The voice of the networks

Power cut?

Our electricity transmission and distribution system is very reliable. However, despite the best efforts of our members, problems sometimes occur that can affect your electricity supply.

If you have a power cut or to report damage to power lines just call 105. 105 is a free service, available to people in England, Scotland and Wales. You can call the number from most landlines and mobile phones. In Northern Ireland, call 03457 643643. In the Republic of Ireland, call 1850 372 999.

Your network operator is different from your energy supplier. In the UK, you can also find your local network operator’s contact details by entering your postcode on our postcode finder.

If you need extra help during a power cut

Network operators work with energy suppliers to maintain a free Priority Services Register to help identify vulnerable customers who may need additional support during a power cut. If you or someone you know needs extra help, consider signing up for the register.

Frequently asked questions

  • What should I do if there’s a power cut?
    • Switch off all electrical appliances that shouldn’t be left unattended, ready for when the power comes back on.
    • Leave a light on so you know when the power outage has been resolved.
    • Check to see if your neighbours are okay.
    • Wrap up warm.
    • Contact your network operator to report the power cut. Just call 105. 105 is a free service, available to people in England, Scotland and Wales. You can call the number from most landlines and mobile phones.

    In the Republic of Ireland you should contact ESB Networks and in Northern Ireland you should contact Northern Ireland Electricity Networks. Your network operator is different from your energy supplier.

    If you live in the UK, you can also find your local network operator’s contact details by entering your postcode on our postcode finder.

  • What should I do if I see a damaged power line or substation?

    Contact your network operator immediately. Keep as far away from the hazard as possible. If there is a serious immediate risk to life, call the emergency services by dialling 999.

    You should contact your local network operator by calling 105 in the UK. In the Republic of Ireland contact ESB Networks and in Northern Ireland contact Northern Ireland Electricity Networks. Your network operator is different from your energy supplier. In the UK, you can also find their contact details by entering your postcode on our postcode finder.

  • Who are the electricity network operators?

    Electricity network operators are the companies that keep your lights on. They manage and maintain the underground cables, overhead wires and substations that bring electricity into homes and businesses. They are the people you should contact if you experience a power outage – no matter who you pay your bill to.

    There are several electricity network operators that cover different parts of Great Britain, powering our communities. Wherever you live in England, Scotland or Wales, 105 will put you through to the electricity network operator in your area. If you live in Northern Ireland you should contact Northern Ireland Electricity Networks and if you live in the Republic of Ireland you should contact ESB Networks.

    You can also contact your electricity network operator directly by phone or via their website, and most network operators are on social media too.

     

  • How can I prepare for a power cut?
    • Keep a torch handy – it’s much safer than using candles.
    • Get a battery-powered or wind-up radio (useful for keeping up to date with relevant local news).
    • Keep warm – keep a blanket and warm clothing handy, and fill a vacuum flask or hot water bottle.
    • Stock your cupboard with food and drink that doesn’t require electricity to prepare it.
    • If you have a mobile, laptop or tablet you should keep these fully charged.
    • Bookmark this page and follow your local network operator on social media so you can keep up-to-date with the latest information.
  • Can I use my phone during a power cut?

    In most cases, mobile phones will work if they are charged. Where available, use your phone’s low battery mode to preserve power and switch off data, Bluetooth and wifi when not in use.

    Cordless landline phones probably won’t work during a power cut. They take their power from the mains and most don’t have battery back-up. Traditional corded landline phones will work. If you have a landline, you might want to keep a corded phone handy so you can plug it in and make phone calls if you have a power outage.

  • I’m on the Priority Services Register. Should I contact my network operator?

    The Priority Services Register is for people who might need extra support during a power cut. For example, if you need electricity for vital medical equipment. If you are on the Register and you have a power cut, you should continue to call the phone number that you have been given.

  • What about compensation if I have a power cut?

    The energy networks are regulated by Ofgem which sets service levels that distribution companies must meet. These include rules on how quickly our members (the network operators) must respond to restore power in both normal and severe weather conditions, and compensation payments to consumers if the standards aren’t met. You can find more information on the Ofgem website.