Utility Week

UTILITY Week 31st March 2017

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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UTILITY WEEK | 31ST MARCH - 6TH APRIL 2017 | 29 Customers "Sometimes it's the in-work households – those that are doing everything the government wants them to – that are struggling the most." Chris Harris, head of regulation, Npower Views from the top table: Sandy Duckett, principal utilities and collections consultant, Arum "Data quality is something almost every utility is 1. Welfare reforms look set to make the average low-income household £41.45 per week worse off by 2020, says research by Policy in Practice 2. The poor are paying more for goods and services across the economy and especially for their utilities, say economic analysts 3. The introduction of GDPR may make it difficult for utilities to capture and share the data that could build a detailed understanding of transient vulnerability 4. Ofwat will challenge bad debt levels in the PR19 price setting process 5. Ofwat will release its "Unlocking the Value of Customer Data" report in June 6. Regulators across sectors are collaborating on ways of building broader visibility of consumer ability to pay for goods and services 7. Smart meters are expected to radically change the approach of energy suppliers to debt management and mitigation Key points to take away Meghna Tewari, head of customer vulnerability strategy, Ofgem "What could be the shape of government intervention in energy retail? One option could be price regulation… My position on this is that such interventions should be time- bound and that there should be a clear exit strategy." Sponsored by John Russell, senior director, strategy and planning, Ofwat "For PR19, when companies submit their plans, we will be looking for efficient debt management practices and considering ways to reduce bad debt levels… We will challenge companies' bad debt levels in our price-setting process." addressing. It creates problems in your customer journey. It fuels inaccurate billing, increased contacts, complaints and ultimately, bad debt." "The essential problem with credit, in all markets – macro, micro, corporate or sovereign – is essentially the same. It is information asymmetry… [This is] the cause of the structural problems which mean debt is such a big macroeconomic and personal problem." Deven Ghelani, director, Policy in Practice

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