Vulnerability and mental health guide launched for energy sector

A new guide to help energy suppliers identify and support consumers in vulnerable circumstances has been launched by the Money Advice Trust (MAT) and trade body Energy UK.

LinkedIn Twitter
LinkedIn Twitter

The guide, Vulnerability, mental health, and the energy sector: A guide to help identify and support consumers, was launched this week (October 9). It provides practical tools for frontline staff to use with consumers in a range of vulnerable situations.


Consumer vulnerability is high on the energy industry’s agenda following Ofgem’s recently modified domestic Standards of Conduct requiring gas and electricity suppliers to better identify consumers in vulnerable situations.


Energy UK said with the number of energy suppliers increasing, this guide comes at an important time to assist suppliers in training staff to improve their support to customers.


The guide has been written by vulnerability leads at MAT, Chris Fitch and Colin Trend, who have drawn on the charity’s experience of working with collections staff to improve the experience and outcomes of customers with mental health problems and in vulnerable circumstances.


Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said: “This is a challenge that is not unique to energy companies - across our society we need to take huge leaps forward in recognising and responding to the impact that mental health issues can have on a large part of the population.”


In addition to covering a range of vulnerable situations, the guide includes specific guidance on helping consumers with mental health problems or mental capacity limitations.


The guide covers four key areas for energy suppliers:

  • Meanings – what vulnerability, mental health and mental capacity all mean and their relationships.
  • Fundamentals – practical guidance identifying customers in vulnerable situations through to support.
  • Focus – specific insights for suppliers on working with consumers with mental health problems or mental capacity limitations.
  • Organisation – what steps suppliers can take to better support staff and develop organisational skills and confidence.


With increasing awareness of vulnerability and mental health in the industry, and the launch of events like World Mental Health Day and the Heads Together campaign, PayPlan said the stigmas around these topics is slowly being removed.


Emma Gibbons, a client support specialist at debt advice provider PayPlan, said more people are being open about their mental health concerns.


She added: “Since November last year, our advisers have seen more than 1,000 new vulnerable people contacting us about their debts, prepared to speak openly about their issues. Over the last 18 months this number is increasing month on month.”



Leading the field: The Utilities & Telecoms Awards winners 2017

The winners of the seventh Utilities & Telecoms Awards have been revealed, following a ceremony at The Nottingham Belfry last night.

Water companies under fire for managing indebted customers

Water companies are lagging behind other sectors where it comes to dealing with customers who are struggling to pay their bills, according to the industry’s regulator Ofwat

Ofcom announces rule changes for debt collection and communication

Ofcom has updated its communication rules to protect customers from nuisance calls and improve debt collection practices

The CS Interview

Renaissance man
LinkedIn Twitter

Renaissance man


Engineering a self-service solution in car finance
LinkedIn Twitter

Engineering a self-service solution in car finance


"It’s up to the financial services industry to help teach students the necessary skills to manage their finances"
LinkedIn Twitter

"It’s up to the financial services industry to help teach students the necessary skills to manage their finances"


Lloyds results reveal £2bn of debt in forbearance
LinkedIn Twitter

Lloyds results reveal £2bn of debt in forbearance

Upcoming events

Mortgage Conference 2017

F5 Conference 2017

Commercial Finance Conference 2017

The Corporate M&A Exchange 2017

Credit Strategy

Did you find our website useful?

Thank you for your input

Thank you for your feedback – an online news and information service for the UK’s commercial and consumer credit industry. is published by Shard Financial Media Limited, registered in England & Wales as 5481132, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen St, London, SE1 1YT. All rights reserved. Credit Strategy is committed to diversity in the workplace.
@ Copyright Shard Media Group