Responding to the Ombudsman

Our process for handling complaints

When the Energy and Water Ombudsman receives a complaint, we assess it to decide how best to handle it in a fair and impartial manner.

The way we handle a complaint depends on what action has already been taken to resolve it:

If the complainant has not yet complained to the electricity, gas or water provider.

We will refer the complainant to the provider’s complaint handling process.

If the complainant has already complained to the electricity, gas or water provider and the complaint is still unresolved.

We will refer the complainant to a higher level contact at the relevant provider. The Charter of the Energy and Water Ombudsman states that we must give the provider 10 business days to consider and respond to the complaint.

If a complaint remains unresolved after referral to a higher level.

We contact the provider to offer them a final opportunity to offer a resolution to the complaint before we investigate. Generally the provider is given 2 business days to offer a resolution. If the provider can offer a resolution we will inform the complainant and facilitate the outcome.

If the provider does not offer a resolution, or the resolution does not satisfy the complainant, we will investigate further.

In some cases, we commence an investigation immediately where it is clear the provider will not offer a resolution.

If the complaint is not resolved through a facilitated resolution

We will investigate the issue.

Investigations vary in complexity and accordingly the time it takes can vary. We aim to close most investigations within 3 months.

Further information on our process for handling complaints can be found on Our Complaints Process page.

    Responding to complaints made to the Energy and Water Ombudsman about your organisation

    As an impartial body, we take the view that it is in everyone’s best interest that complaints are handled and resolved as effectively and efficiently as possible.

    As such, we encourage all providers to respond promptly with all relevant information when we contact them in relation to a complaint that has been made to us. Where it is appropriate, we also encourage providers to be prepared to offer a suitable remedy for a complaint.

    Under the relevant legislation, it is a condition of the licence of the electricity, gas and water provider that they will by a member of the Energy and Water Ombudsman Scheme and comply with any decision or direction of the Energy and Water Ombudsman.

    The Charter governing the Scheme includes some procedural requirements for the Energy and Water Ombudsman's investigations, including that within 28 days of receiving notification of an investigation by the Energy and Water Ombudsman, the member concerned shall provide all documentation relevant to the complaint.

    Apply to become a member of the Energy and Water Ombudsman

    If you are, or about to be, licenced by the Economic Regulation Authority to provide electricity, gas or water services to consumers in Western Australia, you may be required by the licence conditions to be a member of the Energy and Water Ombudsman Scheme.

    To apply to become a member, please email us.