Consumer Vulnerability Strategy

We will publish our revised Consumer Vulnerability Strategy in 2019. It will build on the earlier work of our previous strategy during 2013-2019, Social Action Plan and Social Action Strategy. Please contact us if you would like to provide input. 

What is the Ofgem Consumer Vulnerability Strategy?

Our strategy has two roles:

  • To guide Ofgem’s approach to understanding vulnerability – through evidence, research and market analysis – to help us set our priorities, develop and implement interventions and assess their effectiveness.
  • To guide our expectations of supply and distribution companies to embed consideration of consumer vulnerability when they design and deliver products and services.

The new Consumer Vulnerability Strategy will outline our approach for the next 5-6 years. With regards to this, currently we have:

  • Completed an initial phase of comprehensive stakeholder engagement with consumer experts and other stakeholders in England, Wales and Scotland.
  • Published an Open Letter which outlines the work we have done so far to update the strategy and sets out next steps.  

How we define Vulnerability

We define vulnerability as when a consumer’s personal circumstances and characteristics combine with aspects of the market to create situations where they are: 

  • significantly less able than a typical consumer to protect or represent his or her interests in the energy market 
  • significantly more likely than a typical consumer to suffer detriment, or that detriment is likely to be more substantial

Through the publications and update feed below you can access our publications and outputs produced in relation to the Consumer Vulnerability Strategy.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 13th Dec 2018
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
This open letter provides an update on the Consumer Vulnerability Strategy.

  • Published: 1st Oct 2015
  • News and blogs
  • 1 Associated documents
Read about the top 10 ways we made a positive difference for vulnerable consumers since we published our Consumer Vulnerability Strategy in 2013.

  • Published: 23rd Sep 2015
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
As the Competent Authority we are responsible for certifying ADR entities in the energy sector. Today we have appointed Ombudsman Services as an ADR entity for the energy sector.

  • Published: 22nd Sep 2015
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
The report outlines our impact for consumers in vulnerable situations since we published our Strategy in 2013. It covers our updated approach and work plan, including the work of Ofgem E-Serve, on fuel poverty and vulnerability.

  • Published: 18th Dec 2014
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 1 Associated documents
The slide pack have been updated for the 2014-15 Energy Best Deal campaign.

  • Published: 5th Nov 2014
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 0 Associated documents
New research finds energy advice provided through the Warm Home Discount is delivering warmer homes, better finances and peace of mind for vulnerable consumers.

  • Published: 4th Jul 2013
  • Decisions
  • 34 Associated documents
Ofgem has created a new Consumer Vulnerability Strategy to guide our work on identifying and tackling consumer vulnerability in the energy market and to guide our expectations of the energy companies.

  • Published: 28th Sep 2012
  • Closed: 3rd Dec 2012
  • Consultations and responses
  • 18 Associated documents
This consultation paper outlines Ofgem’s proposals for a new Consumer Vulnerability Strategy and sets out a proposed annual work plan for 2013/14 aimed at helping to protect consumers in vulnerable positions.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2008
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
This document is qualitative research conducted with vulnerable customers to be explore switching behaviour

  • Published: 29th Jun 2007
  • Decisions
  • 2 Associated documents
In 2005 we launched our Social Action Strategy. This update provides an overview of our progress in 2006/2007 and sets out a new programme of work for 2007/2008.