When it comes to managing your energy bills and usage, some of us need a helping hand from our energy supplier. Find out about the work of the Priority Services Register and how it can provide you or a loved one with assistance dealing with their energy supply.
What is the Priority Services Register?
The Priority Services Register (PSR) is a free and voluntary scheme offered by energy companies to ensure their vulnerable customers are provided with assistance. That includes pensioners and the elderly, those with disabilities and people who are chronically ill. You can also join the PSR if you can’t speak or read English well, are recovering from an injury or if you’re pregnant.
What can the Priority Services Register help me with?
As every supplier has its own Priority Services Register, their services will differ from other energy providers. Below is a list of general services offered by most energy suppliers:
- Protection from cold callers with a password protection and ID card scheme
- Bills in audible braille or large print if you're blind or your sight is impaired
- Minicom or textphone facilities to get in touch with us easily
- Arrangements for quarterly meter readings for accurate billing
- Priority reconnection if a supply is interrupted and prior notice for planned power cuts and, help claiming power cut compensation
- Alternative facilities for cooking and heating if your energy supply is interrupted
- Arrangements for your bills to be sent or copied to someone else, such as a carer, who can help you read and check them
- Annual gas safety checks to keep you safe
- Repositioning of a prepayment meter if it’s hard to reach.
How to register for Priority Services?
You can apply for your energy supplier’s PSR by either filling out an online form, printing and completing the form and returning it by post or over the telephone.
As well as your personal details, you’ll be asked other questions such as; what vulnerabilities you have, the name and number of an emergency contact and if you have an electricity dependency, i.e. you need electricity to help power a medical aid like a ventilator.
When you apply for the PSR, you’ll also need to give your supplier permission to pass your details on to your local network operator. This is so they can offer you the right assistance should a power cut take place.
Applying to your energy network’s PSR
It is also possible to apply to your energy network for priority services. Your energy network is the company that supplies energy in your area and is separate from your supplier or provider. In the UK, your energy network will be one of the following:
- UK Power Networks
- Western Power Network
- SP Energy Networks
- Northern Power Grid
- Electricity North West
- Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks
To find out which energy network covers your home, visit Powercut105.com and put in your postcode to start. Please note, if you move home, you may need to re-apply for the PSR as your supplier and energy network might have changed.
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