Free priority power services for most vulnerable in Argyll and Bute

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is urging people in Argyll and Bute who might need extra support during a power cut to sign up for its free Priority Services Register.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is urging people in Argyll and Bute who might need extra support during a power cut to sign up for its free Priority Services Register.

With winter well and truly here, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is urging people in Argyll and Bute who might need extra support during a power cut to sign up for its free Priority Services Register.

SSEN recognises that for some, a power cut can be particularly distressing and difficult. That’s why it’s offering extra help and support to those who need it most.

Anyone can qualify for the Priority Services Register (PSR) if they are dependent on electricity for home medical care, have a chronic illness or short term medical condition, are disabled, have special communication needs, have a young baby or receive a state pension.

SSEN, which owns and maintains the electricity network in the north of Scotland, has over 5,000 people on its Priority Services Register in Argyll and Bute. But it recognises that there may be people who are not aware of this essential service, and can be added to the list.

During a power cut, those registered on the Priority Services Register will receive a phone call and, where necessary, a welfare check from a member of a specially-trained team. The free service also offers:

• Dedicated 24 hour priority services phone number

• Priority updates during a power cut

• Information in the format you need, for example Braille, textphone, audio CD or foreign language

People can also nominate somebody – a family member or friend – who becomes their official contact for SSEN’s dedicated team. A security password system ensures the safety of customers.

Julie Walker, Social Obligations Manager at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, said: “We recognise how difficult and distressing a power cut can be and want to ensure those who need extra support during emergency situations are cared for and supported by our dedicated teams. We treat every person as an individual and understand that their circumstances can change and they may suddenly find themselves feeling vulnerable.

“We’ve increased the numbers of people on our Priority Services Register by more than a third in the last year. We know there may be people in our communities who are not aware of the register and the support we offer to those who need it most and we’d encourage them to sign up to the service as soon as possible.

“By recognising and identifying signs of vulnerability, we can ensure the advice and assistance we give is tailored as appropriate to each individual we talk to. We provide vulnerability training to our employees in our customer contact centres and depots to help us provide the most appropriate service for each of our customers. I would urge people to consider whether they, or someone they know, could benefit from extra support and contact us to sign up.”

Registering for SSEN’s priority services is simple and straightforward. Customers can join the register by:

• Calling SSEN’s dedicated Priority Services team on 0800 294 3259.

• Calling 0800 316 5457 and registering using a text phone.

• Visiting SSEN’s website and registering online.