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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-03208: Lyle, Richard (Uddingston and Bellshill)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 26 September 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has regarding the support that energy supply companies offer to vulnerable customers in Scotland, as part of their Priority Services Register obligations, to help maintain the safety of (a) gas and (b) electrical appliances and installation at home.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 27 October 2016

The information requested is not held centrally.

Ofgem, the energy regulator, maintain license conditions which electricity and gas suppliers must adhere to. Under license condition 26 suppliers must have a Priority Services Register (PSR) that offers specific, non-financial services to particular groups of people, free of charge.

This is separate to license condition 29 for gas suppliers which requires that they provide free gas safety checks to certain customers in specific situations as outlined in the license condition. There are no such license conditions requiring safety checks to be performed on electrical appliances.

Currently, license conditions are specific and stipulate what services suppliers must include as part of their PSR provision. There is no requirement for suppliers to provide other services, but they might do. Thus, all license holders should at least provide the services outlined in current license conditions.

However, Ofgem have recently reviewed PSR arrangements and will be publishing relevant license condition modifications at the end of October. The proposed license drafting in gas and electricity supply license conditions, includes a provision for suppliers to provide additional services of a similar non-financial nature as the licensee identifies are appropriate to the needs of the customer and reasonably practicable for the licensee to provide.

All gas and electricity suppliers, in accordance with license condition 26.8, must publish a statement on their website about their obligations under license condition 26.