Ofgem to review WPD’s record on vulnerable customers

Ofgem has announced that it is launching an investigation into whether Western Power Distribution (WPD) has acted in compliance with rules around updating its Priority Services Register.

Ofgem to review WPD’s record on vulnerable customers

The investigation will also look into whether WPD customers on the register have been kept updated with the right information.

Western Power Distribution is the electricity distribution network operator for the Midlands, South Wales and the South West.

Customers can ask to be entered on the Priority Services Register if they are of pensionable age; are disabled or chronically sick; have a long-term medical condition; have a hearing or visual impairment or additional communication needs; or are in a vulnerable situation.

Alternatively, names must be placed on the Priority Services Register (PSR) if their electricity supplier makes this request.

Ofgem’s Standard Licence Condition (SLC) 10 for licensed electricity distributors sets out various obligations relating to customers on the PSR, including a duty to establish and maintain a PSR, a duty to give information and advice to PSR customers and a requirement to publicise PSR services and procedures.

The investigation relates to whether Western Power Distribution (East Midlands), Western Power Distribution (South Wales), Western Power Distribution (South West) and Western Power Distribution (West Midlands) acted in compliance with SLC 10.

SLC 10 also says that the licensee must provide information, for instance on any planned interruptions, free of charge to any PSR customer, if asked to do so by the customer or their representative, and respond to any additional communication needs the customer may have.

In addition, the licensee must prepare statements, in plain and intelligible language, that set out and explain its arrangements for complying with its obligations under the relevant parts of SLC 10.

Ofgem stresses that the opening of this investigation does not imply that it has made any findings about non-compliance by WPD.

 


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