Woking residents risk missing out on free emergency support


Monday, 9 May, 2022

Residents are being urged to check if they or someone they know can join UK Power Networks’ Priority Services Register.

Residents risk missing out on free support from the Priority Services Register in electricity emergencies, according to data from UK Power Networks.

In the south east, Woking is one of the most under-represented areas with only 55% of eligible households registered. Those most likely to miss out include families with children under five, households who cannot communicate easily in English, those of pensionable age and people with mental health conditions.

Giulia Privitera, social sustainability manager at UK Power Networks, said: “Emergencies on the electricity network do not happen often, but we know they can be an especially worrying time for households in vulnerable circumstances, whether they are ongoing or temporary situations that need a little bit of extra help. The register allows us to direct support where it’s needed.

“Joining the register does not always mean we can restore electricity supplies quicker but helps us target updates and offer additional support if needed, so people can plan their lives while our engineers work on the issue. We can also put them in touch with an expert who can offer free independent advice on energy if they are worried about paying their fuel bills or need help to keep their home warm this winter.

“Our message is that helping someone you care about join the register takes minutes. Being without power can be cold, uncomfortable and isolating and all of us can take an easy step to help our friends and neighbours, family and loved ones before they find themselves in this situation.”

Over 65s, families with children under five, those who rely on medical equipment or with a disability, people who are hearing, sight or speech impaired, patients leaving hospital and people with any physical or mental health condition are all entitled to join the two million households already registered.

The company provides bespoke vulnerability training for its customer service team so they know how best to respond to a variety of different needs. The company has also partnered with experts like Scope and AgilityEco to expand the range of tailored support services available via helplines to anyone eligible for Priority Register Services who also need extra help to manage their energy bills and to keep their home warm.

To find out more and register for the free service visit: www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priorityservices

Water companies also provide free extra support to vulnerable households.