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What to do in a Power Cut

If your power goes off unexpectedly, check to see if your neighbours still have electricity. If their power is also off please contact us. Don't assume that we will know that your power has gone off, please let us 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.

Take a look at this short video for some helpful information on what to do in a power cut including your trip switches:

Video Content

We have prepared some documents including Helpful Advice during a Power Cut that you may find useful.

How to check your trip switch and fuses

Not all properties have a trip switch so first of all check that you have one. 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 three 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.

If the trip switch is on

Turn the trip switch off and back on again. This is because the mechanism may trip inside the box but not trip the external switch. If the supply is not restored, push the 'test' button. If the switch trips, you have 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 incoming supply.

If the trip switch is off

Try to switch it back on. If it stays on but the supply is still off, check you have not turned off the main switch on the fusebox. If the trip switch trips immediately 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.
If the trip switches to the 'off' position again then you have a fault with the fuse box or the trip switch itself. You should contact an approved electrician for any further internal work. To find more information on this please visit NICEIC. Remember to choose an electrical contractor approved by the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC).

More helpful advice during a power cut

  • Unplug sensitive appliances such as TVs, satellite equipment and computers.
  • Switch off and unplug appliances especially items such as fires, cookers, irons and hair straighteners in case you forget they’re on when power is restored.
  • Leave a light switched on so you know when power is restored.
  • Avoid opening your fridge or freezer more than necessary.
  • Check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours to ensure they are safe and comfortable.
  • Street lighting may also be off so take care outside.
  • During cold weather, dress warmly using several layers of clothing.
  • Many central heating systems and water heaters will not work. Portable heaters are a good alternative but take care where you put them.
  • Limit the use of your laptop or smart phone to save battery power.
  • When power is restored turn your appliances back on one at a time.
  • Livestock, fish and pets may be vulnerable during a power cut. Ensure adequate provision is made. Contact the RSPCA for further details.

Would you know who to contact if you had a power cut?


105 is the new number to call.

You can call 105 to report or get information about power cuts in your local area.

You can also call 105 if damage to electricity power lines and substations could put you, or someone else, in danger. If there’s a serious immediate risk, you should call the emergency services too.

105 is a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales.

Electricity network operators manage and maintain the powerlines and substations that bring electricity into homes and businesses. They are the people you should contact if you experience a power cut.

There are several electricity network operators that work in different parts of the UK. Wherever you live, 105 will put you through to the electricity network operator that can help you.

You can still reach us on our existing numbers shown below:

Central & Southern Scotland


0800 092 9290

Cheshire, Merseyside, N. Wales & N.Shropshire


0800 001 5400


Why 105?


Many people don’t know they should contact their electricity network operator if they have a power cut. They often mistakenly call the electricity supplier they pay their bills to.

That’s why 105 has been introduced – to give you an easy-to-remember number to call that will put you through to the people who can help.

It doesn’t matter who you choose to buy electricity from, anyone can call 105.

More about network operators

There are two types of electricity network operator – Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and Independent Distribution Network Operators (IDNOs).

Each DNO covers a different geographical region. IDNOs operate smaller networks located within the areas covered by the DNOs, for example new housing or commercial developments. You can find out more about network operators by visiting the Energy Networks Association website.

In England, Scotland and Wales, there are six DNOs and seven IDNOs. These network operators have joined forces to launch 105 and make it easier for their customers to contact them during a power cut.

You can also contact your network operator directly, either by phone or online here.  

Power Cuts - Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about power cuts and electricity supply issues. The Energy Networks Association has more detailed information on its website.

What should I do during a power cut?

  • Switch off all electrical appliances that shouldn’t be left unattended, in case 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.

What should I do if I see a damaged overhead electricity line?

Report the problem to your network operator by calling 105. Keep as far away from the hazard as possible and warn people in the vicinity to do the same.

What should I do if a storm is on its way and I’m worried about my power going off?

  • Keep a torch handy – it’s much safer than using candles.
  • Get a battery-powered 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.
  • Charge your mobile phone and laptop.

Can I use my phone during a power cut?

Cordless phones probably won’t work during a power cut. They take their power straight 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 make phone calls if you have a power cut.

Mobile phones may work if they are charged, depending on how widespread the power cut is.

I’m on the Priority Services Register. Should I now call 105?

The Priority Services Register is for people who might need extra support during a power cut; for example, the elderly and people who need electricity for vital medical equipment.

If you are on the Register and you have a power cut, you should continue to call the priority phone number that you have been given.


Hi! I'm the SP Energy Networks System Agent, can I help you?