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Welcome to our Priority Services Register

At Northern Powergrid, we are always striving to provide the very best service to all our customers – we are satisfied only when you are.

We understand that, during a power cut, some customers may need additional support. That’s why we developed our Priority Services Register.

You’ve been sent this Welcome Pack because you have recently registered for our Priority Services. Alternatively, a friend or family member may have registered on your behalf, or you could have been automatically registered through your electricity provider.

Whatever the reason, you now have the reassurance that, in the event of a power cut, you are our priority.
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What is the Priority Services Register?

Our Priority Services Register is for those people who may need a little extra support when there’s a power cut. This could be for many reasons, for example if you have a medical condition, if you’re elderly or disabled, if you have young children, or if you rely on electricity for medical equipment.

Being on our Priority Services Register provides a whole range of benefits. Depending on the circumstances, we will:

We might also be able to:

We also work closely with the British Red Cross and, if necessary, we can arrange for them to get in touch or visit your home to offer a bit more emotional and practical support.

Visiting your Home

There may be times during a power cut when we will send someone to visit your home. This will either be one of our employees or one of our contractors. We understand you want to know exactly who you’re letting into your home. We follow a code of conduct so you can be sure that all visits are made by genuine staff or contractors.

If you are blind, have poor sight or would just like to feel more secure, we also agree a password with you for us to use when we make an appointment. Just give us a call if you would like to do this on 0800 169 2996.
Visiting your home

Power cut? Here’s what you should do…

Power cut

Mobility aids

If you need electricity to help you move around your home you may find it difficult if there’s a power cut. Here are some ideas you may find helpful.

Stair lifts
If your stairlift is mains operated it will stop where it is during a power cut. See if there is a manual release handle to return the lift safely to ground level if it stops midway between floors. Some stairlifts have battery back up. This automatically takes over and keeps the stairlift working if there is a power cut. Often these stairlifts use rechargeable batteries so do recharge them regularly.

Bath hoists
A fully-sealed rechargeable battery pack powers modern bath hoists. Charging the battery from the mains must take place outside the bathroom. When fully charged, most bath hoist batteries will lift someone weighing 100kg up to ten times. Please check with the manufacturer for more information.
Mobility Aids

Heating and lighting systems

Many central heating systems and water boilers use electricity to power pumps and controls or to provide the main source of heat. These systems won’t work during a power cut. Some also have electronic timers that may need to be reset when the electricity is restored.

Remember that some gas ovens and hobs also won’t work without electricity. If you know there is going to be a power cut, you may like to prepare a warm meal in advance or fill a flask with a warm drink to last while the electricity is off.



In most cases, freezer contents will not be affected by a power cut. Food will normally stay frozen for up to 12 hours in an upright freezer and up to 24 hours in a chest freezer, but check the manufacturer’s handbook for more information.

To preserve freezer contents as long as possible make sure you...

Household appliances

Labour saving devices
If left on, some dishwashers and washing machines will automatically resume their cycles when the power is restored after an interruption. However, appliances with electronic timers and controls won’t and will need to be reset. If you know your electricity is going to be switched off, try to avoid starting such appliances beforehand.

Home entertainment
Many DVD players, media and other equipment have electronic clocks or timers. Check to see if yours have battery back up. If not, you’ll probably need to reset them when the power comes back on.

For more specific information about your own appliances, you may find it useful to contact the manufacturer.
Household Applicances


When using a PC or laptop, always save your work regularly in case there is a power cut. Some software has an autosave facility, so check to see if this is available on your system and activate it if you can. For a planned power cut, the best advice is to close down computers, printers and other devices before the electricity is switched off. Other steps you can take include:

Telephone systems
Many telephones use ‘line current’ and should still operate during a power cut. We recommend that all customers have at least one telephone of this type. If your telephone has a mains plug, check to see if it has back up batteries. Without them the phone probably won’t work if your electricity is switched off.

Other equipment
Fax and answer machines are mains operated and won’t work during a power cut. If you use ISDN or other computer based communication equipment, you should not start sending data before the start of a planned power cut as the operation may not have time to complete.

Do you have any friends or family that would benefit from joining our register?

Our register is open to our customers who:

Get in touch

If you want to speak to us about the Priority Services Register, the information in this guide please give us a call on 0800 169 2996 or visit

Or you can write to us:

Priority Services Manager,
Northern Powergrid,
Manor House, Station Road, Penshaw,
Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 7LA

If your power goes off, please call us on 0800 169 2996 *

*If you are deaf or hard of hearing:
Text phone: 0800 028 9507
Text relay: dial prefix 18001 then our number 0800 169 2996

If English is not your first language: Call: 0800 389 8294
Northern Powergrid