Ofgem Review of the Priority Services Register

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Ofgem Review of the Priority Services Register

Post by ALEO Admin » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:23 pm

CAN National will be providing a response to Ofgem's Review of the Priority Services Register Consultation.

You can provide comments, either by posting to this forum or emailing the CAN Secretariat rob.leeson@can.uk.net. Your comments can be related to any of the specific consultation questions or more general views. We would also be very interested If you are providing your own response to the consultation and would like to send this to us for consideration.

The consultation deadline is 22 September, however, we would like to hear your views by 12 September, please, to allow time for us to incorporate them into our response.

Please refer to Ofgem's full consultation document, which is available from:
https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publicat ... review.pdf

The consultation questions are as follows:

Question 1: Do you agree that energy companies should be required to offer non-financial services with the aim of equalising outcomes for customers?
Question 2: Do you agree that we should continue to prescribe a minimum set of services? Do you support the proposed list of services? What additional services, if any, do you think energy companies should be required to provide?
Question 3: If applicable, what services do you currently provide and what are the current costs of providing services (please break down by service). What financial impact do you think widening eligibility in the way we have proposed will have? Please provide evidence to support your answer.
Question 4: Do you agree that we should move away from requiring energy companies to provide services to disabled, chronically sick and pensionable age customers to an approach which requires energy companies to take reasonable steps to identify and provide appropriate services to any customer with safety, access or communication needs?
Question 5: Do you agree that energy companies should be required to maintain a wider register of consumers that they have identified as being in a vulnerable situation?

Question 6: Do you agree that suppliers, DNOs and GDNs should share information about customers’ needs with: a) each other? b) other utilities?
Question 7: Should energy companies be required to share information about customers’ needs with other fuel providers such as LPG, heating oil distributors. How could the transfer of this information work? What are the benefits and risks of sharing the information?
Question 8: Do you agree that we should stipulate the minimum details that we expect energy companies to share, for example that names and phone numbers must be shared where they are available? Is there any other information that should be shared and for what purposes?
Question 9: Do you agree that energy companies should agree common minimum ‘needs codes’ to facilitate the sharing of information? Should we require energy companies to agree these codes? How might this work and what mechanisms are already in place to facilitate this? What role would Ofgem need to have in this process?
Question 10: Should information about a customers’ needs be shared with their new supplier when they switch? What is the best way to facilitate the sharing of this information?

Question 11: Do you agree that a single cross-industry brand will raise awareness of priority services?
Question 12: Do you agree that a guidance document would help advice providers and raise awareness? Who should produce this document?
Question 13: What more can be done to raise awareness of priority services?

Question 14: Do you agree that supplier independent audits are the best way of monitoring companies’ compliance with our proposed obligations? Do you have views on the approach the audit should take and what it should cover?

wendy sherwood
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:22 am

Re: CAN Response: Ofgem Review of the Priority Services Regi

Post by wendy sherwood » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:22 pm

I agree that energy companies should be required to offer support to equal outcomes for customers. The mimimum set of services should be prescribed and this should be mandated rather than left to fuel companies to take resaonable steps as this will only promote the status quo. I am not sure of the added value in fuel companies maintaining a wider range of consumers as most vulnerable people can be registered adequately within the current range. Sensible data sharing should occur, although this is always problematic. There should be a central database capturing all vulnerable people so distributors and suppliers can see if their customers require assistance, thus removing the need to share this information when the customer changes supplier. Permission to datashare should be sought from the outset. DNO's are propably best placed to be custodian of this data because they are more proactive than suppliers and suppliers may only sign people up to reach a required quoto rather than for the sake of the customer. Having names and phone numbers is crucial, especially when networks may be interrupted and also to contact customers for an update. More should definately be done to communicate and raise awareness of priority services as most people have not heard of it and this also relates to advice agencies who should all be aware of this service. Referal to this service is not advertised and waiting in a phone queue to register someone with a fuel company PS register can take too long. A guidance document and cross industry brand would help - maybe this should be commissioned by an advice agancy such as CAB who could ensure ease of access for customers? Audits need to be done to monitor supplier compliance and it should be conducted by Ofgem.

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