Surge in complaints about power provider
Surge in complaints about power provider

Complaints about one of South Australia’s leading energy providers have almost doubled since it introduced a new billing system, 7News can reveal.

The new billing system was introduced a month after TruEnergy became Energy Australia in August last year.

Sandy Canale, the Energy Ombudsman for South Australia, told 7News there had been a leap in the number of complaints about the company registered with his office.

“For the month of January, when compared to the previous period or last January, we have seen about an 85 per cent increase in the number of complaints,” Mr Canale said.

Some customers say their duel fuel account was replaced by split gas and electricity bills without notification, one claims their direct debits suddenly stopped, then they were overcharged, while others are still waiting for bills to arrive.

“We have seen delays of two to three months,” Mr Canale said.

The Energy Ombudsman says Energy Australia is not the first to experience glitches after introducing a new billing system.

In the past two years, AGL and Origin have had similar problems, which were eventually fixed.

A spokeswoman for Energy Australia told 7News the company is putting extra resources into addressing the increase in delayed bills and is making sure customers know their rights.

Those rights were boosted when the market was deregulated last Friday, bringing greater discounts and more protection for consumers.

“An extended period of time is available to the customer to pay the bill consistent with the delay,” Mr Canale said.

And if the bill isn’t issued within nine months, the amount must be written off.

For more information, visit the Energy Ombudsman’s website.

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