Examining how utilities are tackling the key issues of vulnerability and affordability

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Overall satisfaction with customer service has dipped to an all-time low for the energy sector, research from Ofgem has revealed. The regulator’s quarterly consumer perception of the energy market survey has polled thousands of customers each quarter since Q4 2018.
The sharing of smart data within and between sectors offers a “valuable opportunity” to help vulnerable consumers, the government has argued in a new report. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said it could allow charities and debt advisors to quickly gauge their financial position and provide more personalised guidance.


The debate over decarbonisation of heat is marked by polarised views from the passionate advocates of electrification and green gas - each with a statistic at the ready to prove their case. As part of Utility Week’s Countdown to COP series, David Blackman unpicks the arguments and examines the key question for policymakers - what role hydrogen will have in warming the homes of the future?
Debt and collections leaders in utilities remain braced for the wave of debt and affordability woes they know will come with the end of government’s coronavirus support measures. Are they armed with the right products, resources and data to service the new scale and profile of customers in arrears?
New research commissioned by Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has shown that just one in five Brits believe that we can meet the UK’s net carbon zero target by 2050, but that there is also a strong public appetite for a greener future. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, chief executive Mark Horsley shares his views on how the gas sector must win hearts and minds as 2050 draws nearer.

Latest in Customers

So far, as was pointed out during Utility Week's online discussion forum last Friday, there has been little public debate on proposals in the Water White Paper. That should change as the implications begin to filter into the public consciousness.
It's tough being a water company right now. Consumer and industrial demand is affecting availability, managing the obsolescence of complex, distributed assets is a challenge and the regulator is shifting the incentive model in favour of customer experience.
43 per cent of people are worries they can't afford their next fuel bill, according to a survey of 2,000 people by Citizens Advice. The charity is now handling 500 fuel-related problems each day and has urged consumers to check they are getting support they are entitled to from energy suppliers and government.
In a water white paper published last month, government pledged to shake up the water industry. It set out plans that would eventually allow all non-domestic customers to choose their supplier, exposing water companies to competition in many cases for the first time. The government wants companies to be more responsive to customers and the environment, but has it done enough to make sure water remains affordable, and will it give companies and customers the tools they need to manage demand? Have your say in our live webchat, starting at 3pm. The webchat will scroll in a "Cover It Live" panel immediately below this paragraph. To have your say, use the comment box in the panel - no login required.
SSE is the next major energy supplier to announce a price cut. The firm will cut gas prices by 4.5 per cent as of 26 March and promised not to raise electricity prices until October at the earliest.
Calor Gas, the UK's biggest provider of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has announced plans to be the first rural energy supplier to become an energy services company (Esco).

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