Solarplicity has been subject to almost twice as many complaints so far this year than during the whole of 2018, the Energy Ombudsman has revealed.
The supplier is however still subject to a separate provisional order in relation to feed-in-tariff payments to generators.
The Ombudsman revealed that so far this year it has received 2,009 complaints about Solarplicity compared to 1,035 during the whole of 2018.
In April the Ombudsman said it received 478 complaints about the company – a 1,200 per cent increase on the total for the same month last year when it received 36.
Matthew Vickers, chief executive at the Energy Ombudsman, said: “Billing, switching and customer service have been the main drivers of complaints.
“We have also seen a significant problem with remedy implementation, whereby Solarplicity fails to take the steps we require of it to put things right for the customer within the specified timeframe.
“This includes failure to make the necessary goodwill gesture payments and refunds, which is a concern.
“We are encouraged to see that Ofgem has identified some recent improvements in Solarplicity’s performance, and that the company has agreed to a range of ongoing measures in the form of an undertaking aimed at making further improvements.
“It’s important for consumers that these improvements are significant and sustained. We will therefore work closely with both the regulator and the company as we continue to monitor the situation.
“We continue to offer our help and support to Solarplicity as it seeks to improve its complaint handling and customer service more broadly.”
A Solarplicity spokesperson responded: “During the 12 weeks of the provisional order, which Ofgem lifted [22 May], the number of complaints we received and resolved actually fell week-on-week.
“In May we reached our lowest recorded levels yet, with 95 per cent of complaints being resolved in less than ten days. Ofgem’s regulatory process has been rigorous and thorough. It required us to significantly improve our performance for the order to be lifted – and we have done so in this and all other aspects of our customer service.
“Like other energy providers, we have seen an increase in customers choosing to complain first to the Ombudsman rather than coming to us directly, where we can resolve matters more quickly. We are addressing this and will be encouraging customers to come to us first going forward.”
When Ofgem revealed its decision to not confirm the customer service provisional order a spokesperson for the regulator said: “The supplier has significantly improved its customer service arrangements in relation to complaints handling and the switching process. However, Ofgem still has some concerns in relation to how it treats vulnerable customers and those struggling to pay their bills.
“We will be actively monitoring Solarplicity’s performance in these areas and the supplier has committed to provide weekly reports to us.
“If Solarplicity does not improve in these areas, Ofgem reserves the right to take further enforcement action.
“Solarplicity has also agreed to not take on new customers until 5 August other than customers through community energy schemes which it will limit to 200 per week.”