Identifying vulnerable situations and fuel poverty


Intended audience

Front line staff and volunteers working with people who are vulnerable/ potentially vulnerable in the energy sector and at risk from fuel poverty. Attendees can either be supporting the public face-to-face or via the telephone.

Course aim

The course aims to make delegates aware of the definitions of vulnerability used in the energy sector and how to identify those who are at risk of finding themselves in vulnerable situations. It will also explain fuel poverty, the how to identify those at risk and the impacts of living in a cold home.

Course objectives

  • Define vulnerability, identify risk factors and triggers
  • Explain possible impacts of a vulnerable situation
  • Identify actions for improving the vulnerable customer’s experience
  • Define fuel poverty and impact
  • Explain available schemes and assistance

Course content

  • Explains Energy UK’s ‘Safety Net for Vulnerable Customers’
  • Ofgem’s vulnerability strategy and the potential causes of vulnerable situations
  • Identification of those at risk:
  • identifying risk factors
  • triggers/ red flags
  • looking for limitations using the BRUCE model to identify those who may have difficulty understanding, remember or ‘weighing-up’ the information they are being given
  • How to engage with a vulnerable consumer – how to start the conversation and use of the TEXAS model
  • Definition of fuel poverty and triggers to help identify those at risk – what you may hear, see and feel
  • Main health impacts of living in cold damp homes
  • Help available to vulnerable consumers:
  • PSR (supplier and DNO)
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme
  • Fuel suppliers’ grants and hardship schemes
  • Energy Company Obligation – Affordable Warmth Obligation
  • Help for off-gas households
  • Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment
  • Identify trusted national organisations supporting consumers experiencing financial and non-financial vulnerability (for example, Citizens Advice, Citizens Advice consumer helpline, Turn2us, Money Advice Service and others)

What this course will not do

Make delegates experts in handling all types of vulnerability. The focus of the course is on identifying those at risk.


Half-day (3 hour)

Course dates / locations

This course can be delivered in-house to organisations wishing to train a group of staff.


Contact Lynsey Thompson for further details.

Further details and bookings

Lynsey Thompson, Training Co-ordinator, NEA

Tel: 0191 261 5677

Published on 05-06-2017
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