Thanks to billions of pounds of investment, the energy networks are more reliable than ever. But, despite constant maintenance and investment, power cuts can sometimes occur.
What should I do during a power cut?
- Switch off. Switch off all electrical appliances that shouldn’t be left unattended, ready for when the power comes back on.
- Leave on. Leave a light on so you know when the power cut has been fixed.
- Check. Check to see if your neighbours are safe and if they have a power cut too. If they have power, your trip switch may have activated.
- Wrap up. If it's cold, wrap up warm and close internal doors to keep the heat in.
- Contact. Contact your network operator to report the power cut. Your network operator is different from your energy supplier. Find out who your local network operator is using our who's my network operator? tool.
Found a damaged power line or infrastructure?
- Keep as far away from the hazard as possible.
- Keep other people as far away from the hazard as possible, but don't put yourself in danger.
- Contact your network operator immediately. In Great Britain, call 105. In Northern Ireland, call 03457 643643. In the Republic of Ireland, call 1850 372 999.
- If there is an immediate risk to life or someone is in danger, dial 999.
What if I need extra help in a power cut?
If your medical or personal circumstances mean you might need extra help, the energy networks can support you. You should consider becoming a Priority Services Member. It's free to join. If you are a member and experience a power cut, your power supply may not be restored quicker but your energy company can offer you additional services. This could be regular updates, alternative heating and cooking facilities, or alternative accommodation. You would also get advanced notice of any planned power cuts.
If your power has gone out and you are not a Priority Services Member but need help, you should speak to your network operator now to let them know.
Can I get compensation for my power cut?
You may be able to get compensation but this depends on what caused the power cut and how long it lasted. You can find detailed information about applying for compensation on the Ofgem website.
The energy networks are regulated by Ofgem which sets service levels that distribution companies must meet. These include rules on how quickly network operators must restore your power in normal and severe weather conditions, and compensation payments to consumers if the standards aren’t met.