Priority Services Register
From keeping the water running for drinking and washing hands, to charging medical equipment or mobility scooters, to staying warm, it is vital to keep utilities going in the event of a problem with your electricity or water supply.
The Priority Services Register can help you do this. If you or someone you know is vulnerable, requires additional assistance, or has additional communication needs, you can sign up to the Priority Services Register by contacting your utility providers. It is free and can help you or a loved one to stay safe, warm and independent in their own home.
As well as help in an emergency, there are other benefits to being on a Priority Services Register including advance notice of planned power cuts or interruptions to water supply, help with accessing prepayment meters, receiving bills in an alternative format and more.
You will normally be able to get priority services if service providers class you as 'vulnerable'. You could be classed as vulnerable if you:
- are disabled or have a long-term medical condition
- are recovering from an injury
- have mental health problems
- don't speak or read English well
- have a hearing or visual impairment or additional communication needs
- have children under five or are pregnant
- are of pensionable age
- are disabled or chronically sick
- are in a vulnerable situation
If your situation is not listed, you might still be able to sign up for priority services for other reasons - for example, if you are recently bereaved or you have returned to living independently after some time in residential care. It may vary by supplier.
Free help and services available
There is a range of free services that may be available, including:
- Advance notice of planned power cuts. Suppose you rely medically on your energy supply. In that case, you can arrange for the company that runs the local energy network (the network operator) to give you advance notice of planned power cuts. For example, when they plan to carry out engineering work.
- Priority support in an emergency. This could involve the local network operator providing water or alternative heating and cooking facilities if the supply is interrupted.
- Identification scheme. This is to reassure you that callers, for example, meter readers, are genuine. Suppliers have to provide additional support to help you identify someone acting on behalf of their company. This could include arranging a password or showing an agreed picture card when visiting.
- Password protection. Network operators must offer to agree a password with you (or your representative) that they use so that you can identify them.
- Nominee scheme. You can ask your supplier to send communications (such as account statements or bills) to someone you have nominated who agrees to receive them. For example, this could be a family member, carer or someone you trust.
- Arrangements to ensure that it’s safe and practical for you to use your prepayment meter. For example, moving a prepayment meter if you cannot access it safely to top it up.
- Meter reading services at appropriate intervals. If nobody living at your property can read the meter, and there isn't anyone else you can nominate to read the meter on your behalf, your supplier may be able to read it for you.
- Accessible information. Account and bill information in an accessible format, for example, in larger print or braille.
How to Register
Each supplier and network operator maintains its own register.
For electricity or gas, either ask your supplier (the company that send you your bill) to pass your details on to your network operator, especially if you are dependent on your supply for medical reasons or if you have children under five years old. Or find the company that supplies energy in your area by visiting ofgem - Who is my gas or electricity supplier?. Once you know your electricity or gas network, you can fill in the form on their website to apply for priority services.
If you are having trouble registering, please contact us, and we will do our best to assist you.