Close to 3000 complaints were made to the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner (EGCC) last year. Most (44 percent) were about bills and poor customer service (20 percent).

The EGCC provides a free complaint resolution service for consumers. Among the successful complainants last year was a consumer who received $375 compensation after he was left without electricity for two-and-a-half days following an unplanned outage. The payment covered $275 for food spoilage and $100 for poor customer service.

The majority of complaints to the EGCC were resolved without requiring a formal decision by the commissioner but about 12 percent were “deadlocked”. Most (275) deadlocked complaints related to energy retailers; 73 related to lines companies.

The commissioner’s annual report also cites two retailers for significant breaches of the scheme’s rules. Nova Energy reported it failed to tell 35 of 43 complainants they had the right to take a deadlocked complaint to the EGCC. Hunet Energy was singled out for failing to implement EGCC board recommendations for the past four years.

Deadlocked complaints by retailer

128 Contact Energy
27 Mighty River Power
25 Meridian Energy
24 Genesis Energy
21 Nova Energy
20 Trustpower
19 Pulse Energy
5 Bosco Connect
4 Powershop
1 OnGas
1 Prime Energy

If you’ve got a complaint about your electricity or gas retailer, contact the EGCC on 0800 22 33 40 or online at egcomplaints.org.nz.