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Debt was a significant driver of cost within npower, and a number of customers had debts that npower was unable to collect. Week on week the situation became repeatedly worse as customers continued to not pay for current energy charges. As a socially responsible supplier npower felt unable to disconnect these customers, or to install a prepayment meter, but a solution was needed to protect the customers and the business’s interests.
npower had historically a specialist team who would support these customers through writing off debt, but this merely acted as a ‘sticking plaster’ and did not address the longer-term social problem. The cost of operationally delivering this service was also prohibitive. npower needed a partner to help them ensure the right people got the right support.
Charis, as a strategic partner of npower, developed a new model by which it would support these customers with a more holistic service, and provide commercial benefit.
I’ve been working with Charis on a range of schemes to support our most vulnerable customers for the last 10 years. During that time their expertise has helped us deliver support in excess of £50m to hundreds of thousands of our customers. They have always worked collaboratively with us to continuously develop the way support is provided to get the best outcomes for our customers and npower.
We worked with the FBF to create a scheme to help vulnerable customers get access to energy and prevent self-disconnection.
We undertook the management of this fund to provide people in hardship a chance for future financial sustainability.