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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
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
We’re proud to have achieved this standard every year since 2015.
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.