Gas safety: who qualifies for free checks?

Anyone over pension age who receives pension credit, council tax benefit or housing benefit can now receive a free gas safety check from their energy supplier.

The free check is part of a package of measures which all energy suppliers – gas and electricity – should make available to anyone over pension age who has a disability or long-term illness or is in receipt of certain benefits.

Other help includes a password protection scheme so that anyone from the supplier who calls will give you an agreed password to authenticate their identity.

If the gas supply is interrupted, alternative cooking facilities will be provided and you will be given notice of any planned interruptions to electricity supply.

If you are blind you can get Braille or 'talking bills'.

Read our guide to benefits for the over-50s.

Other help available

You can also get controls or adapters to help you use appliances safely and your meter may be moved if it is in a location where you cannot get access to it.

If your supplier reads your meter less than four times a year you can get a guarantee that yours will be read at least once a quarter, ensuring that your bills are as accurate as possible.

To get the help you must ask to be put on the Priority Services Register. Some suppliers are better than others at telling people about it and, just to confuse things, they have several different names for the scheme.

If you get nowhere with your supplier, call Energywatch on 0845 906 0708. It will then make sure your supplier provides the extra services that you want.

For further details, visit

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.