Help for vulnerable customers

If you sign up to your supplier's and network operator's Priority Services Register (PSR), you can get extra help and support with your energy supply. Suppliers and network operators offer different help, so it's worth making sure you're signed up to both. Your supplier is the company that sends you bills. Your network operator is the company that distributes the electricity in your area.

You can sign up if you:

  • are a pensioner
  • are disabled or chronically sick
  • have a long-term medical condition
  • have a hearing or visual impairment
  • live with a child under 5 - some suppliers and all network operators offer help in this situation

You might also be able to sign up if you're in a vulnerable situation, even if it's only temporary. For example if:

  • you can't understand your bill because of a mental health condition
  • you can't get to the shop to top up your electricity meter because of an injury
  • you've been bereaved and want a friend to deal with your bills and meter readings

What's on offer

If you’re on the PSR, you could get:

  • protection from cold callers with a password protection scheme to keep you safe
  • your pre-payment meter moved free of charge if it's hard for you to use or read the meter
  • a free quarterly meter reading if you can't read your meter
  • bills and information about supply interruptions sent to a relative, carer or friend to help you check them
  • bills, meter readings and information about supply interruptions in braille, large print, audio tape, textphone or typetalk if you're visually impaired
  • advance notice if your supply is going to be interrupted
  • priority support if your supply is interrupted
  • alternative facilities for cooking and heating if your supply is interrupted
  • extra help to use your meter or appliances
  • automatic compensation if your electricity supply is interrupted
  • help to understand what support you can get if your first language isn't English

How to sign up

Contact your supplier to see if you're eligible to sign up to the PSR. If you have different suppliers for gas and electricity, you'll need to call them both.

Ask your supplier to pass your details to your network operator so you can be on their Priority Services Register too. Also ask your supplier to pass your details to your gas transporter - this is the company that distributes gas in your area. Gas transporters don't have a Priority Services Register but they must give help to priority customers if they are told about them. 

You'll need to register again if you change your energy supplier.

 

Getting a free gas safety checks

You can get a free annual gas safety check from your supplier if you own your home and:

  • get a means tested benefit - for example, Income Support, Pension Credit, ESA, or Universal Credit
  • are a pensioner
  • are disabled or chronically sick
  • live alone
  • live with other adults who are all either pensioners, disabled or chronically sick
  • live with a child under five

Further help from an adviser

For an energy appointment with a local Citizens Advice adviser in Dorset, please call 01929 775500 or email energy@purbeck.cabnet.org.uk

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