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Social indicator mapping

Western Power Distribution has a wide range of outreach schemes and partnerships to help support customers in vulnerable situations, including power cut vulnerability and fuel poverty. It is vital that we continually take steps to update and enhance WPD’s understanding of the nature and distribution of vulnerable households across our area. 

We therefore use data to identify areas with the highest concentrations of vulnerable customers. Much better outcomes for customers are achieved through the ability to target outreach projects in areas of the highest vulnerability or deprivation following on from this analysis.

What we did

WPD have worked with the Centre for Sustainable Energy to undertake analysis to inform a better understanding of the nature, scale and distribution of different types of household vulnerability. This includes those who may be eligible to be included on the Priority Service Register (PSR) and those likely to be finding it difficult to afford energy to heat their home. 

The analysis has taken account of changes to definitions of vulnerability and fuel poverty (by Ofgem, Government and stakeholders), and uses the most recent data-sets available. 

The full methodology document, including the data-sets used, is available to download here

Making this data available – an invitation for you to work with WPD

We have taken the step to publish all the findings from this exercise in order to help other organisations and agencies working in our region to support the most vulnerable in our society. As well as using this data to help to target your own activities, we would love to hear from anyone interested in developing new initiatives and working together with WPD to help support people in our region, particularly the geographical “hotspots” revealed by this mapping exercise. 

Please contact Karen McCalman, Social Obligations Officer on 01332 827644 or at

The results

The analysis has been used to produce the following summary multiple indicator maps:

Priority Service Register (PSR) eligibility 

Areas where there are likely to be high numbers of customers eligible for WPD’s free, confidential PSR.

Click on image to enlarge

Fuel poverty

Areas where there are likely to be high numbers of customers impacted by fuel poverty; for example customers living in cold homes and/or struggling to afford their energy bills.

Click on image to enlarge

Network vulnerability – 

Areas with high numbers of individual customers who are likely to be significantly vulnerability to power cuts.

Click on image to enlarge

Low community resilience

Index of communities potentially less able to deal with unforeseen adverse situations, particularly natural disasters such as storms and floods.

Click on image to enlarge

The full data behind these summary maps can be found below:

WPD PSR gap analysis
WPD Substation vulnerability analysis
WPD vulnerability indicators LSOA
WPD Fuel poverty data

To produce the combined index maps, each of the following individual categories have been analysed.  If you would like access to any of these individual datasets, please get in touch with us via the details above.  

Long term unemployment
Low income employment
Low or no qualifications                        
Mental health benefits
Pension credit                                          
People over 65/75 & 85
Private rented dwellings                          
Bad health
Care home residents                                
Care providers
Disability benefits                                    
Distance to service
Disability living allowance under 16  
Children under 5 & children under 16
Children in low income households’  
Ethnic minorities
Foreign language speakers                      
Fuel poverty
Health limited activities                          
Households’ without cars
Inefficient dwellings                                
Lone parents 
Lone parents on low incomes                  
Lone pensioners


Contact us

Emergency information

0800 6783 105

General contact enquiries

0800 096 3080