This blog was written by Andrew Humphreys.
On 29th November, SAVVI Coach, Andrew Humphreys, delivered a lightning talk at an event hosted by 1Spatial to launch a community of interest focused on a national Priority Services Register for the utilities industry.
All utilities suppliers are required by their regulator to operate a “Priority Services Register” or PSR, which is a way of prioritising certain services for customers who may be in a greater level of need, e.g. because of the cost of living crisis or during an incident that might disrupt utility supply. Placing customers on their PSRs also enables them to access other schemes that include reduced utility rates or other support, depending on their circumstances.
One of the main challenges for utility providers is how to capture, store and use data about their customers to identify which might become vulnerable during a utility outage or because of the cost of living crisis. Placing customers onto a PSR traditionally relied on consent, which means as few as 50% of eligible customers may appear on their utility suppliers’ PSRs.
The event was very well attended, including by Central Government departments, the Welsh Government, utilities suppliers and even global cloud computing and infrastructure providers and there was a strong consensus among those present that data could be used to a much better extent to find those who are eligible and place them on PSRs. The main outcome was that those present agreed to form a community of interest to identify good practice, which SAVVI is pleased to be part of.
SAVVI is already working with Wigan Council and United Utilities to explore how the SAVVI approach can be used to support the two organisations to exchange data for the benefit of vulnerable customers. We’re looking forward to developing and sharing a reusable data sharing proposition for using local authority data to identify those who are eligible for additional support from their utility supplier.
1Spatial has summarised the points raised in discussion on the day here.