Accessible services for energy customers
Commission for Energy Regulation
Country of Implementation
Western Europe
Start Year
First published

The "Standard SWiFT 9:2012 Universal Design for Energy Suppliers" and its respective toolkit has been the first standard worldwide, which provides clear guidance for energy suppliers to make their communications accessible. It includes all written, face-to-face, electronic or web-based communication.

Solution details


“The process in developing the standard was inclusive, iterative and consensus-based and enabled all key stakeholders to embrace universal design and moreover embrace the final outcome.” Gerald Craddock, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design/National Disability Authority, Ireland

Specifically designed to be practical and easy to use and apply, the Standard SWiFT 9:2012 Universal Design for Energy Suppliers and its respective toolkit provides service managers, developers, providers and procurers with guidance, based on the principles and guidelines of Universal Design. The Standard and accompanying toolkit guide them to accommodate all their customers, and improve customer satisfaction, communication and online reviews.

Problems Targeted

Ireland’s Standard SWiFT 9 has been the first standard adopted in the energy sector worldwide that obliges energy suppliers to make all their communications accessible. It includes all written, face-to-face, telephone and video communication, and all electronic and web-based communication.

Solution, Innovation and Impact

SWiFT 9 provides the energy service industry with a reference to good practice on requirements for the application of universal design. Its key focus is on Energy Communication Design, which is based on four steps: perceiving, discovering, understanding and using. These steps are based on four of the seven principles of Universal Design which were modified and trialed as part of the design process in developing the standard. By providing comprehensive support on achieving better customer communication, the standard and its respective toolkit cover: • Business objectives and overview
• Written communication
• Face-to-face, telephone & video communication
• Electronic & web-based communication
Topics touched upon for written communication are document and signage design. It includes rules for face-to-face communication, such as speaking simply. For non-verbal and telephone communication, it lays down rules for easier engagement with diverse customers, including providing surroundings that are comfortable for the customers. It also suggests a content quality control process, comprising a designated manager, a content review process, training and a house style guide. It also deals with website design, mobile apps and social media guidance.

Related information

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