Extra Help

Get information about the services available for those who may need some extra help.

Peace of mind for you and your loved ones

At UW, we recognise that the needs of our customers vary greatly. We have a range of free support services available to those who may need it.

This helps us to ensure our staff and representatives are aware of specific needs when engaging with our customers.

Our free support services

We have a range of free services available that may assist you.

Alternative format bills
If you find it difficult to read your bills and statements, we can arrange to provide them in Braille, large print or by audio format. We can also provide other documents in special formats, if required.

Password identification scheme 
You can choose a password which is used by any of our staff or representatives who visit your property, so you can check it is definitely us at the door. We will arrange for the necessary people to know the new password in complete confidence. If you want to change your password at any time, just let us know.

Bill management
We can arrange for your bills to be sent to someone you choose to nominate if they agree to receive them on your behalf. They will also be able to help you manage the account.

Priority fault repair
The Priority Fault Repair Scheme is for vulnerable customers in specific circumstances who rely on their UW landline and /or fixed broadband connection. It gives eligible customers priority over customers with standard faults to get their issue resolved. Customers may be eligible for Priority Fault Repair if their circumstances demonstrate that their service is critical, in line with the guidance set out by Openreach. This guidance sets out that eligibility depends on a customer’s life being in peril if they are without their service and include the following criteria: 

  • Uses wheelchair, has severe mobility or disability.

  • Has a severe medical condition which is life threatening and relies on a working phone or broadband service.

  • Has a severe mental health problem or cognitive disability.

  • Has a Careline, Lifeline or Pendant

  • Has no access to a mobile phone. 

  • Has a severely sick child.

  • Is registered under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. 

Contact us for more information.

Relay services
If you have difficulty with your hearing or speech you can use Relay services (Text Relay and Next Generation Text Relay). When you are on a call, if you have difficulty hearing, the Relay Assistant types what the other person is saying and if you have difficulty speaking, the Relay Assistant will speak the words you type. You can use this service either through your textphone (Minicom / Uniphone) or by downloading the app for your smartphone, tablet or computer. For more information click here.

SignVideo service
Another option if you have difficulty with your hearing or speech and instead wish to use Sign Language to contact us via an interpreter, is our SignVideo option. To use this service you will need to be on a PC, Mac, Laptop, Smartphone or Tablet and when you are ready you can then click the SignVideo Link button on our ‘contact us’ page or click here. This will take you to a page that will connect you with a member of the SignVideo team. 

SignVideo will in turn call UW so they can interpret the information via sign language from, and then back to you by speaking to a member of the UW customer service team. For more information click here.

999BSL service
999 BSL is a service that connects you to British Sign Language Interpreters remotely through an app or a web-based platform, who then will relay the conversation with the call handler and emergency authorities. This service has been set up so that no BSL user will be excluded when they need to make an emergency call, therefore saving lives. The 999 BSL service is for emergency situations ONLY, for an example if someone is seriously injured; lives at risk; being in danger or harm; a serious offence is in progress or just has been committed.

For less urgent situations, please use Police 101 (wherever possible) and NHS111 through SignVideo - not 999 BSL, unless there is an emergency.There are two ways to reach the emergency authorities through 999 BSL service and they are:

For more information click here.

Free 195 directory enquiries
If you are unable to hold or read a printed directory because of sight loss or other disability, you can access free directory enquiries by dialling 195. The Operator can also connect you and you’ll be charged as if you’d dialled the number yourself. Before you can use this service, you need to fill in an application form and have it countersigned by a doctor, nurse or other medical practitioner who knows you.  Call free on 0800 587 0195 to get an application form. 

Emergency SMS
Hearing and speech impaired customers can contact the emergency services by sending a text message (SMS) to 999 or 112. The message will be passed to the police, ambulance service, fire rescue, or coastguard who will be able to reply. You must register your phone before you can use this service. To register text ‘register’ to 999 and follow the instructions you are sent.

Energy efficiency advice 
Making your home more energy efficient will help save money on your energy bills. Visit our Energy Efficiency advice page to find out how you could make savings with just a few simple steps.

Priority Services Register

The Priority Services Register is a confidential register which contains details of any specific needs you think we should know about. Customers with energy services can join the Register, if you are a senior citizen, or disabled, or chronically ill. 


Specific services can be offered to those on our Priority Services Register:

Meter reading
If you or anyone living with you is unable to read your electricity or gas meters, you can request that we read your meter once every quarter.

Meter repositioning 
If you have a prepayment meter and find it difficult to access the meter to safely top it up, we can arrange to move it to a more accessible location.

Special controls and adaptors
If you find it difficult to use a particular appliance, our customer services team can give you advice on specialist equipment that may assist you.

Gas safety check
A free annual check of all gas appliances is available to qualifying customers. These checks are carried out by Gas Safe registered engineers who can give you advice on the condition of your appliances and their continued safe use. 

How to join
Contact us if you would like more information or would like to join our Priority Services Register. 


Keeping you supplied
If you’re on our Priority Services Register, we will ensure your details, including any safety passwords, are passed to both your gas transporter (who is responsible for the pipeline that brings gas to your property) and the local electricity distribution company (which is responsible for the cables that bring electricity into your home), so they are aware of your circumstances in case of an emergency or supply disruption that may affect you.

If your gas transporter or your local electricity distribution company has to turn off your supply to carry out essential work, they will then let you know at least two working days before work starts. While we do our best to ensure a continuous supply, please note that this cannot be guaranteed.

If your gas transporter needs to disconnect the gas supply to your property for safety reasons and you or someone living with you is on our Priority Services Register, your gas transporter will provide alternative heating and cooking facilities so far as is reasonably practical to do so. If electricity is crucial to you, it’s always a good idea to have standby arrangements. 

More about the Warm Home Discount scheme

The Warm Home Discount is a Government led scheme that offers financial support to households that need it the most. There are two sections to the scheme - the Core Group that helps customers of pensionable age; and the Broader group that helps customers that receive certain benefits.

For full details of the Warm Home Discount Scheme, visit our dedicated page, or contact us.

Get independent advice

If you would like to receive free, independent, impartial and practical advice regarding your energy supply, contact the following organisations. 

Citizens Advice and Advice Direct Scotland are the official sources of free and independent energy advice and support.

If you live in England or Wales, go to citizensadvice.org.uk/energy or contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133. Calls are free.

If you live in Scotland, go to energyadvice.scot or contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 196 8660. Calls are free.

Some other organisations that may be able to help:

Age UK 
Phone: 0800 678 1602
Online: ageuk.org.uk

Disabled Living Foundation 
Phone: 0300 999 0004
Email: [email protected]
Online: dlf.org.uk 

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
Phone: 0303 123 9999
Email: [email protected]  
Online: rnib.org.uk

Action on Hearing Loss
Telephone: 0808 808 0123 
Textphone: 0808 808 9000 
SMS: 0780 0000 360
Email: [email protected]
Online: actiononhearingloss.org.uk

Phone: 0300 123 3393
Email: [email protected]
Online: mind.org.uk