Power Cuts Advice
The UK's transmission and distribution system is very reliable. However, despite the best efforts of our members, problems sometimes occur that affect your electricity supply.
In these circumstances, please do not panic. There is a simple, free number to call which will put you through to your local electricity network operator. If you have a power cut or to report damage to power lines just dial 105 or visit www.powercut105.com.
If you spot a potential hazard on or near an overhead electricity line
- Do not approach any hazard, even at ground level.
- Keep as far away as possible.
- Warn anyone in the vicinity to evacuate the area.
- Contact your distribution network operator or call 105.
Make sure you’re prepared
- Remember to keep a mobile phone fully charged.
- Have a battery-powered radio tuned into a local radio station.
- Keep a torch handy – much safer than candles.
- Make sure you and your vulnerable relatives/neighbours have a charged mobile phone with important numbers easily accessed in case help is needed.
- Only use alternative forms of heating or lighting if you can do so safely.
- Ensure you have a good supply of warm clothing and a blanket close to hand.
- Fill a vacuum flask and a hot water bottle.
- Ensure your cupboards are stocked with food and drink that does not require electricity to heat or prepare it.
- Keep important documents safe and handy
- You should limit the use of your laptop or your smart phone in the lead up to the storm to preserve the life of the battery.
What to do during a power cut
- Switch off all electrical appliances.
- Leave a light on so you know when power is restored.
- Check to see if your neighbours are OK.
- Keep a blanket near you.
- Wrap up warm.
- Keep one room warm and stay in it.
Using phones during a power cut:
- Cordless phones take their power straight from the electricity mains and often don’t have battery back-up, so are unlikely to work in the event of a power cut even if they are fully charged.
- Mobile phones may work as long as they are fully charged; depending on how widespread the power cut is and how long it lasts.
- You may wish to keep a traditional corded phone which plugs straight into the phone socket for a situation such as power cuts to enable you to make essential calls.
Priority Services Register – vulnerable customers
Keeping warm is particularly important to the very young, older people or those who suffer from certain illnesses. We recommend:
- Wearing several layers of warm clothing.
- Wearing a hat to reduce heat loss.
- Keep active to help to stimulate circulation.
If you are notified that your electricity is going to be disconnected, heat some water beforehand and fill a covered hot water bottle.
You may find it useful to keep some hot water in a vacuum flask to make coffee, tea or soup. Warm drinks may also be available from a neighbour.
If you or a relative are reliant on necessary medical or other electrical equipment, please read this advice on what to do during a power cut.
- Medical equipment - If you have a medical condition – or rely on medical equipment which would be severely affected by a power cut – please discuss your concerns and needs with your carer, district nurse, doctor or social worker etc, so that you can cope with a power cut. They may be able to give you a personal emergency plan, so you know what to do. This should always include calling our power cut emergency line (listed on the left of this screen) to let us know that you are without power.
- NHS Direct Helpline - If you need medical advice, call the NHS Direct Helpline on 0845 4647.
Please make sure your neighbours and friends know how you are managing as they may be able to offer some help.
Advice from distribution network operators
Each company has detailed plans for dealing with electricity emergencies. During an emergency, companies will add more detailed information to their site.
North East England
South East England
South West England
North Wales, Merseyside & Cheshire