7th February


Community, Faith and Local Interest Groups, Charity / Third Sector Agencies




To ensure that the strategic direction that we are taking in relation to supporting customers in vulnerable circumstances is still in line with stakeholder preferences and to hear challenge and feedback on a number of new initiatives. The workshop also aimed to help us to identify emerging issues in order to inform our engagement programme for 2020/21.


You identified a number of emerging issues for you in the workshop and prioritised future energy and understanding how to reach and engage effectively with vulnerable customer touchpoints and how we can innovate to make a difference as the two most important.

Considering this feedback, our engagement plan for the next 12 months will be focused on addressing these emerging issues and exploring how we can work together to cocreate effective solutions and support systems for customers and make sure vulnerable customers are not left behind.

There was positive feedback on our plans to establish a Hardship Fund during discussions about our five enhanced commitments to support our customers in vulnerable situations over the next six years. We asked how we should prioritise these, and there was a high level of support for us to focus on bringing forward our plans for the hardship fund in 20/21.

In response to this feedback, we will test our approach to the hardship fund. This will involve formalising 4 partnerships to help support the delivery of the fund with Communitas Energy, British Lung Foundation, Gas Safety Trust and National Energy Action.

You told us our plans for establishing a  Customer and Vulnerability Competency Framework was the right approach as long as colleagues are well educated and supported.  You also told us that using lived experiences could really help to deliver meaningful training, and that we should draw on the strength of our existing partnerships.

We have set up a pilot session to trial the basic element with operational colleagues. From here we will co-design the content, fully assess the time involved, and make sure that colleagues have the relevant and appropriate support in place. We are also working with partner organisations to arrange lived-experience sessions, with the potential to build these into the patch and indicator specific training elements.