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  • Consumer vulnerability

  • Strategy

    Our core vulnerability strategy has been developed with stakeholders and is now firmly embedded into our business plan, our systems and our processes. It has helped us deliver benefits to all our customers, particularly those who are in vulnerable situations or require additional advice or assistance.

       

    Priority Services Register

    Our core purpose is to ‘keep the lights on’, but when things go wrong and electricity supply is lost, how we support our customers is just as important as restoring power quickly. Our priority from a welfare perspective is looking after our Priority Services Register (PSR) customers. Working closely with our resilience partners, well in advance of adverse weather, we proactively warn PSR customers to make them aware of the potential disruption. We also offer extra support where required, from simple advice and tips, to arranging mobile generation for customers dependent on specialist electrical medical equipment, and in extreme cases, moving customers into temporary accommodation where necessary.

    Customers who would benefit from additional help during a power cut, or adapted services at any time can apply regardless of who they pay their bills to. It is free of charge and has many benefits; further details of the PSR, and how to sign up for it, can be seen here.

       

    Inclusivity and Accessibility

    We want to be known as the most accessible and inclusive Distribution Network Operator in Great Britain. To ensure the service we provide is truly accessible and inclusive we have a panel of independently chaired experts who work alongside our Internal Inclusive Service panel. Both panels challenge our thinking, provide innovative suggestions and practical ideas to further improve the inclusive service we offer customers. We already have the most accessible website (as audited independently by Sitemorse) and provide a wide range of alternative formats and adaptations available for customers. 

    To find out more about how we make our site accessible for all users, go to our dedicated accessibility page.

       

    Mapping tool

    Getting to know our customers and stakeholders has been a central tenet of our engagement strategy. We worked together with the Centre for Sustainable Energy to develop our Customer Mapping Tool, which provides us with detailed demographic information about our communities. What sets our mapping tool apart from others in our industry is its ability to overlap multiple social indicators – such as languages and age profiles – onto any geographic region. This helps us to understand how different communities are likely to be impacted by our operations and the types of stakeholders living in that region.

    This mapping is helping us to make informed decisions about where additional assistance may be needed during power cuts and planned supply interruptions, and which communities could benefit from additional resilience planning or more promotion of the PSR.

      

    Mapping tool

    Partnerships and fuel poverty

    Experience tells us that working in partnerships achieves far more than working on our own. This is true of emergency response during storms and power cuts but also when we help customers to become more efficient with their energy usage. We are proud members of fuel poverty organisations National Energy Action and Energy Action Scotland and work with partners to provide energy efficiency advice over the phone or offer practical help and energy efficiency measures in customers’ homes. For more information on partnering with us, please email stakeholder.engagement@sse.com.

      

    BSI

    The British Standard for Inclusive Service Provision (BS 18477) is the recognised UK standard for companies seeking to provide a truly inclusive and accessible service for all customers. Not only does the external accreditation give comfort for our consumers, it also allows us the ability to learn and grow through the feedback gained during assessment of our policies, procedures and customer service.

    We’re proud to have achieved this standard every year since 2015.

    BSI

    Vulnerability Strategy Wheel 2018/19

    We understand that vulnerability issues are complex, and that there are many ways in which consumers can be vulnerable. Despite this complexity, our main objective can be summed up simply – to make our services accessible and suitable for all consumers, particularly those needing extra support.

    In order to define the various work streams, projects and measurements that make up our strategy, we have engaged with a number of external stakeholders, particularly consumer organisations, which has resulted in the creation of our vulnerability strategy wheel.

    Vulnerability Strategy Wheel 2018/19