Priority Services Register – CO awareness pilot

SP Energy Networks

Raising CO awareness and reducing harm for PSR-registered households

Our project at a glance

  • Participating GDNs: Cadent, Northern Gas Networks and SGN
  • Strategic priority area: Carbon monoxide (CO) awareness
  • Support target: At least 300 households per year
  • Duration: March 2022 to September 20233
  • SGN investment: Providing 100 CO alarms per year and supporting CO leaflets 
  • Forecast SROI: £13.18

Why we’re working together

The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is higher in certain demographic groups. Older people, pregnant women, young children, and anyone with an existing respiratory condition, all of whom qualify to be registered on the Priority Services Register (PSR), are particularly vulnerable to CO poisoning. These groups often spend more time at home and with a need to stay warm, resulting in them using the heating more regularly, and or potentially using unsafe heating practices that further increase the risk of CO.   
Together with Cadent and Wales & West Utilities, we developed a pilot project with regional electricity distribution network company SP Energy Networks (SPEN) to increase CO awareness among vulnerable customers registered on its Priority Services Register.  
The pilot ran from March to October 2022 and during that time, SPEN held over 500 CO awareness discussions and provided 300 CO alarms to vulnerable households in need across Cadent, SGN and Wales & West Utilities network areas. 
To measure the impact of our programme, we measured the CO awareness levels of the customers supported with CO safety conversations. The programme aimed to achieve an average post-discussion score of at least 8 out of 10. Our pilot project achieved an average post-discussion CO awareness score of 8.87 out of 10.  
Following on from this success we agreed to extend our project with SPEN and provide an additional 100 CO alarms per participating GDN, along with the relevant supporting CO awareness literature. While we’re continuing to run this programme collaboratively with the other gas networks through September 2023, we’ve changed the way we individually fund this project. 

Project objectives

  • Educating at least 300 vulnerable households each year on the risks of carbon monoxide and how to protect themselves 
  • Ensuring vulnerable households have a working CO alarm by providing free alarms to those in need
  • Achieving a post-discussion CO awareness score of at least 8 out of 10

How we’re working together

One-to-one CO safety conversations

Through dedicated one-to-one telephone conversations, SPEN advisers are increasing CO awareness and reducing CO harm among vulnerable PSR-registered households. Following the call, households receive CO and gas safety reference leaflets from their relevant gas network company. 

Free CO alarms for at-risk households

If an adviser identifies that a vulnerable household doesn’t have a working CO alarm or doesn’t have sufficient alarms for all the appliances in their property, we’ll provide a free alarm to reduce their risk of CO harm.