Getting extra help with the Priority Services Register
The Priority Services Register is a free support service to help people in vulnerable situations. Energy suppliers and network operators offer it. Each keeps their own register. You need to contact your energy supplier or network operator to get on it.
Help with high energy bills
If you are struggling to pay for energy or think you may get into difficulty, contact your supplier. We know the 1 April Energy Price Cap rise caused by global energy factors will be extremely worrying for many people. We are working round the clock to make sure consumers pay no more than is necessary and are supported by suppliers in any way possible.
Our rules mean suppliers must offer payment plans you can afford and you can ask for ‘emergency credit’ if you use a prepay meter and can’t top up. Most have also signed up to fresh commitments drawn up with Ofgem and the industry trade body Energy UK to support you this winter.
The government has also announced a package of support to help households with rising energy costs.
Charis has a grants and benefits eligibility checker and can support you through application processes.
Check if you are eligible
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).
You might still be able to register for other reasons if your situation isn’t listed. For example, if you need short-term support after a stay in hospital.
How to register
Give them your contact details and as much information as you can about your needs.
Your supplier can pass your details to your network operator to add you to their register too. It’s a good idea to ask them to do this if you rely on your energy supply for medical reasons.
If you have a different supplier for your gas and electricity, you need to contact them both.
You'll need to register again with any new supplier if you switch supplier.
Help you can get
- Advance notice of planned 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. could provide heating and cooking facilities if you are cut off supply.
- 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.
Suppliers and could offer other support services. Ask them how they can help you.
Similar support services
Suppliers can offer free gas safety checks every 12 months. You can request a safety check if you get a means-tested benefit and either:
- live with a child under five years old
- live alone or with others and have reached state pension age
- live alone or with others and are disabled or chronically ill
- live with others who have reached state pension age or are disabled, chronically ill or under 18 years old.
Landlords are normally responsible for keeping your gas appliances safe if you don’t own your own home. Further information about landlord obligations is listed on the Health and Safety Executive website.
Free similar services to the Priority Services Register are available in the water, phone and public transport sectors. Ask your providers about them.