How Does the Cold Weather Priority Initiative Work?
The first challenge for the fledgling CWP was to agree a common definition of the customers who would qualify for the CWP scheme. The oil distribution industry trade association The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) worked with heating oil suppliers and industry associations across the LPG distribution sector to reach the agreed definition, which includes households where:
- There are known to be one or more residents aged 75 years or over; and/or
- There are one or more residents known to be chronically sick or registered disabled
At the time of the initiative’s launch in 2017, it was only possible to use data based on customer ages. However, the CWP initiative has partnered with database experts Experian with a view to incorporating sickness and disability data at a later date.
FPS members will be employing various methods to identify customers who they believe fall into the ‘CWP’ category, whether that is speaking to customers when heating oil orders are placed to identify if they may fall into the CWP category, writing to customers about the CWP initiative and asking customers if they want to be classed as a CWP customer and some FPS members will undertake a data exchange with Experian to identify CWP customers. Identifying customers as CWP will mean deliveries can be prioritised to these people during the winter months. The FPS is also urging customers who are aged over 75 to get in touch with their heating oil supplier if they believe they should be part of the CWP initiative. All you need to qualify for the scheme is proof that you are over 75 years old.
As we mentioned above some FPS members will undertake a data exchange with Experian to identify CWP customers. Partnering with Experian has enabled the creation of a process in which participating companies send their customer data records to Experian, who use a variety of sources to create a sub-set identifying those who qualify for the CWP category.
This sub-set is normally around 15% of the whole database, and is returned to the participating company enabling them to identify customers requiring priority service in cold weather.
Fortunately, situations where supplies of fuel are short and the cold is extreme are relatively rare.
However, the CWP initiative provides a new layer of support that enables fuel suppliers to be pro-active in their support of CWP customers.