Systemic issues

A systemic issue is a problem that a customer has with an energy or water company that affects, or could affect, more than one customer.

Under the Energy and Water Ombudsman Act 2006, we need to identify any systemic issues that arise from complaints to us.

Causes of systemic issues

Many factors can cause a systemic issue, including:

  • human error
  • inadequate planning
  • lack of policies or procedures
  • poor training
  • failed systems.

Identifying systemic issues

We identify potential systemic issues in several ways:

  • Our investigation team monitors complaints and identifies potential systemic issues through our case management system.
  • We stay informed about current and emerging systemic issues through advice from the Advisory Council and our relationships with scheme participants, and government and ombudsmen agencies.
  • Scheme participants may tell us about a systemic issue.

Responding to systemic issues

When we identify a systemic issue, we tell the scheme participant, and advise on how the issue could be resolved and how to stop it re-occurring.

We also tell the relevant regulatory agency if a systemic issue could breach or violate a legislative code or licence.

We don’t have any enforcement or prosecution powers.

Contact us

Please contact us if you know of a systemic issue in your energy or water company.