Guidance Note – Energy Supplier Customer Service Levels

This Guidance Note sets out our expectations for NI energy suppliers’ customer service levels in relation to three specific areas:

  1. Customer contact centre services (this includes call centres and email correspondence);
  2. Setting fixed direct debits (at a set amount each month); and 
  3. Returning of customer credit that has accrued on the customer account.

This guidance was developed as a result of a rising number of complaints and concerning reports regarding customer service levels. We conducted a review of supplier performance in these areas which highlighted a number of potential failings in suppliers’ customer service levels. To address this, we reviewed examples of good practice (from NI utilities and regulated industries across other jurisdictions) and worked closely with consumer bodies to develop guidance for energy suppliers on our expectations on customer service levels.

We believe that implementation of this guidance will improve the standards of service for all customers (including vulnerable customers). This is particularly important to drive improvements in suppliers’ customer contact centres before the winter, as compliance with a number of regulatory obligations that are set out in supplier licences and Codes of Practice are underpinned by the fact that customers can contact their supplier.

This Guidance Note has been issued in advance of a formal consultation later in the year which will be the first step in the process to put mandatory measures in place.

Copies of all documents can be made available in large print, Braille, audio cassette and a variety of relevant minority languages if required.