Energy and Water Ombudsman reappointed
Jane Pires has been reappointed as the state’s Energy and Water Ombudsman for a further 4 years.
Queensland’s dispute resolution service for energy and water consumers has been strengthened today with the 4-year reappointment of Jane Pires (pron: Perez) as the state’s Energy and Water Ombudsman.
First appointed to the role in December 2016, Ms Pires said she was pleased to continue to provide a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for Queensland energy and water consumers.
“With the rising cost of living leaving a growing number of Queenslanders unable to afford their electricity, gas and water bills, the role of an Ombudsman service is more important than ever,” she said.
“While electricity, gas and water companies in Queensland work hard to resolve their customer’s issues, including offering hardship support, sometimes independent assistance is required, with concerns about high bills, problems with estimated bills and missing rebates and concessions some of the reasons consumers contact us.
“We listen to both sides of the issue and work towards a fair outcome for residential consumers and small businesses and their energy and water providers.”
Ms Pires said affordability concerns and the impact of changing energy and water markets on consumers were growing concerns.
“As a dispute resolution service for energy and water consumers, we are on the frontline in terms of how Queenslanders are coping with rising power bills and what they are experiencing when it comes to renewables and other emerging technology,” she said.
“We are keeping a close eye on case trends associated with payment difficulties, disconnections and default listings – issues we expect to see grow in the coming year.
“We’re also monitoring complaints from embedded network customers whose power is supplied through a privately owned electricity network common in apartments, retirement villages and caravan parks, which is a new service we introduced this year.”
Ms Pires has more than 30 years’ experience in customer service, management and dispute resolution. She chairs the Standards Australia QR-015 Complaints handling committee responsible for publishing the new Australian Standard AS 10002:2022 Guidelines for complaint management in organizations in March 2022. She is also the Australian representative on the committee for international standard ISO 10002:2018 Quality management — Customer satisfaction — Guidelines for complaints handling in organizations.
Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland provides a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for Queenslanders who are unable to resolve a problem with their electricity or gas provider and also provides this service for water supply customers in South East Queensland. Visit www.ewoq.com.au or call 1800 662 837 for more information.