Priority help for customers who need it most

Priority help for customers who need it most...

Do you have a relative or family friend who you think may need extra help during a powercut? For example, how would your elderly granny with a stairlift or the cousin who has just had a baby cope if their power went off unexpectedly? It's for that reason we have our Priority Service Register.

We've always looked after our vulnerable customers via the information we had gathered over the years at our Emergency Service Centre, who handle the incoming calls from customers during a powercut. In 2012 we went one step further and officially set up the Priority Service Register and at the same time created a brand new Priority Service team. We have now got 250,000 customers on the register and this means that if there is a powercut, they will get a pro-active call from the team to make sure that they're OK, and then see if there is anything we can do to help them until the power is back on.

There are lots of ways we can help, such as:

• Where possible, we can supply customers with a mobile generator so that they can continue to use their specialist medical equipment at home
• Deliver hot food and drinks for those customers who are unable to leave their homes
• In exceptional cases, we can look to offering the customer temporary accommodation until their power supply is restored

We care about our customers and it's something we should be shouting from the rooftops! While it's great that we have now got a quarter of a million customers on the register, we know that there are more people out there we can help, and so yesterday we hit the media trail to highlight this vital and free service. I was on three of the main BBC radio stations in the SEPD area covering Oxford, Surrey, Sussex and Berkshire regions and my colleague, Duncan MacDonald  in Corporate Affairs did interviews with commercial local radio. Newspapers across our patch picked up the story as well..

Offering care and support to those who need it most is something I'm really passionate about, and so if you know of anyone who you think may benefit from some extra help during a power cut, please ask them to contact the Priority Service team on 0800 294 3259 or, for more information, click here www.ssepd.co.uk/aboutus/priorityservices

About the author

Bev Keogh Director of Network Service at SSEPD

Bev joined SSE at the time of its merger with SWALEC in 2000. Prior to that, she had spent her career working with SWALEC in a variety of Customer Service roles, before taking up an engineering-focused role in 2010 as part of SSE's Networks team. Bev joined SSE Lighting Services later that year as deputy director and latterly held the position of Director of Regional Operations for the UK and Ireland, responsible for the delivery of regional contracts covering over 800,000 lighting points and for the strategic business growth of our Lighting Services business. Prior to her current role, Bev was Head of Operations for Southern Electric Power Distribution.

Read more articles by Bev Keogh