Helping you be prepared
A power cut doesn't happen every day for our customers, thanks to investment in our network, but if it does our first priority is to restore supplies as soon as possible and we have plans in place to get your power back on.
But what if - due to a complex fault or severe weather - you might have to be off supply for longer while our teams work to restore your power. Do you have a plan in place for you, your family or your business?
Our customer service team - and our Pro-active Customer Service Responders - will seek to provide advice and support to customers affected more than six hours. In a long-duration power cut we work with local partners, like British Red Cross, local authorities and community groups, in addition to seeking to provide a range of our own discretionary welfare support services wherever possible.
In such situations, there are also steps you can take to help yourself, your family and friends or your customers - if you run a business.
Check out some of the advice and guidance below - and why not share it with the people you care about so they know what to do too.
If you have a power cut, don't forget to check on neighbours or family members who may be more vulnerable. If you - or someone you know about - might need extra advice or support due to medical or personal circumstances, it's important to join our free Priority Services Membership today so we know about your needs if your supply is ever interrupted.
Priority Services Membership
If you might need extra support or advice in a power cut due to your personal or medical circumstances you may benefit from joining our free Priority Services Membership.
If you, or someone you care for, needs the power on for medical reasons, are elderly, sick, disabled, have trouble communicating or have young children to look after, you could become a member.
Information in a power cut
If you need information in a power cut and have access to a mobile phone, you can use our power cut map to report your power cut and get the latest information about when we estimate your electricity supply will be restored.
Our local contact centre team is also available 24/7 to support customers, particularly those who may not have access to mobile devices to get information or may be more vulnerable due to their medical or personal circumstances.
Simply call 105 - the free national number to report a power cut or electricity emergency - and your call will be directed to our team.
Keeping you updated
Keeping you updated is important to us so ensuring we have your latest contact details is key.
If your power supply is ever interrupted we can help keep you informed by sending text updates and it will also help speed up any payments should we not meet industry guaranteed standards and you are eligible for compensation.
Contact our team on 105 to update your details.
Power cut advice and tips
View our interactive house which offers hints and tips if you have been informed about a planned power cut, or if there is a severe weather forecast that could increase the risk of damage to the region's electricity network and cause a power cut.
Also check out our quick tips leaflet which you can print off and keep handy at home.
Advice and further information is also available on the national powercut105.com website.
Advice for domestic customers
We have plans in place to support you and we will work to restore your supplies as soon as possible safely - but do you have a plan of what you could do if you were ever faced with a longer duration power cut to make it more manageable for you and your family?
Have you considered making a power cut bag and keeping it handy - just in case? It could contain torches, spare batteries, charged power banks for your mobiles, a wind-up or battery-powered radio, hand warmers, thermals socks and gloves, blankets, tinned food that can be eaten cold and an analogue - traditional corded phone - which you can plug into your telephone socket and will still work in a power cut. Do you have friends or family members in another area who, if not affected, you could visit or temporarily stay with until your power is restored?
Advice for businesses
If you run a business it's important that you are prepared should your power supply ever be interrupted. It can help your business cope and ensure you and your customers' safety. This is particularly critical if your business is responsible for caring for vulnerable people and you may need to consider having your own generator.
Always make sure you understand the risks, make a plan for your business, prepare an emergency kit, know where important documents are kept, take necessary measures to stay informed using a mobile or analogue phone, visit our power cut map, check our social media channels and listen to local radio.
Whilst our network-related charges, which appear on your bill from your chosen electricity supplier, remain at around 25p a day for the average domestic customer, we understand the impact increased prices for the electricity you buy is having on households.
We have a range of partnerships in place to support our customers and the communities we serve. This is part of our commitment to being a force for good that goes beyond our network, which powers people's everyday lives.
If you need energy advice or have money worries and want to reduce your energy costs from your chosen supplier you can find out more or access free support through our partners.
Working in partnership
In addition to our own discretionary welfare support arrangements for customers affected by a long-duration power cut, we work with a range of local resilience partners and community groups who can provide welfare support if your power may be affected for an extended period, e.g. following severe weather and network damage.
We work with British Red Cross to support our most vulnerable customers. We also work with local resilience partners, such as local authorities and emergency services, who are responsible for coordinating support to local people in an emergency. We work in partnership with them and offer location guidance to ensure any support provided benefits the most customers.
Flood advice - do you know what to do?
If your property could be at risk of flooding are you prepared?
Check out our flooding advice leaflet to get the essential electricity-related information you need before, during and after a flood.
Have you got a smart meter yet? Installed by your energy supplier at no extra cost to you, smart meters track how much energy you’re using daily, weekly and monthly - helping you manage your household budgets and work out where small changes could help you use less. They can also:
- send power cut alerts to enable our quick response and restoration,
- increase understanding of energy use, and
- enable us to check if a problem reported by a customer is an issue on our network.
National Grid ESO operates the GB electricity transmission system and is responsible for maintaining the balance between electricity used and what is produced by power stations. Northern Powergrid manages the local network that distributes the electricity you buy from your supplier.
The ESO has issued its winter outlook saying there will be adequate margins through the winter to ensure GB remains within the reliability standard, although it expects there to be days when it may need to use tools in its operational toolkit. This can include asking generators to step up production or demanding distribution networks reduce voltage which, depending on percentage, can be unnoticeable to customers. National emergency power cuts are rare and only used as a last resort to protect the national network from long-term damage. A short notice, or planned emergency power cut rota to fairly share electricity, would typically last three hours. Information would be shared nationally online or in media.