Priority Service for Vulnerable Residents

Published: 01 November 2016

If the power goes off, or there’s a problem with the water supply then utility companies have a priority service for vulnerable people to ensure that supplies for those residents are dealt with first.

Many people don’t like to ask for help, however if the water or electricity fails then it can be distressing, especially in the winter, and potentially dangerous if someone uses equipment such as a dialysis machine or ventilator.

If you are elderly, disabled, have a child under five or use specialist medical equipment, then you could benefit from joining water and electricity priority care registers.

Sign up to priority services by calling:

  • Electricity: SSE 0800 294 3259 or text phone 0800 316 5457, UK Power Networks – 0800 169 9970, Western Power Distribution – 0800 096 3080
  • Water: Thames Water 0800 009 3652 or text phone 0800 316 6899, Anglican Water 03457 91 91 55
  • Power failure? If there’s a power cut call the free number 105 to check what’s happening with your local provider
  • No water? Find out what’s happening by calling Thames Water on 0800 980 8800

Message in a bottle

If you live alone it’s important that your contact and medical details are easy to find in the event of an emergency.

To help out, Oxfordshire County Council are giving away a free green bottle for you to store important information, such as personal details, emergency contact details, doctors details, medications and allergies. These bottles are provided by Lions Club International.

If the emergency services are called to your home they will look for the green cross symbol on the back of your front door and will then know to look in the fridge for the information in the green bottle.

To get hold of free green bottles for your community group or parish please contact 01865 323765 or email

More information can be found at