A New Year’s resolution that you can keep

Posted on: 13/01/2021

After a difficult year, 2021 probably isn’t a time for lots of New Year’s resolutions. But one simple step you can take is to make sure you and your family get the support you’re entitled to from your utility companies. 

As well as looking after the pipes that keep the gas flowing safely to homes and businesses and preparing a gas network that is fit for the future, we also offer additional help and support to the most vulnerable in our communities.  

Whether it’s advice on carbon monoxide awareness, helping you sign up to the Priority Service Register (so in the unlikely event your gas goes off, you get extra help), installing Locking Cooker Valves to help you live independently for longer, or providing funding towards a new gas connection, we can help.

Priority Services Register 

The utility companies you pay your bills to, and your electricity distribution network, has what’s called a Priority Services Register (PSR). This register helps us and other utilities to make sure we really look after those who need it most. 

Who can sign up? Households who have: 

  • Someone who is of pensionable age
  • Someone under the age of 5 living with them
  • Someone who is living with a chronic medical condition or is disabled
  • Any other specific needs such as sight or hearing impairments

If any of the above applies to you, then you should sign up here. It’s a free service and the form just takes a minute to complete.

Locking Cooker Valves

These help people live safely and independently in their own home while giving their family or carers peace of mind. They’re a great tool that can aid people living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, who may be more susceptible to a gas related emergency.  

We, of course, can install a locking cooker valve free of charge (subject to survey) in agreement with the family or carer of a priority customer. So, if you think this is something that could be useful for yourself or a family member, let us know.

And more ways we can help when you need it most include: 

  • Giving you alternative cooking and heating and keep warm packs on the rare occasions that your gas supply is interrupted (don't worry too much about this, on average it's once every 140 years without notice!)
  • Moving your gas meter if you can't access it. If you think you need this service, let us know by contacting our Customer Service Team.
  • Our Hardship Fund from which we may be able to offer financial support if your home has been affected by our work. Contact our Customer Service Team if you think this fund could help you. 

You can find more information on more of the free services we provide to the communities we serve here, please get in touch if you think we can help you.

It is worth remembering that even in the wildest weather and in the middle of a global pandemic, the UK gas network is one of the most reliable in the world. Our engineers are continuing to work hard around the clock to keep the gas flowing to make sure you and your family are kept safe and warm at home for generations to come.

Nigel Winnan

Nigel Winnan is Wales & West Utilities Customer and Social Obligations Manager.