What to do in a power cut

It's your Electricity Distribution Network Operator (DNO) who is responsible for maintaining physical electricity supplies to your home or business. DNOs own and operate the distribution network of towers and cables that bring electricity from the national transmission network to homes and businesses. They don't sell electricity to consumers, this is done by the electricity retailers whose name appears on your bill.

The electricity network operators have introduced 105 - to give you an easy-to-remember number to call that will put you through to the local people who can help during a power cut.

Alternatively, you can find the details for all the electricity Distribution Network Operator companies on the Energy Networks Association postcode lookup tool.

For gas emergencies dial  0800 111999

Precautions to take and how to deal with a power cut

In the event of a power outage there are some simple precautions you can take to help best prepare and deal with the situation:

  • If electricity is crucial for any medical equipment you have, please contact your DNO at any time as they may be able to put you on their Priority Register (see below) for assistance during any power outage
  • Make sure you have multiple torches along with extra batteries
  • Make sure you keep your mobile phone charged so you can make calls in case of an emergency
  • Keep fridges and freezers closed, with a blanket over as they will stay cold for many hours
  • Keep important documents safe and handy
  • Look out for elderly neighbours and ensure they are prepared for a possible power cut
  • Switch off appliances - turn off items such as irons, ovens, electric fires and fryers as they could pose a hazard if the power comes back on when you are not there
  • For people using a digital landline who don't have a mobile phone, or who live in an area with poor/no mobile signal, speak to your communications provider about additional support they can offer you in advance

If your power goes off unexpectedly, check to see if your neighbours still have electricity. If their power is also off don't assume that the DNO has already been notified - always call to let them know.

If your neighbours still have power but your home doesn't, it's likely there is a problem with the fuses or trip switches in your home.

Help for vulnerable people in case of power cuts

If you or someone you care for rely on power for your healthcare, it is sensible to know what to do if the power does go out. By making a plan together, you will be better prepared for if things go wrong.

Sign up for the Priority Services Register in case of power cuts - this is a free service provided by water and power suppliers for older and disabled people, or if you depend on electricity to keep medical or mobility equipment running.

Ensure that your care provider, clinical care team and/or equipment supplier have supplied you with sufficient information so that you understand how the equipment works and what to do if there is a power disruption.

Speak to your care team to put a plan in place for what action to take and who you/they can ring 24/7 if there is a device-related problem during a power outage.