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Social spend and reputation

An important component of a utility’s reputation is the company’s strategy towards its vulnerable customers and those struggling to pay their utility bills.

Ofgem’s newest scheme to help companies address fuel poverty is Warm Home Discount Regulations 2011 that came into effect on 1st April 2011 and supports vulnerable customers more effectively by offering better targeted support to a greater number of customers in or at risk of fuel poverty.

Based on Ofgem figures, the Big Six’s collective expenditure for the period 2009-2010 was £153m, 74% representing social and discounted tariffs, 10% rebates and discounts, 8% Trust funds, 5% Energy efficiency initiatives and 3% other initiatives.

Although the total expenditure significantly exceeded the government’s target of £125m, it represented a 3% decrease from 2008-2009 when the total spend was £157 million.

This article was written by Nicholas Chrysanthou, energy consultant analyst at Alva and released in full on Energy Business Review.

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