Largest share of utility complaints upheld against Electric Ireland

Pinergy had a high level of complaints relative to market share, CRU found

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

Electric Ireland was the utility that had most complaints upheld against it last year, according to the State’s utilities regulator.

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) said 94 per cent of the complaints it received last year related to energy companies while the remaining 6 per cent related to Irish Water.

Some 39 per cent of complaints upheld against energy suppliers were against Electric Ireland, the company which held the largest combined market share. The second largest share of upheld complaints (29 per cent) was against Bord Gáis Energy while SSE Airtricity faced 1 per cent of upheld complaints.

Relative to market share, Pinergy was found to have a high number of upheld complaints. Some 13 per cent of upheld complaints related to it compared to its 1 per cent market share.

The CRU’s customer care team received 295 complaints last year, a 15 per cent increase on 2017. Some 279 of these were investigated and closed in 2018. In 46 per cent of cases, the CRU found in favour of the customers.

Irish Water

In relation to Irish Water, the CRU opened 21 complaints in 2018, a 19 per cent fall on the previous year.

“Irish Water, energy suppliers and network operators have a responsibility under the codes of practice and customer charters set out by the CRU to maintain a minimum level of customer service,” said Aoife MacEvilly, the CRU commissioner with responsibility for the retail sector.

“By registering their complaints with the CRU, customers can be safe in the knowledge that they will receive an independent decision and also highlight areas where suppliers and network companies can improve their services.”