What to do in a power cut or utility failure

Find out how to protect your household during a power cut or utility outage.

In the event of a power cut, 105 is the number to call to get information and help. This free service will put you through to your local electricity network operator.

Tips on what to do during a power cut

  • Turn off all electrical appliances that are not safe to be left unattended.

  • If a light is left on, then you'll know when the power cut is over.

  • Check to make sure any elderly or vulnerable neighbours are all right.

  • Add layers of clothing to keep warm.

  • Contact your electricity network operator to report the power cut, either by calling 105 or via their other channels.

  • Visit Powercut105.com for details of your local network operator.

Preparing for a power cut

  • Keep a torch in a handy place.

  • A battery-powered or wind-up radio is useful in the event of a power cut.

  • Have blankets or warm layers of clothing in an easily accessible place.

  • Ensure you have some store-cupboard foods and drinks that don't require electricity to prepare.

  • Keep your mobile phone and laptop fully charged.

  • Check your network operator's website or social media channels for updates.

Phone use

Cordless 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 phones will work - you might want to keep one handy so you can plug it in and make phone calls if you have a power cut.

    Gas outages

    If you smell gas, and for all other gas-related emergencies, call the National Grid Emergency Call Centre on 0800 111 999.

    Water outages

    If you are affected by a loss of water supply, call the phone number given on your water bill, or check your water company's website.

    Water companies are required to provide alternative supplies during an outage, such as bottled water.

    As for all utility outages, try to help any elderly or vulnerable neighbours who may need extra support and care.

    Priority Services Register

    The Priority Services Register is a list held by utility providers of residents who might need extra support during an outage; for example, people who need electricity for vital medical equipment.

    Some water companies may refer to this as an Extra Care register. 

    For more information on joining the register visit the Citizens Advice website.