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If your power’s off, we can keep you updated with text messages.
Flooding and electricity
If flood water does enter your property our advice is to switch off the electricity at the mains, if it’s safe to do so. Do not touch any electrical equipment, switches or sockets when standing in water or if the electrical equipment is wet, damp or has been flooded and the electricity is on.
Flood water may damage our electrical equipment as well as the internal wiring in the property. Once the water has cleared, please call our emergency numbers on the right of this screen. Read here to help you identify our equipment and your electricity suppliers equipment.
Please visit the Environment Agency website or here for more flood advice.
Restoring electricity following a flood
Following the electrical damage caused by flooding we will be helping your local council and your electricity supplier to return your electricity supplies to normal. We want to inform you of the role we will play in the restoration of your supply and advise you about the next steps which you will need to take to ensure your power is reconnected at the earliest opportunity.
Our engineers will begin by checking your equipment up to the point where it joins up with your internal electrical wiring, known as the ‘cut out’, this is to ensure it is dry and safe to reconnect.
If we identify water damage to this item of equipment we will work with those affected to replace the cut outs where necessary. We will ask you to arrange a certificate from a qualified electrician to show your property is safe to have the power switched back on. If your electrical installations were not damaged we will ask you to organise a safety test via your own or your electrician. Please note that we cannot carry out any repairs to your internal electrical wiring. This will need to be rectified by a qualified electrician before we can reconnect your power supply.
Please note, any damaged electricity meters need to be changed before we can switch on your power and these need to be replaced by your electricity supplier (the company which you pay your electricity bills to). Read here to help you identify our equipment and your electricity suppliers equipment.
Once you have this assurance from an electrician and the necessary certificate please call us on the numbers on the right of this screen so we can turn your power back on as soon as possible.
Check our LIVE map to see if we're aware of your power cut and when we estimate your power will be back on here.
To report a power cut or dangerous situation, another power issue or roadwork problem, please complete our online form.
It isn’t always possible to predict, however, here are some precautions you can take if you do have a power cut:
Priority services during a power cut
We understand that some people may need extra support during a power cut. If you do, we recommend that you add your details to our Priority Services Register.
Find out more about our Priority Services Register and apply.
If your power’s off, we can keep you updated with text messages. These will let you know how our repair works are going, and give you an estimated time that your power will be switched back on.
To register for this service text ‘Power’ followed by your postcode to 80876. For example: Power IP3 6QX
Our text update service runs through the day and night. It’s a 24-hour service, so we'll keep sending you messages until we’ve fixed the fault.
When we fix a fault, power comes back on in stages. Some homes may be up and running before others, but we’ll keep sending text updates until everyone has their power back on.
If you want to stop receiving messages, just text ‘CANCEL’ to 80876. If you’d like to receive texts again, all you need to do is re-register.
You’ll need to register for this service each time you have a power cut.
Will I get charged for this service?
We will not charge you for registering for this service. However, standard text message fees apply and may vary according to your mobile network provider. You will not be charged to receive messages. However, if you are using this service outside of the UK you may be charged to receive messages.
We are committed to providing you with a safe and reliable supply, but sometimes things can go wrong. For example, contractors working on other services may damage our underground cables. And, of course, severe weather conditions may cause damage to our overhead lines.
Our industry regulator, Ofgem, sets Guaranteed Standards. If we fail to meet these Standards, you are entitled to receive a payment.
Making a claim
If you think we have failed a standard, please tell us so that we can investigate.
Here are our contact details:
Customers that were affected by the high winds on 14 February
All customers who are eligible for payments should receive a letter from us. As a gesture of goodwill we have decided to double the industry standard payment from £27 to £54 for customers who are without power for more than 48 hours continuously. If you were without power for longer you will be entitled to a further payment for each 12 hour period thereafter.
Customers affected by 24 December storm
All customers who are elegible for payments should receive a letter from us. If you have not received a letter please complete this Storm Payment Claim Form
Sometimes we may need to switch off your power while we work on electricity cables nearby. For example, we could be replacing or repairing an underground cable or equipment that is old or damaged. Or we could be making changes to overhead lines because one of your neighbours has asked us to. For our engineers to carry out this work safely, we have to switch off the electricity supplies serving the area.
But don’t worry - we will tell you before we do that unless it’s an emergency situation. We’ll send you a note through your door, in advance, that will give you the times we expect to switch off the power and when it is due back on (cards shown below).
For helpful advice during a power cut, click here
If you need to contact us, call us at any time of the day or night on the numbers to the left-hand side of the screen. If we have sent you a card in the post, the relevant engineer’s contact number should be on there.
Our automatic alarm systems usually alert us of any large power cuts. With smaller power cuts, however, we rely on customers telling us. Once we know of a power cut, we urgently investigate where the problem originates. Initially, we’ll try to remedy it from our control centre, which is the quickest way to get your power back on. If we can’t, our engineers will travel to the local substation site to investigate and restore power as quickly and safely as they can.
Keeping you informed
Our engineers will feed regular updates to our contact centre on how the work is progressing. Through our website, text messages, telephone messages and calling customers back with updates, we’ll do our best to keep you informed.
If you have contacted us about a power cut, when the problem is fixed and the power comes back on, we’ll call you the next day to ensure that everything is working as it should be and that you don’t have any problems.
We understand that some people may need extra support during a power cut. If we know where you are, we can help.
We recommend that you add your details to our Priority Services Register. Although, this doesn’t necessarily mean we can get your power back on more quickly, it does mean we can offer you additional help and support.
Customers often ask us why their power goes off, but their neighbours’ power stays on
We supply power to your home or business at low voltage, either 230 or 400 volts. Power does not travel very far at these voltages, so we bring the power to your area at much higher voltage, usually 11,000 volts. We reduce the voltage in local substations and deliver the power to you through underground cables, overhead lines, or a mixture of both.
How your property is connected to our network
We usually use four wires for low voltage distribution. Three are live, called phases, and one is the neutral. Domestic customers get their electricity from one of the three live phases and the neutral. We aim to connect an equal number of houses to each phase, although this might be randomly applied in a street.
When a fuse protecting one of the three phases blows only a third of the customers lose power. If two fuses blow then two thirds of the connected customers go off. You can see now how some customers can be without power while their immediate neighbours are not affected.
Keeping the power on
In urban areas, substations are relatively close together and often interconnect with each other. We can use link boxes in the footpath to alter these connections and keep your power on from a different substation while we work on our equipment. If there is a fault we may be able to get your power back this way too.We can sometimes do this with the overhead lines in rural areas too. However, there is often less interconnection as the houses and substations tend to be further apart.
Underground cables are normally reliable if they are not disturbed. Common causes of cable faults included vibration, subsidence and other companies digging nearby. Any damage to the cable allows water in the ground to get in and cause a breakdown. It may be months before the problem gets bad enough to cause a power cut.
Faults on low voltage underground cables can often be intermittent and very hard to find. If we can replace the fuses successfully it is usually because the heat from the fault has resealed the cable. We can only use our fault locating equipment once the fault has become permanent.
Overhead lines are more likely to be affected by lightning, trees and birds or vermin causing short circuits.