What do I do if there’s a power cut in my area?
If there’s a power cut in your area, simply call 105 for free.
105 is the new nationwide number that will put you through to your local electricity network operator - the company that manages the cables, wires and sub-stations that bring electricity into local homes and businesses.
You can also call 105 if you spot damage to electricity power lines and sub-stations that could put you or someone else in danger. If there’s a serious immediate risk call the emergency services too.
105 is a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales and you can call the number from most landlines and mobile phones. It doesn’t matter who you choose to buy your electricity from - anyone can call 105.
What to do in a power cut – a step by step guide
- If you have any neighbours nearby and it's safe to do so, check to see if they have lost their power too. If they have, it is more than likely that it is a local network fault. If it’s just your home, call a qualified electrician for advice.
- Not sure who to call in the event of a power cut? Just call 105 and they’ll help you get in touch with your local electricity distribution company. They’re responsible for the power supply in your area and look after the wires and cables that connect your home or business to the National Grid. Your electricity is supplied through these wires and cables by your energy supplier. You need to use the two digits at the bottom left of your supply number to identify the correct number to call. You’ll find this on your electricity bill.
- Switch off all your electrical appliances and lights. It’s a good idea to leave one light switched on so you’ll be able to see when the power comes back on.
- Take great care with other forms of heating and lighting, such as paraffin heaters and candles.
- If you have been advised that the electricity will be turned off, keep some boiled water in a thermos flask to make hot drinks and fill a hot water bottle if the weather is cold. Any food in the freezer should stay frozen for approximately 8 hours. Don't open the freezer door unless you have to.
- Check the food in your freezer when the power is back on to make sure it has not thawed. If it has thawed, don’t re-freeze it as it could be unsafe to eat. You may be able to claim on your household contents insurance for any lost food - just check your policy to make sure.
- If you have medical support equipment that needs power to operate, you should make sure you have another source of power, such as a battery. Contact your hospital or doctor for advice. Please tell us if you have medical support equipment so that we can pass the information on to the distribution company with our Priority Services.
Be prepared for a power cut
- Keep a torch and fresh batteries where you can easily reach them.
- If you live in a rural area, be prepared for more power cuts during the winter period, particularly during bad weather or storms.
- Keep your latest energy bill somewhere that’s easy to find as this will have emergency contact details on it.
- It’s advisable to have emergency heating and lighting, such as paraffin heaters and candles. If you use these, make sure you use them safely and extinguish them properly.
- Remember that the doorbell won’t function properly unless it is powered by batteries, neither will an alarm system unless it has a battery back-up.