Early Day Motion commends SSEN and its Priority Services Register

Group of people standing at van door

Image shows - from left to right - SSEN’s Rebecca Botto, Head of Region Jo Niven, Matt Yates, Julian Pearson and Dr Julian Lewis MP pictured at SSEN's New Forest depot with one of the region’s welfare vans

 The Member of Parliament for New Forest Dr Julian Lewis MP has tabled an Early Day Motion commending Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and its Priority Services Register, following his visit to network operator’s depot in his constituency last year.

The Priority Services Register (PSR) is a free service to assist customers who may become vulnerable during a power cut. Customers signed up to PSR get information specific to their needs and in the format that suits them best, with PSR leaflets available in 11 different languages. Those dependent on electricity for medical equipment will be provided with mobile generation during a power cut, and PSR customers will also be provided with access to charge points, food and drink while our staff work to safely restore power to their homes.

By registering for SSEN’s PSR, customers will be proactively contacted to warn them of potential bad weather to help them prepare and to offer extra support where required. SSEN’s teams will also keep in close and regular contact with its PSR customers during network outages to check they are getting the help they need. 

The MP took the opportunity to put his commendation of SSEN and its PSR on record after visiting the New Forest Depot last year. During his site visit he met with SSEN’s Head of Region for Wessex, Jo Niven and colleagues who work with customers and communities to understand their needs and alert them to the additional services available during power cuts, emergencies and adverse weather situations.

During his tour of the site Julian discussed with Jo the £32 million investment made by SSEN to boost the resilience of electricity supply across his constituency and the whole Wessex region. The substantial improvement programme reaching across parts of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset included the replacement of poles, conductors and plant such as substations and underground link boxes. Innovative automation systems were also placed on the network and some sections of overhead line were undergrounded; all measures to improve the resilience of the power supply to homes and businesses across the region and enable businesses and residential areas to grow and expand to meet the community’s needs. 

The EDM raised by Dr Lewis has already received the support of Penny Mordaunt MP, Desmond Swayne MP and Jim Shannon MP.

Jo Niven, SSEN’s Head of Region for Wessex said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Dr Lewis to our depot and to explain how we provide extra support to those that need it during faults, and I want to thank him for taking the time to put his commendation of SSEN and the PSR on record. 

“The Wessex region is home to over 780,000 of our customers and it’s essential that we use as many ways as possible to reach out to them and show how we can support them. Through tabling this Early Day Motion, we hope that the support of Dr Lewis and his fellow MPs will raise even more awareness and encourage those who could benefit from the extra assistance provided through the Priority Services Register to find out more and sign up to the service. ”

Over 700,000 of SSEN’s customers are already signed up for the service across SSEN’s central southern England and north of Scotland patches, but SSEN is aware that there are still some customers who may not realise they are eligible for the scheme that provides extra support during power cuts.

Customers can qualify for the PSR if they:

  • Are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Have a disability
  • Live with children under five
  • Are blind or partially sighted
  • Have a chronic illness
  • Use medical equipment/aids reliant on electricity
  • Are over 60

To find out more about the PSR, click here, or call 0800 294 3259. For more information on all the support available from SSEN, and for helpful advice on preparing for and dealing with a power cut, please visit ssen.co.uk/ready-together.  

The Early Day Motion tabled by Dr Julian Lewis MP is available online here.