The number of sign-ups to Southern Water’s Priority Service Register has increased by more than 50% since the start of the year, meaning our teams can give vulnerable customers the help they need.
This could be during an emergency incident, such as the water main bursts we had in Hastings earlier in the year, and in Brighton in September. In these moments, contacting vulnerable customers and delivering bottled water to them is our priority.
The uptake follows reaching out to customers during emergencies, partnership drives with other utility companies and localised schemes.
Vulnerability manager at Southern Water, Rachel Ryan-Crisp, said: “After working with other utility companies such as UKPN and having dealt with incidents in Hastings and Brighton this year, we’ve seen quite a rise in vulnerable customers signing up to our Priority Service Register, which is fantastic.
“We changed rules so that others could refer a vulnerable customer on their behalf, which has also contributed to more people being signed up.
“Our team are always talking to our vulnerable customers and one area we’ll continue to focus on is helping vulnerable customers with their bills where possible.”
We also announced in April that Southern Water was working with other utility networks to give a £500,000 boost to local community foundations to help vulnerable people during the pandemic.
More recently in June, we joined forces with other utility companies for those who need extra help during a water, electricity or gas emergency. They have created a joint video to promote the Priority Services Register, a service that all utilities provide for people needing extra support for a variety of reasons.
Rachel and her team would encourage anyone to get in touch and sign-up to the register if they’re in a vulnerable position, or on behalf of someone you know is.
“There is a general sense of uncertainty with lockdown continuing and Brexit talks, and we want people to feel like they can reach out to us for help.”
For more information and to sign-up to the Priority Services Register, please visit: https://www.southernwater.co.uk/register-for-individual-needs