Customers in vulnerable circumstances

We’ve been pleased to see that companies have taken on board challenges from Ofwat and CCWater and looked to improve their services for customers in vulnerable circumstances. We worked closely with CCWater to consider this area and thank them for their help.

Several companies have committed to large expansions of their priority services registers to ensure that customers who need additional help are identified. Companies should make sure this is delivered.

However, we’re concerned that we haven’t seen enough progress on the issue of transient vulnerability. Customers become more vulnerable the longer that they’re without water, and the shape and scope of vulnerability isn’t static. We expect to see more progress by companies in developing approaches to identify and support customers in vulnerable circumstances that fall outside their usual registers.

Improving the quality of customer data will be key in identifying customers in vulnerable circumstances. We encourage all companies to get involved in the Water UK sector-wide work that stemmed from the Out in the Cold review on this topic, and the recent UKRN facilitated work and report on data sharing between the water and energy sectors.