South East Water is encouraging its more vulnerable customers to sign up for its free Priority Service Register (PSR) ahead of the rollout of a combined utilities’ nationwide scheme.

People who are disabled, elderly, deaf, blind, partially-sighted or suffering from a long-term sickness or illness, can benefit from the company’s priority support in the event of an interruption to supply, the creation of secure passwords for home-visits from employees, and arranging large print or braille bills.

The process for registering, which at present is collated separately by all water, gas and electric companies, is undergoing a nationwide review with a trial about to get underway in the north of the country to bring them altogether in just one list.

This new scheme, announced jointly by Water UK and Energy Networks Association (ENA), will improve the process for any customer who finds themselves in a vulnerable situation as once they have registered with one utility this information will be shared across all water, gas and electric companies served by them.

Steve George, Customers Services Director, South East Water, said: “We will be watching the trial closely as it includes water and sewerage providers as well as energy providers. The aim is to roll out this scheme nationwide by 2020 with the result that our customers who are vulnerable will register just once to get help, rather than having to give details multiple times to different utility companies.”

The scheme has had significant input and support from Ofwat, Ofgem and the Consumer Council for Water.

In announcing the new initiative, Water UK Chief Executive Michael Roberts said: “Water companies want to go to the next level in supporting people in vulnerable situations. As their customers are also served by energy companies, it makes sense for us all to work together. By registering for this scheme, customers can help companies help them when they most need it."

To sign up for South East Water’s Priority Service Register either click here or call 0333 000 0001.

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