Get extra help if there are power cuts – register now7 Feb. 2023
The cold periods this winter bring the possibility of power-cuts across the country. If you have a long-term illness (like MDS or CMML), the energy networks can offer you extra help and support via a free service called the Priority Services Register.
The Priority Services Register
In the event of a power-cut, those on the Priority Services Register can expect tailored support – including home visits, hot meals, updated information via text and voice messages and more (help available varies depending on your circumstances and what support is offered from your local network operator.)
How to sign up to the Priority Services Register
To sign up, you first have to contact your local energy network operator. (Your local operator is not the same as your supplier.) Each network operator keeps their own Priority Services Register.
How to find your energy network operator
The Energy Network Association's website has a useful 'Find my network operator' tool to help you find your local energy network operator easily. Once you've found your energy network operator, you contact them to sign up to their Priority Services Register.
What help is available from the Priority Services Register?
The type of help available will vary, depending on your circumstances and the support from your local network operator. All network operators can offer:
- 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 there are planned engineering works. Being on a Priority Services Register won’t mean your electricity supply will be restored more quickly or guarantee a power supply if there is a power cut.
- priority support in an emergency. Network operators can provide heating and cooking facilities or accommodation and direct contact and updates, such as by phone.
- an identification and password scheme. This could include arranging a password or pictures only you and your local network operator will know. The network operator will use these forms of identification so can feel confident they are who they say they are if they need to visit or contact you.
Being registered for priority services does not guarantee a continuous supply of energy. As supply interruptions can happen all year round, it’s important you are prepared and know what to do if they happen.
Power-cut? Remember you can call 105
If there's a power-cut you can also call 105 to report or get information about power-cuts in your local area. 105 is free of charge and will put you through to your local network operator who can give you help and advice. This service is available to people in England, Scotland and Wales. You can find out more from their website https://www.powercut105.com
Other ways to prepare for a power-cut
• Keep torches, ready to use during the night
• Keep a fully charged mobile phone in case you need updates and to contact others – a fully charged portable charger would also be handy
• Ensure warm clothes and blankets are accessible for everyone
• Keep food accessible that doesn’t need heating
Please also remember the vulnerable in your neighbourhood who may not have access to the internet or do not use a mobile or landline. Keep them updated when you see them, knock on their door when you don’t, and bring extra supplies and warm food if you can. Be safe all, and take care.