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Energy UK responds to Ofgem’s review on supplier support for vulnerable customers

Responding to Ofgem’s review of how energy suppliers are helping vulnerable customers this winter and beyond, Energy UK’s Director of Advocacy, Dhara Vyas, said:

“Identifying and supporting vulnerable customers is already a top priority for retail suppliers, and many go above and beyond as demonstrated in our good practice summary of our vulnerability commitment.

“This includes setting up and training dedicated teams, providing millions of pounds in customer support funding, partnering with charities and third parties and encouraging people to sign up to the Priority Services Register.

“Our members have responded swiftly to Ofgem’s review – including providing additional documentation to demonstrate where processes were already in place, and will continue to look at all the ways they can make sure people get the help and support they need.”



Read examples of suppliers going above and beyond to support vulnerable customers in our Vulnerability Commitment Good Practice Summary report.


Energy UK’s Vulnerability Commitment

12 energy retail suppliers covering 80% of the market have signed up to Energy UK’s Vulnerability Commitment, committing to drive continuous improvement in support for customers in vulnerable circumstances

The Commitment is designed to go above and beyond existing licence obligations and includes requirements to implement specific training for frontline staff, assign a dedicated board-level or equivalent Vulnerability Champion and undertake consumer research to ensure the company’s approach to supporting vulnerable customers is informed and up-to-date.

Each year, an independent expert panel assesses each supplier’s performance against the Vulnerability Commitment under the criteria of accessibility, collaboration and innovation.

More information about the Vulnerability Commitment is available here.


Additional support for customers

  • Despite rising costs, and increased pressure, energy suppliers continue to increase the support they provide to customers, including additional funding for customers in fuel poverty.
  • All major retail suppliers have their own funds, independently managed by fund administrators or in partnership with consumer bodies like Citizens Advice.
  • Suppliers in the UK provide discretionary support of around £54 million on top of the more than £1 billion in mandatory schemes they deliver every year. 
  • These mandatory schemes are to help people struggling with energy bills. This includes the funding for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Warm Home Discount (WHD).
  • Suppliers have a range of support for customers which they put into place at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and have committed to continuing including:
    • Payment holidays
    • Restructured payment plans
    • Credit advances to customers on pre-payment meters
  • Recognising that a growing number of customers will require support, many suppliers have increased customer service resource, from hiring more front-line advisors to setting up dedicated affordability support teams.

More examples from each supplier are available here.