Vulnerability

Latest in Vulnerability

A new survey from National Energy Action (NEA) has highlighted the “extreme coping strategies” some low-income households are willing to adopt to keep up with their water bills.  The poll of 4,000 households conducted by YouGov found 41% of the more than 800 respondents with an annual income of less than £20,000 have, or would, wash less to lower their water bill.
News
Cadent Foundation director Julia Dwyer sets out a model for maximising the impact of innovation targeted at tackling fuel poverty. Partnership, flexibility and an ability to look beyond regulated needs codes are its key hallmarks.
Comment
Energy Ombudsman chief executive Matthew Vickers has said it will be “a real pivotal issue” over the next few years to assess how well platforms and systems designed for tech-savvy prosumers will cope with legacy consumers.
News
A charity has revealed the extent of the impact the pandemic has had on people with disabilities, with some forgoing meals in order to save energy. Scope, a disability equality charity, conducted an Opinium survey of more than 1,000 disabled people and has released the results in a report titled Covid-19, energy suppliers and their disabled customers.
News
There is widespread recognition across utilities of the need for a single shared priority services register. So what is standing in the way? Adam John asks the experts.
Analysis
Incomplete occupancy data can lead to bills being sent to vacant homes or the wrong person and can lead to regulatory fines if a company exceeds its permitted number of void properties. Utility Week talks to Sagacity about actively managing this data.
Analysis
Long gone are the days when energy companies merely supplied power, Matthew Vickers believes. Today retailers are providing some of the most sophisticated types of customer service available, which the Energy Ombudsman chief executive describes as akin to social work. Speaking to Utility Week, Vickers explains why we must tread carefully when making comparisons with other industries, his caution around increasing digitsation and his fears about “empathy” becoming the latest corporate buzzword.
Interviews
Consumer watchdog CCW has set water companies a target of raising awareness of the priority services register from its current 42 per cent to 75 per cent by 2030. As part of a series of goals aimed at vulnerable customers, CCW also wants to helps turn around a situation where currently 51 per cent view the communication from their water company as poor.
News
Emma Clancy is only the second chief executive of water watchdog CCW, formerly CCWater, since it was formed in 2005. She talks to Utility Week about the advantage of a fresh perspective and the need to reposition the organisation as "part of the solution as well as pointing out the problem".
Interviews
Citizens Advice is pushing for the creation of an ‘essential services taskforce’ to simplify and improve the support received by vulnerable customers. In its ‘Getting support to those who need it’ report the consumer charity outlines a number of challenges faced by vulnerable customers, namely the complicated process of supplying multiple service providers with their relevant data.
News
The reach of utilities firms into disadvantaged areas is a rare commodity, which can be harnessed to great effect when it comes to driving social mobility, say Rt Hon Justine Greening, Social Mobility Pledge founder and former Education Secretary; and Louise Beardmore, Customer Services and People Director at United Utilities
Opinion
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