Last updated 26 January 2023
Supported housing providers have queried potential power disruption this winter and what protections there are for supported housing schemes and care homes. The National Grid Winter Outlook is that there will be adequate energy margins through the winter, but it is prudent for supported housing and care home providers to prepare for all eventualities.
DLUHC have issued advice that supported housing and care homes are not considered priority business sites, which prioritise a very small percentage of sites or customers. Contingency plans for these sites are only activated in long-term supply shortfalls (at least two days).
DLUHC says that supported housing and care home providers should have their own business continuity plans in place at organisational and site level to deal with power outages. These business plans should include linking in early with local authorities, to plan ahead and to help them and Distribution Network Operators to identify any residents or sites that may need specific additional support. Local Resilience Forums can also support local areas in their regular planning for winter across a range of risks, including supporting the most vulnerable.
Supported housing residents could potentially also rely on help from energy suppliers through the priority services register (PSR). Inclusion on the register does not protect customers’ energy supplies. It is a system designed to ensure that individuals with special requirements have access to additional support during supply disruption. If a resident has electricity to their property, then they can apply to their electricity energy supplier and electricity Distribution Network Operator to register for the PSR. Some water companies also maintain a PSR. Individuals in schemes on heat networks can apply to be added to the register by contacting their Distribution Network Operator. Landlords may wish to support their residents to make the application.