Priority Services Register: we’re here for you
Need support with anything from meter reading to gas safety checks? We’re here to help. Our Priority Service Register is for anyone who’s vulnerable, or just needs a little extra assistance at a difficult time in their life. Read on to find out if you could benefit from being on our PSR.
What is the Priority Services Register?
The Priority Services Register (PSR) is a free support service for members in vulnerable situations. Each energy supplier has their own PSR. It’s a system developed by Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, to make sure help’s available for those who need it.
Find out if you can sign up to the Priority Services Register
This list gives some idea of who can join – but it’s not exhaustive. Support can also be given to those experiencing temporary difficulties in their lives – such as bereavement, pregnancy or recovering from an operation. But, generally, it’s possible you could join the Priority Services Register if you’re:
- Chronically sick
- Living with dementia
- Of pensionable age
- Living with children under 5
- Experiencing mental health issues
- Living with learning difficulties
- Unable to speak English
How do I sign up to the Priority Services Register?
You, or a carer/family member can sign up, using one of the following options:
- Print out this application form and post it to us.
- Fill out this application form online.
- Call us on 0330 303 5063 (Monday to Friday 8am-6pm) and we can register you over the phone.
Unless you sign up, we won’t know about your personal needs. So get in touch, and we can make sure you get the help you need, especially in an emergency. Remember, the PSR is completely free and confidential.
How can the Priority Services Register help?
We’ll work out exactly how to support you when you apply. But here are just some of the things we can help with:
- Alternative communication – if you’re visually impaired, we can send black and white, large print, audio or braille bills and statements to you and/or a family member/carer. We can also give you a call to read out your bills and statements to you if you prefer.
- Free Gas Safety Checks – some PSR members can get free Gas Safety Checks. Call today to find out more on 0330 303 5063.
- Notice of planned power cuts – we can advise you well in advance of planned power cuts. This is especially important if you have medical equipment that needs powering.
- Move your meter or prepayment meter – if you find it difficult to read or reach your meter, we can relocate it for easier access.
- Send an engineer to read your meter – if there’s no one at home to help read your meter, we’re happy to send someone over. For your peace of mind, you can ask our OVO engineer to use a password, so you know who you’re letting in.
Free service for British Sign Language users
In addition to the other PSR services, we’ve recently teamed up with SignVideo to help those hard of hearing. Through the service, you can have a British Sign Language interpreter help you manage your energy. This is a free service, available from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.
First time using a BSL service?
It’s super-easy to use. Just click this link, download the SignVideo Live plug-in and create an account.
The live video link will connect you with an interpreter and you can ask them what you need to know. They’ll send your question back to us at OVO, we’ll answer, and they’ll sign it back to you. Easy! You don’t need any special equipment, just an internet connection and your phone/computer/tablet.
How do we protect your personal information?
When you sign up to PSR, there’s some personal information we’ll need to know – like your phone number and address. But don’t worry, we’ll never share it with anyone for marketing purposes (so no one will bother you with sales calls).
Your data will be stored on our secure systems. We’ll only share it when necessary, with those who supply your electricity, gas or water – such as:
- Meter operators
- Engineering partners
- Network operators
- Water and sewerage companies
If you prefer, you can ask us not to share your data. But this would mean we may not be able to fully help or support you. For example, in the event of a power failure, we couldn’t tell a network operator to make sure you get power back first. We also couldn’t offer you a free Gas Safety Check, or include you in our password scheme.
How you can support a loved one or friend
If you’re here looking for help to support a loved one or friend manage their OVO Energy account, here’s what you need to do:
Ask them to nominate you
If you look after someone vulnerable who’s eligible for the Priority Service Register, they can nominate you to speak to us on their behalf. Get in touch if you need to know more, on 0330 303 5063.
Get a power of attorney from the government
If you need to make important decisions for a loved one or friend, you may need a power of attorney from the government. Give us a call if you need to find out more.
Further help on the Priority Services Register
If you need further information or help with regards to the PSR, take a look at our booklet. It’s full of ideas that can make a real difference when managing your energy.
Other ways OVO can help you or your loved ones
The Priority Service Register is just one way OVO can offer you support. There are many other services, grants and tips to help you manage your energy needs:
Warm Home Discount
OVO is one of the participating suppliers in this scheme, which offers a one-off payment of £140 towards your energy bills. The money comes directly off your bill, rather than being paid into your bank account. You may be eligible if you’re:
- Getting the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit
- On a low income
Find out more about the Warm Home Discount and how to apply for it, on our blog post.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme
OVO is also part of the ECO scheme – another way you can get support if you’re vulnerable, or on a low income. The ECO scheme brings together the UK’s bigger energy suppliers to contribute to energy-saving improvements for eligible households. You could get financial help with installing:
- Loft insulation
- Cavity wall insulation
- Solid wall insulation
- A new boiler
- Air source heat pumps or ground source heat pumps
ECO is available to both homeowners and renters, and you don’t need to be a customer of one of the suppliers that offer the grants. To find out if you can join the scheme, head to the Ofgem site for a full list of the criteria.
And if you need more information or details about the ECO scheme, we've put everything together for you in this guide.
Help with gas and electricity bills
It's not uncommon for anyone to fall behind with their gas or electricity bills at some point. That’s why suppliers have procedures in place to help their customers – and they’ll do all they can to make it possible for you to keep on top of things.
The most important thing to do is let your supplier know as soon as you fall into difficulty. This way, they can help you get back on track without being cut off.
Read our helpful, step-by-step guide about what to do if you need help with your gas and electricity bills. It includes further information about grants and benefits that might help you.
Energy saving tips
OVO are all about helping their members understand their energy use, cut their carbon footprint and reduce their bills. Here are 5 helpful ways you could start saving money:
1. Get a smart meter installed
These handy devices come with 2 great benefits. They:
- Send your meter readings automatically – no more tiresome meter readings!
- Help you track the energy you’re using in your home – so you can easily see where to make tweaks to save energy, and money.
The UK is on a mission to get smart meters in every home by 2024 – so all OVO members can get a free installation.
2. Be efficient with hot water and heating
Heating is responsible for over half an average UK household’s energy bills. Find out how you can be more efficient with your heating, and save money.
3. Energy-efficiency around the house
Check out 7 ways you can make your home more energy-efficient. And learn how you could get financial help, to make a difference.
4. Reduce your gas and electricity bills
This guide shows you 8 simple ways you could reduce your electricity and gas bills, with just a few tweaks to your daily lifestyle. And without spending too much money.
5. Save money on your central heating bills
Sometimes, you don’t need to use whole-house central heating. Read our guide to the most energy-efficient standalone heaters, and see how much you could save.
And if you still need more inspiration, here are our latest 120 ways to help you save energy around the house.
For more ideas on reducing your carbon footprint, and saving money, join OVO today. We offer:
- 100% renewable electricity as standard1
- A tree planted in your name every single year you’re with us2
- 3-5% Interest Rewards for every year your account has a positive balance
- An award-winning smart meter experience (Uswitch 2020)
- A £50 gift card every time you introduce a friend to us
- A 5-Star TrustPilot rating by 30,000 members
Plus, we’re proud to say that if you give us a call, we won’t keep you hanging on the line, like some other suppliers. We have a call waiting time of under a minute – guaranteed!
Sources and references:
1 The renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on REGO certificates and how these work.
2 Each year, OVO plants 1 tree for every member in partnership with the Woodland Trust. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so tree-planting helps to slow down climate change.