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Priority services register

Stay switched on

You may be eligible for free support from your energy supplier by signing up to its Priority Services Register.

It’s a free service that makes sure extra help is available to people who need it like pensioners, people who need power for essential medical equipment or those who need help in a power cut. Alternatively, you might be struggling to access your payment meter or read small print on your bills.

The register helps energy suppliers know which customers need extra support. This can be because of your age, disability, a problem with your mobility, if you have an illness, suffer from mental health problems, have communication needs, or there have been changes in your life (such as pregnancy or if you have children under five). There may also be other circumstances, so it’s worth asking.

All you need to do is contact your energy supplier and tell them about your situation. If you’re eligible they can help with things like advance notice of power cuts, priority support in an emergency, or sending bills to a family member or carer.

To get help from your supplier or network operator, simply contact your energy supplier(s) via phone, website or app and ask to be put on their Priority Services Register. If you have different suppliers for gas and electricity, you need to contact them both. If you switch supplier in the future, you’ll need to register again.

You can get extra support if you:
• Are disabled or have a long-term health condition
• Have a hearing or sight condition
• Have a mental health condition
• Are recovering from an injury
• Are pregnant or have children under five living with you
• 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 reached your state pension age
• Have poor or no sense of smell
• Would struggle to answer the door or get help in an emergency

You might still be able to register for other reasons if your situation is not listed – for example, if you need short-term support after a stay in hospital.

Find out more about the Priority Services Register on the Ofgem website

fuel advice northumberland

Fuel Advice for Sensory Impaired

Two Sensory Impairment Fuel Advisors  – Julie Swan and Karen Renner – have recently been appointed on a project being delivered by Citizens Advice and Northumberland County Blind Association. Julie has worked in the charity sector for over 30 years, including with The Macular Society.  As a parent of a son with visual impairment she has some understanding of the challenges faced by visually impaired people. Karen has worked with a number of charities in Northumberland on several projects including cancer advocacy and mental health programmes. Karen has worked with a number of charities in Northumberland on several projects including cancer advocacy and mental health programmes. Julie and Karen welcome the opportunity to assist people in reducing their fuel costs and improving the efficiency of their usage.

What do they do?

The Fuel Advisors can work with you to give you more control over your energy bills.  This may involve assistance with switching your supplier, using technology to help you get the most from your fuel or showing you visual aids to assist you with your meter readings or general energy use.

They can also inform you about the availability of services such as the Warm Home Discount or Priority Services Register.

You may just want information about small things you can do or adjustments you can make to manage your energy bills more efficiently.

What financial advice is available?

As a result of coronavirus measures many of us are spending more time at home and especially with winter on its way.  As a consequence, households may be facing increased energy bills.

Northumberland County Blind Association is working with Citizens Advice to deliver support to people in relation to their energy use.

Citizens Advice can help you find out if you qualify for benefits or if you are eligible for a grant.

 

If you would like to know more about this service or how it may be able to help you please call: 01670 339749.