National customer phone line celebrates third birthday!

Today sees the third birthday of the national power cut phone line – 105 – that helps people contact the company that looks after their electricity network.

Launched in 2016, the number, which is available to electricity customers in England, Scotland and Wales, allows people to report or get information about power cuts as well as report damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put themselves, or someone else, in danger.

Callers dialling 105, which is free to use, are put straight through to their local electricity network operator, helping avoid potential confusion or people contacting the wrong organisation, such as the company they pay their bill to.

105 is funded and delivered by the electricity network operators, and was a first for the UK’s energy industry. The number was launched following research which revealed 72% of people don’t know who to contact if they have a power cut, with a further 43% indicating that they would incorrectly call the electricity supplier they pay their bill to.

More and more people are becoming aware of the service. In only three years nearly half of all calls to the electricity network operators now come through on 105.

This effort is building on the substantial private investment has not only helped make Britain a superpower of renewable energy since privatisation in 1990, but has also resulted in the public having significantly shorter and fewer power cuts.

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, said:

“The 105 power cut number continues to be a success story for the British public and electricity network companies across the country. Their investment in this service ensures that people have a quick and simple phone number to access if they do have a power cut.  It also means that as the companies responsible for keeping our lights on, our homes warm and our businesses running, they’re able to respond as quickly as possible.

“Network companies are custodians and major investors in the critical national infrastructure which operates in every corner of the country. This strong performance of 105 over the last three years has been matched by continued improvements in network reliability and customer satisfaction. As we head into this autumn, our network companies are again ready to deal with the British winter and all the challenges that it may bring.”

Notes to editors

  • In 2018, 49.6% of calls to electricity network operators were received on 105 – an increase of 5% from 2017
  • Customer service scores  for electricity distribution companies stand at 8.7 out of 10
  • Electricity distribution companies have over six million vulnerable customers on their free Priority Services Registers
  • Since privatisation customers have 59% fewer power cuts while their length has been reduced by 84%