· NEON welcomed four new members: Italy, Ireland, Wallonia and Malta, reaching to a total number of members to 8
· Members handled together 103,835 energy disputes in 2016
· There was a drop in the number of disputes in the UK, but it does not represent the full picture: in several NEON members, the number of complaints remained stable compared to the previous year, or increased in certain cases
· Acknowledging differences between members and the changes in the organisation, the majority of disputes deal with invoicing and (e-)billing (34%), metering issues (14%), commercial practices (12%), and provider change/switching (11%)
· NEON members cover almost half of Europe (217.5 million inhabitants), but only 58 consumers out of 100,000 lodged a dispute to the competent Ombudsman or ADR entity – there’s more to do with consumer empowerment
Today, NEON, the network of independent energy ombudsmen and ADR bodies, publishes its 2016 annual report. This is a more detailed report than in previous years and includes some reflections on the external landscape, both nationally and regionally, as well as an analysis of the aggregated data provided by the eight NEON members and associate members.
The network is growing, and monitoring complaints is a key way by which NEON can analyse whether energy markets are operating effectively for consumers, and highlight where possible improvements may be required. This report seeks to reflect what NEON believes are the key issues facing energy consumers and to help stakeholders to understand where problems lie.
NEON welcomed four new members in the past months: AEEGSI from Italy, CER from Ireland, SRM (CWaPE) from Wallonia and the Office of the Ombudsman in Malta, represented by the Commissioner for Environment and Planning, reaching the total number of members to eight: the Ombudsman Services in the UK, le Médiateur National de l’Energie in France, Service de Médiation de l’Energie/Ombudsdienst voor Energie in Belgium and the Síndic de Greuges de Catalunya in Catalonia (Spain).
Members of NEON handled together 103,835 energy-related disputes in 2016. There was a drop in the number of disputes handled by the Ombudsman in the United Kingdom, but according to him, the situation during the previous year was particularly challenging and did not reflect a long-term trend. The number of disputes received remained stable in several members of NEON, except in Belgium (federal level and Wallonia), where it increased steadily.
Acknowledging differences between members and the changes in the organisation, this analysis shows that the majority of disputes deal with invoicing and (e-)billing (34%), metering issues (14%), commercial practices (12%), and provider change/switching (11%). Despite significant differences between the Member States, data show that the invoicing process and the relationships with market actors such as suppliers or DSOs are at the core of end-users daily concerns. Relationships with suppliers appear to be far from being smooth, with many issues related to switching and commercial practices.
NEON members cover almost half of Europe in term of inhabitants (217.5 million inhabitants), but only 58 end-users (household and non-household, electricity and gas alike) out of 100,000 lodged a dispute to the competent Ombudsman or ADR entity. It is an important signal to policy makers, meaning that out-of-court dispute settlement has not yet reached its full potential and more needs to be done to empower those independent schemes.
Click here to read the report.
For more information, contact the Secretariat.