The winter months can be challenging, bringing severe weather, which can in turn lead to disruption to your energy supply.
Most households with a disabled, ill, or vulnerable person will be eligible to sign up for the Priority Services Register with their energy provider or network, but may not be aware that this service exists.
Are you eligible for the Priority Services Register?
You are eligible if you:
- Have reached your state pension age
- Are disabled or have a long-term medical condition
- Are recovering from an injury
- Have a hearing or sight condition
- Have a mental health condition
- Are pregnant or have young children
- Have extra communication needs (such as if you don’t speak or read English well)
- Need to use medical equipment that requires a power supply
- Have poor or no sense of smell
- Would struggle to answer the door or get help in an emergency.
You might still be able to register for other reasons if your situation isn’t listed. For example, if you need short-term support after a stay in hospital.
How to register?
Energy suppliers and network operators will both keep a Priority Services Register. If you think you should be added to either you need to contact your energy supplier or network operator.
Give them your contact details and as much information as you can about your needs.
Your supplier can pass your details to your network operator to add you to their register too. It’s a good idea to ask them to do this if you rely on your energy supply for medical reasons.
If you have a different supplier for your gas and electricity, you need to contact them both.
You’ll need to register again with any new supplier if you switch supplier.
What help can you get?
- Advance notice of planned power cuts. If you rely on your energy supply for medical reasons your network operator can tell you about planned power cuts. For example, when they plan engineering work.
- Priority support in an emergency. Network operators could provide heating and cooking facilities if you are cut off supply.
- Identification and password scheme. This could include arranging a password or agreed on picture cards if callers need to visit or contact you. This way you can feel confident they are genuine.
- Nominee scheme. You can nominate someone to receive communications and bills from your supplier. For example, a family member, carer or someone you trust.
- Help with prepayment meter access. For example, moving a meter if you can’t safely get to it to top up.
- Regular meter reading services. For example, if nobody can read your meter.
- Accessible information. For example, account info and bills in large print or braille.
Click here for further information about the Priority Services Register