Parent company, Together Energy, was one of the first UK suppliers to sign up to the Commitment which will see Bristol Energy deliver on a series of commitments that go above and beyond existing license obligations.
The range of commitments which will be rolled out in 2021 include:
- Appointing a Board level ‘champion’ to take responsibility for meeting the Commitment and improving support to vulnerable households.
- Training front line call centre staff to help better identify vulnerable callers and assist them.
- Providing a freephone number for customers in financial hardship where appropriate.
- Seeking feedback from customers on whether billing communications are understandable and implementing improvements where necessary.
- Regular customer research to ensure approach to supporting vulnerable households is informed and up to date.
- Supporting the development of a best practice guide on using smart technology to identify self-disconnection.
Richard Orna, Managing Director, Bristol Energy said: “This initiative is greatly welcomed and will hopefully ensure a consistent level of customer service throughout the industry. Vulnerability does not just apply to those in financial difficulties but it extends to people living with a disability, other conditions, or bereavement, all of which have to be treated uniquely, with sensitivity and empathy.”
Independent assessments will be undertaken to ensure each energy supplier’s performance is meeting the Commitment criteria.
Commenting on the launch of the Vulnerability Commitment Energy UK’s Deputy Chief Executive, Audrey Gallacher, said: “The energy sector provides an essential service and moved quickly to help customers affected by the pandemic by increasing the amount of support it gives. The Vulnerability Commitment is a result of our work with consumers and their representatives to better understand what help is needed. And the suppliers who have already signed up are sending an important message, which is that we want to go above and beyond existing measures and to continuously improve the quality of support to vulnerable households.”
Full details of the Vulnerability Commitment can be found on the Energy UK website.