact us for help or advice.
The Energy and Water Ombudsman can only consider complaints about electricity, gas and water providers who are members of Energy and Water Ombudsman Scheme, and about services provided under a relevant electricity, gas or water licence.
The Energy and Water Ombudsman cannot investigate:
- The setting of prices or tariffs or determining price structures.
- The content of Government policies.
- Commercial activities that are outside the scope of the electricity, gas or water service licence.
- Complaints under consideration by, or previously considered by any court or tribunal; or that the Ombudsman considers should be dealt with by a court or tribunal.
- Any matter specifically required by legislation, codes, licences and orders to be handled by another authority.
- Issues to do with bottled gas.
We generally cannot investigate events which became known to you more than one year before you lodged your complaint with us, unless we agree that special circumstances apply.
See the Complaints we can & can't take page for more information.
We aim to respond to your initial complaint in 1-3 working days.
Stage 1 and Stage 2
As explained on our complaint process page, we will first refer your complaint to the provider to give it a final opportunity to resolve the complaint with you before we investigate. The provider has 10 business days to resolve the complaint, otherwise you can contact us again.
The length of time it takes to investigate can vary. For more complex matters, it can take some time for us to collect and consider all the relevant information. We will contact you during the investigation when there are developments in your case.
We aim to complete our investigation within 3 months. If your complaint takes longer than usual, we will keep in contact with you to inform you about the progress of our investigation.
The Energy and Water Ombudsman will try to facilitate a resolution between you and your provider, taking into account all relevant law, licences, industry codes that apply to the provider, and good industry practice.
If your complaint cannot be resolved, we will investigate your complaint. We have the authority to make binding decisions up to a value of $20,000 or up to $50,000 with the agreement of the electricity, gas or water provider.