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Essex residents urged to ‘Be Winter Ready’

16 Dec Essex residents urged to ‘Be Winter Ready’

Coronavirus has changed many people’s circumstances this year, with the pandemic hitting some households in multiple ways leading to enduring impacts on health and wealth.

Power cuts are rare these days, but for some, dealing with such an inconvenience at this difficult time, could be more worrying due to their personal circumstances. So UK Power Networks is urging Essex residents to help spread the word about its free Priority Services Register so those eligible can receive free extra help during a power cut.

Many residents may be missing out, for example just 39% of eligible households in Basildon have signed up to the register so far.

The company wants to make sure that it can provide extra support in such circumstances, plus give people peace of mind that help will be there if needed. Staff can also put people in touch with experts offering advice on energy bills and energy saving tips, and people can even sign up on a temporary basis – such as after a bereavement, divorce, redundancy or hospital stay.

UK Power Networks has improved the reliability of electricity supplies to 99.9% through significant investment, and on average, people now experience a power cut once in nearly three years compared to once every 18 months in 2010/11. However, some extreme conditions can damage cables and cause power cuts. That’s why UK Power Networks has collaborated with other utilities and the Energy Networks Association to launch the Be Winter Ready campaign.

Giulia Privitera, social sustainability strategy and programme manager at UK Power Networks, said: “This winter the free services provided through our Priority Services Register will be more important than ever, and I would urge everyone to check if they or their friends and family are eligible to sign up.

“The register also allows us to support people who may need extra help for a short period of time, for example if they are recovering from medical treatment. If your circumstances have changed due to Covid-19, you might be eligible for priority support this winter.

“We are working with other utilities too, so that together we can provide our customers in vulnerable circumstances the best support and make a real difference during emergency situations.”

To Be Winter Ready:

– Store the free emergency number 105 in your phone – in a power cut dial 105 for help and information. There are over 20 other ways to reach us too including twitter and whatsapp.

– Sign up to the Priority Service Register – To sign up for the Register please see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority, ring 105, or email [email protected]
Those eligible include pensioners, anyone disabled or chronically sick, or with a long-term medical condition, with a child under five, with a hearing or visual impairment or additional communication needs. Plus people experiencing redundancy, recent bereavement or recovery from medical treatment may be able to register for a temporary period.

– Prepare your home – keep a torch and the 105 number handy

– Be aware – watch the weather forecast and, if you have a power cut please check on your neighbours and stay safe

The company people pay their water bills to also offers free additional support to customers that need it, so it’s a good idea to register with them too.

To sign up for Anglian Water’s Register please see anglianwater.co.uk/priority, ring 0800 141 2934, or email [email protected]

To sign up for Essex and Suffolk Water’s Register please see www.eswater.co.uk/priority or ring 0345 782 0111.