The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) is a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for unresolved complaints with your electricity, gas or water supplier. Before you contact EWOQ with your complaint, you must first try to resolve the problem with your electricty, gas or water company.
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About EWOQ

What we do

The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) is a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service if you are unable to resolve a complaint with your electricity, gas or water supplier. We are committed to providing an effective, efficient and confidential service for residential and small business energy customers across Queensland and water customers in south east Queensland. With offices in Brisbane, Rockhampton and Cairns we can work directly with you and your supplier to investigate and resolve complaints.

The EWOQ functions which are legislated under the Energy and Water Ombudsman Act 2006 are:

  • receive and investigate energy issues in Queensland and water issues in south east Queensland
  • manage dispute resolution between customers and energy and water entities
  • promote the services of EWOQ
  • identify systemic energy and water issues.

 

Vision, commitments and values

  • Our vision

    • Providing Queenslanders an independent and effective way of resolving disputes with their energy and water suppliers.
  • Our commitments

    • Our service: we provide a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service, which is evolving with the changing landscape of our sector.
    • Our customers: we resolve compliants efficiently and effectively, communicating meaningfully and building trust with our customers. If we can't help, we explain why and suggest who can.
    • Our connections: we create impact through our connections, raising awareness of our service among communites who may need us, and providing value to our members and industry.
    • Our people: we are committed problem solvers, working together to improve our service and ourselves. Our values guide our motivations and our outcomes.
  • Our values

    • Respect
    • Integrity
    • Competency
    • Accountability
    • Excellence

 

History of EWOQ

The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) was first established as the Energy Ombudsman Queensland (EOQ) on 1 July 2007, to provide a free and independent dispute resolution service for small electricity and reticulated gas customers in Queensland. On 1 January 2011, our jurisdiction was expanded to investigate complaints about water suppliers in south-east Queensland, and EOQ became EWOQ. On 1 January 2016, our jurisdiction was further expanded to investigate privacy and credit reporting complaints.

 

What is an ombudsman?

An ombudsman is an independent official who represents the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints reported by individual citizens.

The modern meaning arose from its use in Sweden, with the Parliamentary Ombudsman instituted in 1809 to safeguard the rights of citizens. The word ombudsman is not gender specific and derives from the Old Norse word ‘umbudsman’, meaning ‘representative’.

Ombudsman services are free and they can help you with complaints about:

  • banks, credit cards, loans
  • federal government services
  • electricity, gas and water companies
  • mobiles, training and internet providers
  • financial advice, superannuation, stockbrocking
  • insurance - car, travel and home services
  • state government services
  • universities and TAFEs
  • and more...

See the Ombudsman Services in Australia fact sheet.

 

Essential criteria for describing a body as an ombudsman

The Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association (ANZOA) has developed a policy statement setting out six essential criteria - independence, jurisdiction, powers, accessibility, procedural fairness and accountability - which it says the public are entitled to expect of any office described as an ombudsman.

See the Essential criteria for describing a body as an ombudsman policy statement.