People who might need extra help if a power cut ever happens, are being urged to sign up to a special free register.
UK Power Networks delivers electricity to 8.3 million homes and businesses across the East of England, London and the South East, regardless of who residents pay their bills to. While power cuts are increasingly rare, severe weather can still damage overhead power lines and interrupt power supplies.
Being without electricity can be particularly worrying for people in vulnerable circumstances. The company has 1.7 million people signed up to its Priority Service Register but wants to ensure everyone eligible is aware of the free, extra support available including hot meals, home visits and hotel accommodation. This support is aimed at pensioners, families with young children and people with special needs, disabilities or health conditions.
Head of customer service Sam Fuller said: “Communicating with our customers is key and we do everything possible to ensure people get the help and support they need in the event of a power cut. There are more than 20 ways you can get information during an incident, including text messages, social media, WhatsApp and web chat, plus sign language and interpreter services.”
You can contact UK Power Networks using ‘SignLive’ or ‘Interpreter Now’ without being charged. If you don’t use BSL, other services include joining the company’s text service, consulting the fault map on the website or the Next Generation Text Relay, again free of charge via an app or a text phone.
The company has also produced helpful videos in Makaton. It granted London based charity deafPLUS £8,000 from its Power Partners scheme, to train 15 advisors to help deaf people reduce their energy bills. In May, St John’s Deaf Football Club’s ladies team in Hertfordshire won a £250 award from the company during Deaf Awareness Week, to put towards training facilities and basic training equipment.
If you live in the East of England, London or the South East, please visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority to sign up, ring 105, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live in another part of the country, ring 105 to speak to your local electricity company.