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Power firm recognised for customer service to vulnerable families

Vulnerable people across London, the South East and East of England benefit from great customer service during power cuts or other electricity issues, according to national assessors.

From Press releases - 19 June 2017 12:00 AM

UK Power Networks, which owns and operates the electricity networks in these regions, has been awarded British Standard Institution (BSI) recognition for the extra services it provides to vulnerable customers, including those with mobility problems or other health conditions.

This week is Rheumatoid Arthritis Week (June 19 – June 25) and people with this condition are among the many groups of people who can benefit from additional support the firms’ nationally-recognised services provide.

BSI inspectors visited several of the company’s offices to audit the way employees help more vulnerable customers, particularly in the event of power cuts which are pre-planned for maintenance reasons, and unforeseen power cuts.

They also looked at the way UK Power Networks manages its Priority Services Register (PSR). Those on the register are offered free additional help, support and advice during a power cut and anybody can apply to be on it if they feel vulnerable - such as the elderly, families with young children, and people with special needs or health conditions.

Congratulating the company on its achievement, the BSI accreditors stated: “There is a strong focus on categorising the customers into a ‘need’ and not necessarily a vulnerability category. This is to ensure a more positive customer experience whilst providing the correct support for their needs based around respect and diversity.”

Kerry Potter, Priority Services manager at UK Power Networks, said: “We are delighted that our customer service has received this BSI recognition for our work in identifying the needs of different groups of vulnerable customers and addressing their requirements accordingly.

“We have more than one million customers on our Priority Services Register and want more people to apply because we know there are many more who could benefit. Our staff do extra training so that we can not only address customers’ needs but also understand how they are feeling if a power cut happens.”

The Priority Services Register is open to households where one or more residents has a medical dependency, communication or mobility needs, or has had a temporary change in circumstances which makes them more vulnerable, such as having just left hospital or have a baby.

Joining the register is easy. Customers can apply online www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority, ring 0800 169 9970, or email psr@ukpowernetworks.co.uk.

In the event of a power cut those on the register 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