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Getting extra support from your energy supplier

This advice applies to Scotland

If you find it hard to deal with your energy supply you could get extra help from your energy companies. For example, they might agree to:

  • move your prepayment meter if you struggle to get to it

  • send someone to check your meter regularly

  • send your bills to another person - for example, a family member or carer

  • send you bills in large print or braille

  • give you extra support if you have a power cut - for example, sending someone to check on you and providing hot meals

To get extra help, you can apply to be added to your electricity network priority services register. Your electricity network is the company that manages your electricity cables.

If you have a gas supply, your electricity network will give your details to your gas network operator as well as your energy supplier. This means they can also add you to their priority services registers and offer you extra support.

Check if something is an energy scam

Energy scams are on the rise. 

Scammers have different ways of getting hold of personal information or bank details. For example, by pretending to: 

  • be a supplier offering a refund

  • be from Ofgem - asking for information so you can get the £400 energy rebate

  • be a debt collector asking for money owed to a supplier that’s gone bust

  • offer green home improvement grants

  • offer energy investment opportunities

  • offer cheap prepayment meter top up keys or cards

  • offer energy-saving devices

Check if something is a scam.

You can also contact our scams advisers if you:

  • think you might have found an online scam

  • need advice about scams

  • want to report an online scam

Talk to a scams adviser.

Check if you're eligible

You'll normally be able to get priority services if your energy companies class you as 'vulnerable'.

You could be classed as vulnerable if you:

  • are disabled or have a long-term health condition
  • are recovering from an injury
  • have mental health problems
  • don't speak or read English well
  • have children under 5 or are pregnant
  • have reached your State Pension age

If your situation isn't listed, you might still be able to sign up for priority services for other reasons - for example, if you're recently bereaved or you've returned to living independently after some time in residential care.

If you claim benefits

You might be able to get a free annual gas safety check if you own your home and claim a ‘means tested benefit’ - for example Universal Credit, ESA or Income Support.

You’ll qualify if you live with a child under 5. Otherwise, you’ll qualify if you’re disabled, chronically ill or have reached state pension age and live:

  • on your own

  • with others who are disabled, chronically ill or of pensionable age

You can check your state pension age on GOV.UK.

Coronavirus - get help from your council or local volunteer groups

If you're eligible for support from your energy provider because you're vulnerable, you might also be able to get help from your council or local volunteer groups. You can ask for help with getting food or medicine.

Fill in the priority services form

You can join the priority services register on the PSR Scotland website. You'll need to give your contact details and answer a few questions about your requirements.

After you apply, your energy companies will tell you if you can get priority services. They might also ask extra questions about what help you need.

If you don’t hear from your energy companies

It's worth calling your energy companies if you don't hear anything within 2 weeks - you can find their phone numbers on their websites.

Ask them:

  • if you're on their priority services register
  • what support they can offer you - give as much detail as you can about your needs

If you move home

Your new home might be covered by a different electricity network. This means you'll need to apply for priority services again.

If you’re struggling with living costs

If you’re struggling with money, there are things you can do to save on your regular living costs. Check what to do if you need help with living costs.

If you’re finding it hard to pay your bills, you can get help. Find out more about getting help with your bills.

You can also get help with debts.

If you're struggling to pay for food, find out how to get help from a food bank.

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