John Spellar MP calls on vulnerable residents of Sandwell to cut the risk and sign up to electricity Priority Service Register


John Spellar MP met Western Power Distribution (WPD) Chief Executive Robert Symons on Tuesday December 8, and joined him in calling on vulnerable residents in Sandwell to cut the risk and sign up to the electricity Priority Service Register.

WPD is responsible for keeping the lights on for 7.8m customers and maintaining over 92,000km of overhead lines and 129,000km of underground cables, including across Sandwell.


New research by WPD estimates that in Sandwell 46,156 of vulnerable customers are yet to sign up for the extra support they are eligible for in the event of a power cut.


Vulnerable customers can call WPD on 0800 917 79 53 to sign up for priority assistance. The Priority Service Register is free and confidential. The register helps WPD to support people who may be particularly vulnerable during a power cut, such as those medically dependent on electricity, with a particular communication need, or who may just find a power cut particularly difficult such as the elderly or disabled.


John Spellar MP said:


“I was delighted to meet with Western Power Distribution and to hear about the important work they are doing in Sandwell to keep the lights on and to ensure vulnerable residents get helped first in the event of a power cut. I am calling on all residents of Sandwell to call 0800 917 79 53 if they believe they would be vulnerable if the power went off.”


Robert Symons, Western Power Distribution Chief Executive said:


“We were delighted to meet with MPs to discuss our role of keeping the lights on and investing in the new skills and connections that the network needs for the future.


“We are investing £7.1 billion over the next eight years, improving network resilience, connecting new homes, businesses and generation to the network, and reducing the likelihood of power cuts. However, we cannot eliminate the chances of power cuts completely, so it is vital that we know who our most vulnerable customers are, so we can support them first. This is why we are encouraging vulnerable customers to join our free Priority Service Register.”  


WPD operates from the Lincolnshire coast in the East Midlands, through to Gloucestershire in the West Midlands, across South and West Wales and the counties of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall in the South West, including major cities like Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol.

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