The domestic energy market is heterogeneous and complex in terms of both suppliers and consumers. This means that ensuring the appropriate advice and guidance reach the relevant consumers is a challenge, but the dynamics are not understood in detail. This is essential if better policies and practice are to be developed, particularly for the proportion of consumers who are deemed to be vulnerable. It is also highly relevant for a number of reasons. An era of rising energy prices is likely to exacerbate vulnerability, the structure of information, advice and guidance services is scheduled to be overhauled, and regulatory agencies plan to review the operation of the energy market.
Key research Question
The study sought to identify what needs vulnerable consumers have when seeking information, advice and guidance and whether they are being met. If not, what barriers exist and why have they developed? Once this is understood, how might they be addressed?
Summary of activity
The research involved interviews with stakeholders working in the advice and guidance sector to gain a qualitative picture of the range of people’s needs and the difficulties faced.