Western Power Distribution (WPD), the distribution network operator for the Midlands, South Wales and South West, approached us for help in running a Power Up advice hub aimed at reaching and advising their customers in South Wales who may be vulnerable in the event of a power cut.
We have extensive experience of targeting and engaging fuel-poor consumers, so we were able to offer WPD a one-stop-shop solution for finding, engaging and advising their most vulnerable customers.
We set up a referral mechanism with the WPD Priority Service Register and put in place a dedicated advice line and team to offer a range of income, tariff and energy efficiency support and advice to WPD Priority Service Register members. We also offer home visits to customers who find it easier to speak to someone face to face.
The referral mechanism is designed to work both ways so we actively target vulnerable customers through partner organisations and local events. We offer the same advice and support to these customers, as well as a referral back to WPD to be put on to their Priority Service Register.
There are now four fuel poverty Power Up projects covering the WPD operating area. In 2016 the projects were on track to support more than 6,000 vulnerable customers. A large number of these customers are benefiting financially – saving over £900,000 in total – from the support provided.