We are committed to providing excellent customer service. We are aware that occasionally we may not live up to our expectations. If this happens we want to hear from you.
Many of our key electricity services are covered by guaranteed standards. These are standards of service set by Ofgem, the industry regulator. Your complaint may be about one of these services. If the standards are not met we will, subject to certain exclusions, make a payment direct to you. Your supplier will send you details of the standards each year. (Alternatively, click on the link above.)
If you have a problem with your electricity meter or your bill, please contact your supplier, whose telephone number will be on your electricity bill.
You can download a copy of our complaints leaflet by clicking here.
Step 1 - Let us know
You can make a complaint to us in a number of different ways – in person at our offices, over the telephone, by email or by letter. It would be helpful if you could let us know which of these methods you would prefer us to use when we respond to your complaint. When contacting us, please provide your full name, address, postcode, contact telephone number and e-mail address and as much detail about your complaint as possible.
In person at one of our offices – Our main offices are:
Northern Powergrid (Northeast) area: Manor House, Station Road, Penshaw, Houghton le Spring, DH4 7LA
Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire) area: 98 Aketon Road, Castleford, WF10 5DS
Please call free on 0800 781 8848 if you wish to arrange to visit us.
By telephone – please call our dedicated complaints line free, also on 0800 781 8848.
By email - you can contact us using a web form.
By letter - you can write to the Customer Relations Manager and send Freepost (no stamp required) to:
Houghton le Spring
Step 2 – We seek a resolution with you
We will try at all times to resolve your complaint as quickly and efficiently as possible.
If we receive your complaint before 4pm on a normal working day, we will attempt to resolve it by the end of the next working day. In any event, if your complaint has come to us in writing we will acknowledge it within 48 hours and if possible provide a response at the same time. If your complaint cannot be fully addressed within this timescale, we will aim to provide you with a more detailed response within 10 working days, as to how we propose to resolve the issue.
If you notify us that you are not happy with our response, your complaint will be referred to an appropriate senior manager. The senior manager will review the complaint and, within 10 working days of your notification wherever possible, will send you a written response (unless you have expressed preference for a different means of communication) setting out their findings and any resulting proposed actions.
If you inform us that you are not satisfied with the senior manager’s response, your complaint will be reviewed by an executive director, who will examine your complaint and the way it has been handled. The Customer and Community Care Manager will write to you with the director’s findings and set out our final response to you in writing within 10 working days.
Step 3 – Independent review by the Ombudsman Services: Energy
If you are a domestic customer or a qualifying business customer (a customer supplied or requiring to be supplied with electricity at other than domestic premises, with an annual consumption of not more than 55,000kWh or fewer than 10 employees (or their full-time equivalent), and an annual turnover or annual balance sheet total not exceeding two million Euros (around £1.6 million)) and you inform us that you are still not satisfied with the response of our executive director, you will be entitled to have your complaint reviewed by the independent Ombudsman Services: Energy. In such cases we will send you a notice confirming that we have been unable to agree a resolution with you and explaining how you can apply to the Ombudsman. We will also issue you with a notice setting out your entitlement to go to the Ombudsman if your complaint remains unresolved eight weeks after you first lodged it with us, but we would hope that you would allow our complaints handling procedure to run its full course before you contacted the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman Services: Energy is a free and completely independent dispute resolution service. The Ombudsman will ask you for a full account of your dealings with us and will also contact us to gain a factual understanding of the case from our perspective. If the Ombudsman supports your complaint, we can be required to provide you with any of the following, as the Ombudsman considers appropriate:
- an apology;
- an explanation;
- specified remedial action; or
- financial compensation in appropriate circumstances
Any outcome proposed by the Ombudsman is binding upon us (if you accept it), but not upon you.
If you accept the Ombudsman’s decision, we will carry out the specified remedy within 28 days.
If your complaint relates to the terms of a connection offer, the Ombudsman will review the case with the assistance of external technical advice where necessary, but the outcome of the Ombudsman’s review will not be binding. This is because the terms of any connection offer that we make to you can be referred by you or by us to our industry regulator, Ofgem, for a binding determination. Details of how to seek such a determination will be provided when the Ombudsman announces the outcome of any review of the terms of a connection offer.
The contact details for the Ombudsman Services: Energy are as follows:
Ombudsman Services: Energy
PO Box 966
This procedure has been reviewed to ensure compliance with the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008. These Regulations may be accessed online or, alternatively, a copy may be obtained from TSO (website www.tso.co.uk, telephone 0870 600 5522)