Energy Ombudsman Western Australia was formed as a result of a merger of The Gas Industry Ombudsman Scheme established in May 2004 and the Electricity Ombudsman Scheme established in September 2005.
On 1 January 2014, Energy Ombudsman Western Australia was given additional responsibility of water complaint jurisdiction and thereafter, it became the Energy and Water Ombudsman Western Australia (EWOWA).
EWOWA aims to promote fair practices in dispute resolution in electricity, gas and water sectors and pays due emphasis on their early resolution. All residential customers and small businesses and other customers can make their complaint directly to their electricity, gas and water providers. In case the complainants are dissatisfied with the response they receive from the service provider of electricity, gas or water, EWOWA helps them with their concerns.
Consumers can approach EWOWA for any issues pertaining to:
• failure in energy or water services
• quality of supply, any disconnection or restriction of supply
• billing and credit
• transfers between energy providers
EWOWA provides various support and services to utility service providers for complaint resolution by:
• carrying independent investigation in disputes
• providing reports and analysis
• encouraging customer service improvement
• helping improve their relationships with customers
EWOWA focuses on complex complaints and places all efforts to manage increasing workloads, build customer confidence and strongly support the belief that progress can be made by ensuring high level of services for customers.
It aims to raise the overall standards of customer service by offering quality independent dispute resolution services for electricity, gas and water consumers in Western Australia.
Committed to act as a fair and independent dispute resolution service provider, EWOWA continues to encourage consumers and motivate smooth communication channels. It has good experience in dealing with challenging complex investigations and resolving complaints keeping in mind the consumer protection issues. It creates opportunities for providers so as to improve their relationships with customers and improve their customer services.
The philosophy of EWOWA is to work in the interests of everyone and ensure that all complaints are handled effectively and efficiently. The company supports this by acting promptly with the necessary information and provides a suitable remedy for a complaint. It works towards assisting organizations to respond effectively and immediately to the complaints. It seeks expert advice and applies the principles of procedural fairness to ensure consistency in its decision-making.
EWOWA works efficiently by conducting timely examinations of complaints and review their performance regularly. Further developments in their systems and procedures is an ongoing process so as to ensure optimum efficiency. The company believes that a good governance is an important prerequisite for a high-performance and satisfaction of its customers.
EWOWA is actively involved in ensuring quality utility services to the community. Its Regional Awareness and Accessibility Program works to enhance awareness significantly among the masses related to the energy and water resources. There are complaint clinics provided for the public to raise any concerns about electricity, gas and water services providers and workshops, trainings and meetings with stakeholders are organized to help consumers.
Energy and Water Ombudsman on Radio 6PR Nightline
The Energy and Water Ombudsman Western Australia makes steady programs on Radio 6PR’s Nightline program to listen to complaints about enquiries with the Energy & Water Ombudsman live on air.
Hearing Impaired Access
Those with hearing impairments can easily enquire services offered by the Energy and Water Ombudsman Western Australia’s through a national relay service.
Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
The Energy and Water Ombudsman Western Australia makes sure that people with disabilities too enjoy the same opportunities.
People from culturally diverse backgrounds
An interpreting and translation service is provided by the Energy and Water Ombudsman Western Australia on request to help customers from culturally diverse backgrounds to enjoy their services. The phone calls and correspondence on behalf of complainants are accepted at their office from their representatives.