Power cut help
Don’t be in the dark about power cuts – call 105
If you experience a power cut, 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 substations that bring electricity into local homes and businesses.
You can also call 105 if you spot damage to electricity power lines and substations 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.
- Check to see if it’s just you
- If it is just your home, call a qualified electrician for advice
- If it’s your neighbours too, contact your local network operator by calling 105
- You can find out who your local network operator is by using your supply number below which can be found on your bill:
The number at the bottom is the Short Code, which can be used to find out full details of your electricity distributors.
If you have any neighbours nearby and it is safe to do so, please 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 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 Warm Response Service.
If you have an Electric Prepayment Meter (a meter where you make payments to a key, by token or smartcard and then place the credit directly to your meter) with no supply, or if you are experiencing problems with your device or meter, call 0800 073 3000 (free from most landlines) or 0330 100 3000 (Included in any 'inclusive minutes' from mobiles) *.
- Keep a torch and fresh batteries where you can reach them easily
- Keep your latest energy bill somewhere easy to find as this will have emergency contact details on the front
- Turn off all your electrical appliances and lights. It’s a good idea to leave one light switched on so you know when the power is back on
- Take great care with other forms of heating and lighting, such as paraffin heaters and candles
- Remember that the doorbell will probably not work unless it runs on batteries, nor will an alarm system unless it has a battery back-up
- 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
- When your supply is back on, electric timers, alarm clocks and so on may need to be reset
- Any food in the freezer should stay frozen for approximately 8 hours. Do not open the freezer door unless you have to. Check the food when the power is back on to make sure it has not thawed. If it has, do not re-freeze it. You may be able to claim on your household contents insurance for any lost food. Check your policy to make sure
If the trip switch is in the ‘off’ position or the fuses have blown, it’s likely that you have a faulty appliance or problems with your wiring.
How to check your trip switches and fuses:
- First check that you have a trip switch. It is also known as an RCD (residual current device) or an ELCB (earth leakage circuit breaker). This will be on or near the fuse box.
- If you are not sure, have a look at the fuse box. The fuse box will be no further than 3 metres away from your electricity meter. If you have a trip switch, you will be able to see a 'push to test' button, bar, or a 'reset' button
- Please note that not all properties have a trip switch.
- Turn the trip switch off and back on again. This safety feature may have been triggered without the switch physically moving and this may reset it
- If the supply isn’t restored, push the ‘test’ button. If the switch trips, you’ve probably got a problem with your wiring or an appliance. This is because the ‘push to test’ button can only trip the switch if your local network operator’s supply is healthy. The trip will now be in the ‘off’ position
- If the trip switch is on and the ‘push to test’ button does not trip the switch, then there is no electricity coming into the property
- Try to switch the trip back on. If it stays on but the supply is still off, check that the main switch on the fuse box is on
- If the trip switch trips immediately, then you have a fault with your wiring, an appliance or the fuse box
- If you have a separate fuse box and trip switch, turn the fuse box off and turn the trip switch back on. The trip should then stay on, however if the trip switches to the ‘off’ position again, then you have a fault with the fuse box or the trip switch itself
- It may be an appliance that is causing the trip to switch off. Try switching all your appliances off and putting them back on individually
- If you think you have a fault with your appliances, fuse box or wiring you’ll need a qualified electrician and shouldn’t try to repair it yourself
If you’ve checked your fuses or trip switches and your appliances and wiring are not faulty, you should report the power cut
If it’s cold and there’s no smell, phone our Enquiry line on 0800 073 3000 (free from most landlines) or 0330 100 3000 (included in any 'inclusive minutes' from mobiles). They will pass your details on to your local network operator who will contact you to discuss the work.