Make a complaint

You can make a complaint about what a registered or authorised worker did when they carried out electrical work (or gave instructions for the work to be carried out) for you or for someone else. You can make a complaint about any person not authorised or licensed to carry out electrical work, doing electrical work. You may also make a complaint against a company if you believe its actions led to the unsatisfactory electrical work.

A complaint will only progress against a registered person if it is likely that a disciplinary offence under the Electricity Act 1992 has occurred, for example where:

  • the electrical work was done in an negligent or incompetent way
  • the work done did not meet the requirements of the appropriate regulations or standards
  • the work created a risk of serious harm to any person, or significant damage to property
  • the work done was outside the restrictions or limitations applying to the registered person who undertook the work
  • mandatory documents such as Electrical Safety Certificates or Certificates of Compliance were not provided or were misleading.

A complaint will progress against a non-registered person or a company if, for example

  • the person was not authorised to undertake electrical work, or
  • unauthorised people were employed to do electrical work.

The complaints process does not cover things like overcharging or damage to property as these are not disciplinary offences. If you have this type of complaint, consider contacting your local Citizens Advice Bureau (external link) . You may be referred to the Disputes Tribunal (external link) or Ministry of Consumer Affairs (external link) .

Reporting unsafe electrical work or an unsafe product

If you think electrical work or an electrical appliance is unsafe, contact Energy Safety (external link) . Freephone: 0800 030 040.

Lodging a complaint

A complaint about electrical work must be made in writing and sent to the Registrar. You need to tell the Registrar:

  • where and when the electrical work was done
  • who asked for the electrical work to be done
  • who did it and their registration (if known) and contact details
  • the name and address of any company involved (if applicable)
  • what electrical work was done
  • what you think is wrong with the electrical work or the way it was done
  • your full contact details.

You should also send copies of any relevant paperwork, for example, certificates of compliance, invoices, quotes, correspondence etc and photographs of the work.

Forms for lodging a complaint are available on this website, or will be posted to you on request by telephoning 0800 66 1000. However, complaints made in writing, by email or letter, provided they contain all of the details listed above, are acceptable.

Form for lodging a complaint [PDF, 173 KB]

What happens to your complaint

If the Registrar considers that your complaint is of a frivolous or vexatious nature or doesn't warrant an investigation the Registrar will acknowledge the receipt of your complaint and advise you that no action will be taken.
If the Registrar does not consider your complaint to be frivolous or vexatious the Registrar will appoint an Investigator, acknowledge the receipt of your complaint and advise that your complaint will be investigated.

As part of the investigation, the Investigator will:

  • Provide full details of the complaint to the worker you have complained about. Your name will be released to that person unless there are very good reasons not to
  • Seek additional/supporting information and/or seek clarification of information you have provided
  • Seek information from other parties involved and from witnesses
  • Give the person complained about the chance to provide an explanation in response to your complaint.

The Investigator may:

  • Have an independent person investigate the electrical work (usually a registered electrical Inspector)
  • Ask that any information (from you or other parties) is supported by a statutory declaration
  • Enter any land or premises for the purpose of the investigation (if necessary, a Court Order can be obtained for this purpose)

The Investigator considers the complaint and reports to the Board. If the Investigator determines the complaint should not be heard by the Board, the matter ends there. However, if the Investigator determines the complaint should be heard by the Board, the Board must hold a disciplinary hearing, or consider prosecution.

Electrical Workers Registration Board hearing process

Conducting disciplinary hearings is one of the main functions of the Board. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if a disciplinary offence has been committed by the registered worker you have complained about, and if it has, to decide what discipline and penalties are to be imposed. The Board must also, after investigation, consider referring matters concerning unregistered persons or companies to the Courts for prosecution.

The Board will try to hold the hearing at the main centre closest to where the worker you have complained about lives. Hearings are usually held in public and you may wish to attend. You are entitled to attend the hearing as the complainant. The Board may pay the expenses involved with you attending the hearing. The Board has the power to have a summons issued requiring you to attend.

Hearings are a formal procedure. Witnesses are sworn in before they give evidence. The Board and the worker you complained about can call witnesses, and each party is able to cross-examine. This means that if you appear as the complainant it is likely you and your witnesses will be questioned by the worker you complained about (or his/her representative).

If the Board finds the registered worker you complained about not guilty of a disciplinary offence, the matter ends there.

If the Board finds the registered worker guilty of a disciplinary offence, it will (usually) impose penalties which can include:

  • removal of registration
  • suspension of registration
  • removal of the right to do electrical work
  • the requirement to undergo training or sit examinations
  • censure, or
  • a fine.

Non-registered workers and companies may be referred to the Courts for prosecution if the Board considers there is a case to answer. If it considers there is insufficient merit to the complaint, the matter ends there.

For matters which may be regarded as minor infringement offences by unauthorised persons or companies, the Registrar has the ability to issue infringement notices without reference to the Board.