Electricity and gas consumer protection
What are you entitled to as an energy customer in Northern Ireland, including standards of service, codes of practice and critical care registers.
All electricity suppliers must adhere to the Utility Regulator's Marketing Code of Practice. This protects electricity customers, in particular vulnerable customers, from inappropriate marketing practices and guards against the mis-selling of products.
Electricity network operator, NIE Networks and electricity suppliers have guaranteed standards of service. These standards let you know how companies should perform in the event of a complaint or network problems, and include payments to customers should they fail to meet them. There are some exceptions to the guaranteed standards and the company may not have to make a compensation payment in all instances.
All businesses that deal with consumers have the legal responsibility to ensure that their terms and conditions are fair. All energy companies in Northern Ireland have stated that they are compliant with the terms of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
All electricity and gas suppliers in Northern Ireland must keep a Customer Care Register with the details and special needs of customers who are of pensionable age, disabled (by virtue of being blind, partially sighted, deaf or hearing impaired) or chronically sick. Suppliers can provide free assistance and services to customers who register their details with them. These services include bills in different formats such as large print or Braille and password schemes to help identify representatives from a service provider. Details of the specific services provided by companies will be available on their website.
Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE Networks) and NI Water operate a Critical Care Register where they keep details of consumers who rely on electrical equipment or on a water supply for their day to day care. In the case of electricity customers this includes medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, patient vital signs monitoring systems and home dialysis. NI Water's critical care register is for consumers with serious medical conditions.
Adding your details to this register will allow NI Water and NIE Networks to prioritise your contact details if your supply goes off.
In the event of a scheduled interruption by NIE Networks, it will contact you at least three days beforehand to let you know the expected duration of the interruption and in the event of a power cut or loss of supply you will be kept updated. In the event of an un-planned power cut your call will be given priority. NIE Networks will then contact you regularly during the power cut with up to date information.
If you have made a complaint with an energy provider in Northern Ireland and are unhappy with the outcome, we can help.