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Millions of people eligible for free help

As the clocks go back on October 30, and dark nights draw in, new research has revealed that only 12% of over 80s know that extra help is available during a power cut.

From Press releases - 17 October 2016 12:00 AM

As the clocks go back on October 30, and dark nights draw in, new research has revealed that only 12% of over 80s know that extra help is available during a power cut.

UK Power Networks delivers electricity supplies to 8.1million homes and businesses across the East, London and South East and runs a Priority Services Register designed to help people who rely on power for medical needs, or may need extra assistance for other reasons such as having a young child or a frail elderly relative at home during a power cut.

The company surveyed 1,000 people and found that only one in six, (including one in eight over 80 years old) know about the register.

Of the respondents who did know about the register, a third had signed up but over 80s were still the most likely age group not to ‘have got round to’ registering. Young families and people with disabilities or carers were more likely to have joined the register. The company is working with a range of charity partners to raise awareness of the register and encourage people to sign up, even if they might just require additional help on a temporary basis.

Director of Customer Services Matt Rudling said: “I’m sure every one of us knows somebody who could benefit from being on the register, whether it be a friend, relative or neighbour.  While power cuts are rare these days – the networks are 99.99% reliable - there’s no harm in being prepared.

“Most people know to keep a torch handy, to keep an old-fashioned corded phone which will still work without power, and that most modern fridges and freezers can stay cold for up to eight hours. But for those who need extra help or have concerns, being on the register is another practical way you can get prepared and save any unnecessary worry.

“We want to provide the best possible customer service far beyond what’s normally expected, so our team is geared up to help as many people as possible. Being on the register doesn’t mean we can get your power back on quicker, but it does mean we know about your situation and will be able to get you additional help and support including updates about how we’re getting on with fixing the problem.”

There are currently 750,000 people on the register across the East of England, South East and London.

If you’re on the register you can access extra help services including:
• 
A 24 hour priority phone number

• 
A dedicated team who will contact you to keep you updated during a power cut

• 
Tailored support if needed such as home visits, hot meals, advice and keeping your friends and relatives updated

• 
In certain scenarios we may also offer a free hotel overnight and transport to the hotel

You can apply to join the register by visiting www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority, calling 0800 169 9970, or emailing psr@ukpowernetworks.co.uk.

UK Power Networks recently joined forces with other electricity network operators to launch a new free number 105 that allows anyone, no matter where they are, to contact their local operator and report, or get information, about a power cut in their area.