Experiencing a power cut and wondering what to do? There are a couple of things you can try which may solve the problem right away.
First, have a look at your fuse box to make sure one of your fuses hasn’t tripped. If that doesn’t seem to be the issue then have a look at your neighbours' homes. Are their lights off as well? If so it’s likely to be a network related problem and you will have to contact your Local Distribution Company (LDC).
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Your electricity provider bills you for your electricity consumption, but it’s your LDC that manages the power lines that connect your home to the national grid.
Here’s who to call in a power cut, based on which region you’re in.
It’s frustrating to be without electricity or gas for any amount of time, but depending on the length of the outage, you could be owed compensation for the power cut.
If your electricity distributor or your gas transporter is at fault and the power was off for a significant period of time, then you can claim power cut compensation if you weren’t warned in advance.
If the outage is due to an action on your end — the supply was severed during works, a fuse tripped or you have not paid your bill — then you cannot claim compensation.
According to the Citizens Advice Bureau, if the outage was planned, your distributor must give you at least two days’ notification - this should still be the case if it's a planned blackout because of low fuel supplies. If they have not provided any notice, you can claim £30. You must claim power cut compensation within 30 days of the outage. You can also claim for a power cut if your supply is cut off on a different day to the one you were notified of.
If the loss of electricity was unplanned, the ability to get power cut compensation will depend on the cause of the outage and how many homes were affected.
If you’re eligible to claim compensation due to a power cut, how much you may get depends on how many homes were impacted by the outage.
If fewer than 5,000 households experienced an electricity power outage for more than 12 hours, then each home can claim power cut compensation of £75, and £35 for each 12-hour period after.
If more than 5,000 households were affected, then each home can receive the exact same, except the amount caps at £300.
If the power outage was due to a storm or other poor weather conditions, households may receive £70 if they were without power for 24 hours, and £70 for each additional 12-hour period. This caps out at £700.
Your gas transporter must provide five days' notice of a gas outage. Similar to electricity, you can claim £20 if they fail to do this, and you must claim power cut compensation within 30 days.
If the outage lasts longer than 24 hours, you are entitled to £30, with an additional £30 per 24-hour period you are without gas after the initial day.
If you are on the Priority Services Register, you are also entitled to receive assistance from the gas transporter to arrange an alternative means of cooking and heating.
You do not need to contact your energy supplier about either your power cut or your compensation for power cuts.
Contact your area electricity distributor. Find your local electricity distributor name and contact details in the table above.
Contact your area gas transporter. Find your local gas transporter on the Energy Networks site .
Power cut claims should be paid within 10 days of the outage ending (however, this may not be the case with weather-related outages).
If there has been a problem receiving your power cut compensation you can contact the Energy Ombudsman.
Does your current or previous energy supplier owe you money? Find out how to get it back with Uswitch’s guide to energy refunds.Learn more
Want to make a complaint about your energy supplier? Uswitch's guide to energy complaints explains what to do and when to contact the Energy Ombudsman.Learn more