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Energy UK has appointed Steve Crabb as the independent Chair of the Vulnerability Commitment

Steve Crabb has been appointed to the role of independent Chair of the Vulnerability Commitment.

The Vulnerability Commitment came into effect at the start of 2021 with suppliers serving nearly three quarters of the domestic market committing to improving the support they provide to vulnerable households.   

Each supplier’s performance against the commitments made through the Vulnerability Commitment will be assessed each year by an expert panel chaired by Steve.

Furthermore, Steve will be supported by an Advisory Board who will help the Chair in ensuring the Vulnerability Commitment is kept up to date and evolves to the latest trends in support for customers in vulnerable circumstances.

Audrey Gallacher, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy at Energy UK said:

“Steve brings a wealth of experience of customer advocacy and support for customers in vulnerable circumstances to the role of Chair of the Vulnerability Commitment. I’m confident he will be able to support and challenge the signatories to meet their commitments and manage the reviews and assessments as well as shape and evolve the Vulnerability Commitment into the future and to continuously improve support for vulnerable households.”

Steve Crabb, newly appointed Chair of the Vulnerability Commitment said;

“I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to drive the Vulnerability Commitment forward. It has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of energy customers who are at risk of vulnerability by encouraging suppliers to innovate, collaborate with charities and other experts, and work with customers themselves to drive continuous improvement in the services they offer.”

Notes

  • Steve Crabb is a specialist in consumer strategy and policy, with a particular focus on the needs of customers in vulnerable circumstances, and on the energy and water industries. He started his career as a business journalist, editing the multi-award winning ‘People Management’ magazine from 2000 to 2008 and being recognized by the British Society of Magazine Editors as ‘editor of the year’ in 2008.  He went on to hold senior roles in charities including the Alzheimer’s Society and the British Lung Foundation before setting up the first dedicated consumer vulnerability team at a global energy supplier and services company, where his consumer vulnerability and corporate citizenship remit covered the UK, Ireland and North America. He was commissioned by the Prime Minister’s dementia challenge group to create best practice guidance on the care of vulnerable older customers for the whole of the utilities sector, and served for three years in a personal capacity on Ofgem’s sustainable development advisory group. In 2020 he helped the water regulator Ofwat develop its future thinking on key consumer strategy issues including vulnerability. He has campaigned against ageism and other forms of discrimination in the workplace, and for the better treatment of people living with dementia and mental health challenges. He is a member of the advisory panel of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.
  • Energy UK launched the Vulnerability Commitment in December 2020 to take effect from 1st January 2021
  • Here is a link to the full set of principles and commitments which form the Vulnerability Commitment
  • The commitment was a recommendation of the independently-chaired Commission for Vulnerable Customers as part of its final report
  • Steve undertook his first external engagement by giving evidence at the APPG for Terminal Illness yesterday alongside Energy UK Policy Manager, Daniella Weduwer. Steve outlined how the Vulnerability Commitment would support customers in vulnerable circumstances
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