In 2018, Energy UK launched the Commission for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances, to explore how customers in vulnerable circumstances could be provided better energy services in the future. The report has now been published, following a year of evidence gathering and engagement with stakeholders, and has identified seven key themes including an end to inadequate and inconsistent service, and a comprehensive regulatory framework with timely support and protection.
The report also calls for an easy identification of needs and access to support from energy suppliers, arguing that it should be easy for customers to disclose information about any vulnerabilities, with security and privacy respected, and to be given effective support.The VRS warmly welcomes this call, which mirrors the work that we are doing to support financially vulnerable consumers. It acknowledges the difficulty that energy suppliers face identifying a customer’s vulnerability, something that the VRS helps businesses to address, saying that eight out of ten customers would not tell a company if they were in a potentially vulnerable situation. The VRS helps to reduce the barriers that prevent customers disclosing information about their needs, partly by removing the concern that it will impact on future decisions made about their financial circumstances.
We are encouraged that the energy industry has acknowledged the need to improve standards in this area, and is taking active steps to do so, and look forward to working with the industry to support them in their endeavours.
The report can be read in full here