Have you heard about the Priority Services Register or PSR? Never heard of it? It’s something that not everyone knows about. It’s a service that is provided by electricity network operators, like Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) or UK Power Networks (UKPN) but also by energy suppliers and water companies. It is free to sign up to and who doesn’t like something for free?
The register is a free support service to help people in vulnerable situations. Electricity network operator’s such as SSEN and UKPN aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers such as SSE or British Gas sell the electricity that runs through the power lines.
If you are on the PSR and you have a loss of power you will:
- Have a priority number that you can call 24 hours a day
- Text and voice message alerts, letting you know when they are aware of a large power cut in your area
- Tailored support if needed such as home visits, hot meals, advice and keeping friends and relatives updated
- Where possible they will send you text and voice messages when they expect severe weather, to help you prepare
- In certain scenarios they may also offer a free hotel overnight and transport to the hotel
- For complex power cuts the Community Welfare Teams from the network providers will provide on-site support which includes hot drinks, hot meals, a wi-fi connection and charge points
- With your permission, you can be put you in touch with an expert who can offer advice on energy bills and energy saving tips
You can register if you or someone in your household:
- relies on medical equipment
- have refrigerated medicines
- have a serious or chronic illness
- have a disability
- is living with dementia
- are of pensionable age
- have children under five in your household
- have mental health difficulties
- Are categorised at high risk’ or extremely high risk’ of severe illness from coronavirus
If you or someone in your household need support because of life-changing events such as bereavement, relationship breakdown, job loss, recovery from hospital treatment or living independently for the first time, you can register to receive extra help on a temporary basis.
By registering, you will be proactively contacted to warn of potential bad weather to help you prepare and to offer extra support where required. They will also keep in close and regular contact with its Priority Services Register customers during network outages to check they are getting the help they need.
For more information contact your electricity network operator, your energy supplier and your water company.