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Wales & West Utilities and Cardiff’s Speakeasy have come together to help more customers who may be in fuel poverty and have debt issues in the local area.

Working with Speakeasy’s front-line team, gas emergency and pipeline service, Wales & West Utilities has trained ten of its key colleagues from across the business to make sure they have the right information to help vulnerable customers. The trained staff will be providing further training to other colleagues.

Picture caption: L-R Stuart Neill from Wales & West Utilities and Speakeasy’s Suzy Youngman and Beth Tanton 

The event took place during Wales Action Week (14-18 November). Run by Business in the Community Cymru, Wales Action Week uses the energy, skills, passion and expertise of business and employees to tackle an emerging social issue through a week long programme of activity. This year the week’s focus is on the action that businesses can take to prevent homelessness.

Mark Oliver, Wales & West Utilities Director of Business Services, said:

“We are committed to providing our customers with the right information to help them. By working with Speakeasy key members of our team have been able to learn first-hand of the many issues affecting the local population. This now allows us to be able to help our customers who need it most access invaluable advice and support.

“As a business, we are committed to helping our customers. We have an ongoing training programme for colleagues and this will be a key element going forward. Our operations staff, as well as customer-facing colleagues, are speaking with people in vulnerable situations each day and we now have the expertise to help them further so that we’re not the end of the line of support.”

The training was delivered by Speakeasy and involved Wales & West Utilities colleagues from many departments including those specifically working with fuel poverty, connections, vulnerable customers as well as colleagues from the customer service team.

Andy Davies, Fuel Debt Advisor at Speakeasy, said:

“We are delighted to further cement our relationship with Wales & West Utilities. It’s great that through this training, we will now be able to access more people so that we can work with them to help further.

“Everyone’s situation is different and so through confidential contact we can work to understand the nature of the issues and then offer advice based on their personal circumstances.

“The most important thing for people to realise is that there is help out there and I’d encourage anyone who’s worried at all about their situation to get in touch.”

Speakeasy is based on Richmond Road in Cardiff. People can visit www.speakeasy.cymru to download a referral form. Alternatively, email energy@speakeasy.cymru or call 029 2045 3111 for further information or to make a face-to-face appointment.

Matt Appleby, Director of Business in the Community Cymru added:

“It is great to see companies like Wales & West Utilities – our Wales Responsible Large Business of the Year 2016 – stepping up and taking action on one of Wales’ most pressing social challenges.

“Survey after survey shows that customers, suppliers, partners and employees want to engage with companies which put values at the heart of what they do. By taking part in Wales Action Week, companies like Wales & West Utilities can bring their values to life.”

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service that serves Wales and the south west of England, puts customers at the heart of the business and is rated the top utility company in the UK for customer service. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night.

Further enquiries to Wales & West Utilities Press Office on 0800 644 1000