Customer complaints about energy suppliers have reached a three year low, according to Ofgem.
The watchdog said there was a 32% drop in the number of complaints last year compared to 2015.
But firms were still forced to hand back £3.3million in financial awards made by the Energy Ombudsman.
Ofgem said most large and medium suppliers solved on average at least 90 per cent of complaints within 8 weeks.
After this deadline complaints may be referred by individuals to the Energy Ombudsman.
Data released by the Ombudsman today reveals that between January to December 2016, it required suppliers to ‘hand back’ £3.3m through financial awards it made through case remedies.
At the same time the Energy Ombudsman is taking action to drive up standards amongst suppliers.
In May 2015 the Energy Ombudsman introduced new requirements that mean failure to implement remedies within 28 days are met by tougher penalties. This has led to a reduction in the time that consumers are waiting for their awards to be implemented.
Ofgem CEO Dermot Nolan said: “Ofgem welcomes the overall fall in complaints since 2014.
“We are seeing clear signs that some suppliers are competing harder on customer service. This is good, as it puts pressure on poor-performing companies to up their game or lose market share.
“We want to see all suppliers to take steps to bring down complaints further. We take strict action where we see companies failing and have imposed over £50 million penalties for companies for poor customer service.”
Chief Ombudsman, Lewis Shand Smith, added: “The steady decrease in the volume of complaints over the last year is encouraging for the energy industry as it indicates that providers are improving their service and complaints handling.
“At the same time consumers are rightly more demanding of their energy suppliers than ever before, taking service as well as cost into account. Having easy access to the data we are publishing today gives consumers the power to make informed decisions about their energy provision.
“It’s clear that energy companies’ steps to improve their customer service are starting to pay off, but there is still more that could be done to ensure the service customers receive matches their expectations.”