In 2012, the recommendatory document SWiFT 9:2012 ‘Universal Design for Energy Suppliers’ was published by NSAI, the National Standards Authority of Ireland.
CEUD continues to collaborate with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) for utilities suppliers to implement the Principles of Universal Design in its customer communications. CEUD assisted to prepare text that was included in the Suppliers’ Handbook (version 4.2) that came into force on 17 June 2023.
On Page 14 the Handbook states the requirement 1.2.1 “Suppliers and their representatives are required to apply the principles of Universal Design (SI 463/2011) as set out in the current Irish Standard (6) , when implementing the requirements of and developing the services referred to in the Codes of Practice and Customer Charters and in all associated communications with customers.”
Footnote (6): ‘6 To clarify, the current Irish Standard the CRU will use is the NSAI Standard I.S. 374:2019 Customer Communications for Utilities – A Universal Design Approach (or relevant version) to assess whether suppliers have met the requirements of Universal Design with respect to their household customers.’
From conversations earlier this year, the CRU decided to conduct a preliminary assessment of supplier’s implementation of the relevant principles stated in Standard I.S. 374:2019 Customer Communications for Utilities, based on self-reporting. On 11 July 2023, CRU requested suppliers to report on their compliance with the principles of universal design in communications with final customers, together with supporting evidence. The deadline for submission was Friday 27 October 2023 and CRU are currently reviewing all responses.
Pictured at the awards ceremony of the Zero project were Dr Ger Craddock, Chief Officer of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority, Ingrid Heindorf, Head of Zero Project Policy Research and Human Rights Officer of the World Future Council and Michael Fembek, Head of Zero Project and Programme Manager of the Essl Foundation.