Meeting the needs of consumers who find themselves in vulnerable situations has become a key objective for Transmission and Distribution businesses, as directed by Ofgem through regulation.
To meet these needs, the Priority Services Register (PSR) was introduced to offer the correct support to vulnerable consumers across the UK.
What is the Priority Service Register (PSR)?
The PSR is a free service offered by energy suppliers and network operators in the UK to provide extra support to vulnerable consumers who rely on their energy supply. The service aims to ensure that these consumers receive priority treatment during power cuts, emergencies and other energy-related issues.
Who is eligible for the PSR?
The PSR aims to ensure that energy companies can customise their services to provide equitable access for individuals with safety concerns, accessibility challenges, and communication needs
To register for the PSR, you must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:
- You have a long-term medical condition, a disability, or have reached your state pension age.
- You have a hearing or sight impairment, poor or no sense of smell, or have extra communication needs (such as limited English proficiency).
- You require power for medical equipment or would struggle to answer the door or seek help during an emergency.
- You are recovering from an injury
- You are pregnant or have young children.
- If your situation is not listed above, you may still be eligible for short-term support after a hospital stay.
It's important to note that the PSR can provide valuable assistance to those who need it most. If you think you may qualify, reach out to your energy supplier or network operator to learn more about the program.
How to register for the PSR
To register for the PSR, you need to contact your energy supplier or network operator and provide them with your contact details and as much information as possible about your needs. If you have a different supplier for your gas and electricity, you need to contact them both. 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.
It's worth noting that you'll need to register again with any new supplier if you switch supplier.
What help can you get from the PSR?
- Accessible information, such as account info and bills in large print or braille.
- Priority support in an emergency.
- Regular meter reading services, particularly if nobody can read your meter.
- An identification and password scheme to help you feel confident that callers are genuine.
- Assistance with prepayment meter access, such as moving a meter if you can't safely get to it to top up.
- Advance notice of scheduled power cuts, particularly if you rely on your energy supply for medical reasons.
- Priority support when calling your network operator.
- Help with reconnecting your gas supply
- A nominee scheme, allowing you to nominate someone to receive communications and bills from your supplier.
Further Assistance and Advice
Many industry partners and charities can assist you to register; whether this is through networks or third party companies.
You can seek further guidance on the PSR pages of the following EIC partners:
The Carents Room, who work closely with the EIC, provide assistance and comprehensive guidance on how those caring for vulnerable parents can seek suitable support in situation where their gas, electricity or water supply is interrupted.
Learn more about the services offered by the Carents Room here.
By driving innovation in the energy sector, the EIC is helping to create a more sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy system for everyone. the EIC believe that by working together, we can create a brighter future for all consumers, particularly those who are most in need of support.
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