Getting extra support from your energy supplier
If you find it hard to deal with your energy supply you could get extra help from your energy companies - for example, large print bills or more support during a power cut.
To get extra help, you can apply to be added to your electricity network priority services register. Your electricity network is the company that manages your electricity cables.
Your electricity network will give your details to your energy supplier so they can add you to their priority services register as well.
Check if you're eligible
You'll normally be able to get priority services if your energy companies class you as 'vulnerable'.
You could be classed as vulnerable if you:
- are disabled or have a long-term health condition
- are recovering from an injury
- have mental health problems
- don't speak or read English well
- have children under 5 or are pregnant
- have reached your State Pension age
If your situation isn't listed, you might still be able to sign up for priority services for other reasons - for example, if you're recently bereaved or you've returned to living independently after some time in residential care.
If you claim benefits
You might be able to get a free annual gas safety check if you own your home and claim a ‘means tested benefit’ - for example Universal Credit, ESA or Income Support.
You’ll qualify if you live with a child under 5. Otherwise, you’ll qualify if you’re disabled, chronically ill or have reached state pension age and live:
on your own
with others who are disabled, chronically ill or of pensionable age
You can check your state pension age on GOV.UK.
Coronavirus - get help from an NHS volunteer
If you’re eligible for support from your energy provider because you’re vulnerable, you might also be able to get help from an NHS volunteer.
You can ask a volunteer to go shopping for you or collect a prescription. You can also talk to a volunteer on the phone if you’re feeling lonely because you’re self-isolating.
Check how to get help from an NHS volunteer on the Royal Voluntary Service website.
After you’ve applied
Your energy companies might contact you to ask extra questions about what help you need.
It's worth calling them if you don't hear anything within 2 weeks - you can find their phone numbers on their websites.
- if you're on their priority services register
- what support they can offer you - give as much detail as you can about your needs
If you move home
Your new home might be covered by a different electricity network. This means you'll need to apply for priority services again.