Regulators look to data sharing and other collaborations to help vulnerable

Ofwat and energy regulator, Ofgem, are exploring the opportunities and challenges in sharing data on vulnerable consumers across water and energy firms.

The watchdogs are working through the UK Regulators’ Network (UKRN) building on the leaflet produced by the network covering the support services available across different sectors and work on signposting whereby water and energy companies highlight each others’ support services to customers. Key themes emerging from early research have, according to UKRN, included transparency, data security and consumer trust.

The network has highlighted a number of developments including:

  • the energy sector’s soon-to-go-live codes for non-financial vulnerability data that seeks to standardise data across the sector and where “there is clear scope for this work to be replicated in water and companies are looking to move forward on this”;

  • collaboration, including data sharing, between water firms and power distribution network operators operating in the same area to help vulnerable customers; and

  • water companies’ renaming of their Priority Service Registers to align with energy sector terminology to make it easier for customers to identify support services.