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Extra help for vulnerable energy customers with the Priority Services Register

Lots of energy customers could qualify for special support by signing up for the Priority Services Register

Now that we’re all thinking about our heating and hot water, there’s a scheme called the Priority Services Register we can join if we’re vulnerable.

Being on the register doesn’t cost us anything. But it means we should get extra support if we’re struggling with anything to do with our energy supply.

We’re likely to qualify if we’re pension age, disabled or have a long-term health condition. If we’ve recently been injured, or struggle to see, hear or even smell we could also get on the register.

If our medical equipment needs a power supply, we should also qualify.

And it’s also open to those with mental health conditions, pregnant women or families with young children. If we struggle to speak or read English, or to get to the door, we could also go on the register.

If we feel like we’re vulnerable for a reason that’s not listed here, we might still qualify. We should speak to our supplier.

What we should do

If we think we should be on the register, we should contact our energy supplier and ask about the Priority Services Register.

If we have different suppliers for gas and electricity we have to contact both.

We should also ask our supplier to give our details to our network operator. They run the pipes and cables to bring gas and electricity into our homes. It’s a good idea to be on their register too, especially if we rely on our energy supply for medical equipment.

What happens next?

When we’re on the Priority Services Register we should get advance notice of planned power cuts. There’s also extra support in an emergency.

We can also set up a password scheme so we feel safe if an engineer is going to call at our home.

There’s also the option to nominate someone we trust to receive bills and letters from our supplier, for example if we need help to understand written instructions. We could also get large-print or Braille letters.

And we could get help with reading the meter.

While energy’s on everyone’s minds at the moment, it’s not just energy suppliers that offer this service. There are also Priority Services Registers for water, telecoms and public transport. If we’re interested, we should speak to the company that provides the service.

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