October 9, 2020

Together Energy and Scope partnership recognised at Charity Times Awards

A charity initiative supported by Together Energy has scooped a top UK award.

Leading disability equality charity Scope, and a small consortium of utility companies, won the Corporate Social Responsibility Project of the Year at the Charity Times Awards for their work to tackle the challenges disabled people face when dealing with utility issues.

Together Energy is partnering with Scope to support its campaign to improve engagement, to drive fairness, improve the communication experience, and reduce energy costs for disabled people.

Research by the charity revealed that over a third of disabled adults felt that their condition has a significant effect on their energy costs (1). Whilst the average UK household spends £1,214 a year on energy, over a quarter of households with a disabled person spend more than £1,500 a year (2).  More than 9,000 households in England with a disabled person are also living in fuel poverty

Together Energy is working with the charity as a member of the consortium to analyse ways to create energy savings, as well as improve support services.  The partnership received the award for its work on co-designing an employee training programme on how to create an inclusive culture for disabled colleagues and customers. Also, the partnership produced a series of videos aimed at providing employees with an insight into the potential barriers facing disabled people and how services can be best tailored to support them.

Gavin Baillie, Together Energy’s Director of Regulation & Consumer Vulnerability, said, “It’s terrific news that the partnership’s work is being recognised especially when up against many other worthy charities.

The consortium is working hard to address how the utilities sector can better meet the challenges disabled people experience. It is unfair that disabled people are disadvantaged at present and we are determined to find ways to redress the balance”.

James Taylor, Executive Director of Strategy, Impact and Social Change, said: “Disabled people face a variety of challenges in the energy market from accessing the right support to higher energy costs. Initiatives like this pioneering partnership with the utilities sector are a step in the right direction to achieve real change to services and support for disabled customers. By working together, we can improve customer service, change attitudes, and increase understanding, leading to a better experience for disabled people.

(1)        Out in the Cold, Scope, March 2018, file:///C:/Users/alison.kerry/Downloads/out-in-the-cold-report.pdf

(2)        Analysis of the Living Costs and Food Survey (2017), https://www.ons.gov.uk/ peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/methodologies/                             livingcostsandfoodsurvey

(3)      Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (2017). Fuel poverty Detailed tables: 2015, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fuel-poverty-detailed-tables-2017