Ofwat chief executive says "it makes sense that water and energy companies should work together"

Ofwat and Ofgem have called on their respective sectors to pool their efforts to ensure vulnerable customers get the support they need.

A new report produced by the watchdogs through the UK Regulators Network states while there are already examples of water and energy companies working together to help vulnerable customers, more needs to be done.

In particular, it calls on both utility sectors to pool their efforts and ensure vulnerable customers are able to access the extra help that is available.

It states by identifying customers that are vulnerable, companies should offer priority support, provide bills in formats which are easier to read and understand or move meters, when they are difficult to reach.

The chief executive of Ofwat, Cathryn Ross, said “it makes sense that water and energy companies should work together where they can”.

“Today’s report highlights some really good and practical examples of how the water and energy sectors can pull together to help those who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.”

The chief executive of Ofgem, Dermot Nolan, added: “By working together and innovating, energy and water companies can identify and support their customers in vulnerable circumstances more effectively.

“Through the UK Regulators Network, Ofwat and Ofgem have joined up to encourage this approach,’ added Nolan.

Last week, Water UK and Energy Networks Association (ENA) launched a scheme, which aims to improve the process for customers signing up to the Priority Service Register (PSR) – a free service provided by utility companies.

Customers in a vulnerable situation will now be able to register once to get help instead of having to provide details to multiple utility companies.

And earlier this month, Energy UK and the Money Advice Trust published a new guide to help energy suppliers identify and support vulnerable customers.