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Bedford households urged to register for extra power cut support

Vulnerable Bedford households are being urged to sign up to receive the extra support available to them in the event of a power cut.

From Press releases - 21 February 2019 12:00 AM

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UK Power Networks owns and maintains the overhead lines, underground cables and substations which distribute electricity to 8.3 million customers across the East of England, London and the South East. The company is keen to ensure people know what to do if a power cut ever happens, and are aware of the extra support available.

While power cuts are increasingly rare, severe weather can damage overhead power lines and being without electricity can be particularly worrying for people in vulnerable circumstances.

More than 1.6 million customers have signed up the company’s Priority Services Register which provides free extra help during power cuts, such as hot meals, home visits and hotel accommodation. This support and advice is aimed at pensioners, families with young children and people with special needs, disabilities or health conditions.

However head of customer service Sam Fuller is encouraging more sign ups from Bedford where less than 40% of estimated eligible households have registered. More than 30,000 Bedford households are believed to be eligible for the additional support, but so far less than 12,000 have taken advantage of the help.

Sam 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 actually 22 ways you can get information from us during an incident, including text messages, social media and web chat.

“While we are confident in the safety and reliability of our network we are never complacent, and we continue to invest in both staff and equipment to ensure we and our customers cope well if an incident ever happens.”

Power cuts continue to reduce year on year, thanks to investment in the networks. A property in London, the East or South East will be off supply on average for just over half an hour each year, a 48% improvement on 2010/11 when the average duration was 64 minutes.

To apply to join UK Power Networks’ Priority Services Register visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority, ring 0800 169 9970, or email psr@ukpowernetworks.co.uk
In the event of a power cut see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk from a mobile device or ring 105.