Adrian McConnell, Chief Executive, the CO Research Trust

After working at the Energy Networks Association (ENA) for many years, I was pleased to hear about changes to the Priority Services Register (PSR) which will make things much easier for people to register and receive support.

The PSR is a vital, free support service that makes sure extra help is available to people in vulnerable situations. The ENA and their members have been working for many years to find ways to improve how the PSR operates.

You are eligible if you:

• have reached your state pension age

• are disabled or have a long-term medical condition

• are recovering from an injury

• have a hearing or sight condition

• have a mental health condition

• are pregnant or have young children

• have extra communication needs (such as if you don’t speak or read English well)

• need to use medical equipment that requires a power supply

• have poor or no sense of smell

• would struggle to answer the door or get help in an emergency

The support and help you can get once on the register includes:

• Wherever possible, advanced notice of scheduled 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 they plan engineering work.

• Priority support in an emergency

• Priority support when calling your network operator

• Identification and password scheme. This could include arranging a password or agreed on picture cards if callers need to visit or contact you. This way you can feel confident they are genuine

• Nominee scheme. You can nominate someone to receive communications and bills from your supplier. For example, a family member, carer or someone you trust

• Help with prepayment meter access. For example, moving a meter if you can’t safely get to it to top up

• Regular meter reading services. For example, if nobody can read your meter

• Accessible information. For example, account info and bills in large print or braille

• Help reconnecting your gas supply, if you need it

The Electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs) across England, Scotland and Wales have created a website landing page which will make it easy for any organisation to help a customer to join the PSR wherever they live.

Adding them to the register means they can be given tailored support and information should they need it.

This will take the guess work out of knowing which area is supported by the various network operators. All that is required is to input a postcode and service users will be redirected to the relevant DNO’s PSR page to sign up.

The URL is

The CO Research Trust is keen to help disseminate this important initiative. Please share with your network so we can make sure that anyone eligible and in need of this support can access it.