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  • Planned Outages

  • We're committed to providing you with a safe and reliable supply of electricity.

    Every year we invest millions of pounds into upgrading our electricity network. We do this to make sure that the power you receive to your home is reliable, which means that it stays on. The investment we make involves carrying out maintenance to prevent our cables and equipment getting damaged. As an example, we might replace old underground cables or upgrade substations so that it can handle the amount of electricity being used in your local area. 

    So that our engineers can complete this work safely, we may have to turn the power off in the area. This is known as a planned power cut or outage. 

    If we need to switch off your power, we will give you as much notice as possible, unless it’s an emergency situation. You’ll receive a letter from us 14 days before we plan to turn the power off with a full explanation of why we’re doing it and how long the power will be off for. In rare circumstances, we may not be able to give you this much notice, this will be because of an emergency situation, but wherever possible, we will always tell you before we turn off the power.

    If you feel that you could benefit from some additional assistance, in the event of a planned outage, you can register for our Priority Service Register (PSR). People can qualify for PSR if they: 

    • Are dependent on electricity for home medical care
    • Have a chronic illness or short term medical condition
    • Are disabled
    • Have special communication needs
    • Have children under the age of five
    • Are over the age of 60 
    •  

    To find out more about the PSR, click here or call 0800 294 3259

  • Before a planned outage

    Can I change the date/time of the planned outage?

    Once we have confirmed a date and time for the planned outage, we are unable to make any changes. This is because the preparation work has already been carried out. Our engineers or contractors have been arranged to carry out the work, all materials have been ordered and we’ve also let other customers know in the area that the outage will be happening at this time.

    If you have a question you can call us on 105 or by sending us a message on WhatsApp

    How can I prepare for a planned outage?
    • Keep a battery-powered radio tuned in to your local radio station.

    • Keep a torch with fresh batteries in a place where you can reach it easily.

    • If you use other forms of heating and lighting, such as paraffin heaters and candles, don't leave them unattended.

    • Switch off appliances and lights, but leave one light on so you know when power has been restored.

    • If you have elderly or infirm neighbours, check to make sure they are comfortable. If you know of anyone who needs priority service, eg anyone on a ventilator or dialysis machine, please contact our Priority Services team by phoning 0800 294 3259.

    • If we have warned you in advance that the electricity will be turned off, boil some water and keep it in a thermos flask. You can use it to make hot drinks or fill a hot water bottle if it gets too cold.

    • Don’t open the freezer door unless you have to – this helps food stay frozen for longer. When the power comes back on, check the food inside. Food should keep for about eight hours without power. If the food is still hard and icy, you can leave it in the freezer. Turn the freezer to its maximum setting for 24 hours, before putting it back on a setting that keeps it at -18°C.

    • If the food has started to defrost, you may need to throw it away. Discard any food you would eat when it is frozen such as ice cream, if it has started to defrost. Do not refreeze these foods. If meat, fish, or foods containing them, have started to get soft, throw them away too. Watch out for liquid coming out of defrosting raw meat because this could spread bacteria to other foods.

    Further information can be found on our dedicated webpage here.

    How much notice do you give for a planned outage?

    Our regulator Ofgem states that we only have to provide 48 hours’ notice. Although, we aim to give you as much notice as possible, unless it’s an emergency situation. We’ll send you a letter 14 days before we carry out the work and a courtesy reminder 48 hours prior to the planned outage taking place. 

    I have tropical fish, what do I do?

    During a planned outage the temperature of the water in your tank will drop gradually. This speed depends on the surrounding temperature and the volume of water inside the tank, i.e. a larger volume of water will take longer to cool down than a smaller volume of water

    For insulation, wrap the tank in blankets. If possible, fill hot water bottles with warm water and place them around the outside of the tank

    Without power, the water will lose oxygen gradually. So fish suppliers recommend a cheap bubble-up filter that can run off a battery-powered air pump. If you don’t have one then a normal bicycle pump will also help. Fish suppliers recommend disturbing the water surface for five minutes each hour during a power cut. A good way is to fill a jug with tank water then pour it back in, making as much movement as possible.

    If you are unsure please contact your local fish supplier for further information. 

    I'm worried about my fridge freezer goods, what should I do?

    We recommend setting your fridge freezer to the coldest setting 12 hours before the planned power cut to ensure it remains cold while our engineers carry out the work. Don’t open the freezer door unless you have to, this helps food stay frozen for longer.

    Please refer to your manufacturer's guidelines as most appliances are different and will give you a more accurate timescale on this. 

    I have medical equipment reliant on the electricity, can you help?

    Yes, if you rely on electricity for medical equipment, it’s important that you let us know by calling us on 0800 294 3259 and we can add you to our free Priority Services Register

    Power cuts will affect equipment such as stair lifts, bath hoists and adjustable beds. Make sure that any essential medical equipment has a battery back-up. This means you can keep using it, even if the power is out. If you have a stair lift, check it has a manual release handle, you can use this to return the lift to the ground floor if you have a power cut.

    Why do you need to turn my power off more than once?

    Due to the amount of work to be carried out on our network, it may not be possible to complete the work all at the same time, so we may need to interrupt your electricity supply more than once.

    Why have you cancelled or postponed my planned outage?

    Sometimes we may need to cancel or postpone the work because:

    • It isn’t safe for our engineers to carry out the work due to bad weather in your area.
    • Our engineers have been reassigned to fix a fault on our network or need to attend an emergency in your area.
    • We have been refused access to the land where we need to carry out the work.
    • We have been able to fix the problem and do not need to interrupt your electricity supply again.

  • How to prepare for a power cut

    In this short video we'll give you some simple tips which we hope you'll find useful in preparing for a planned outage or power cut.

  • Help and Advice

    If you've received a letter in the post regarding an upcoming planned outage, our helpful tips can help you to prepare for a power cut.

    Help and Advice
  • Track your planned outage

    You can follow the progress of your planned outage on our Power Track map on our website or on the go with our app. 

    Power Track
  • During a planned outage

    Am I eligible for compensation due to the planned outage?

    We do not offer compensation for planned power outages. We follow the standards set by our industry regulator Ofgem. 

    Further information can be found on the industry regulator's website here.  

    Can I get a generator while the power is off?

    We only provide generators for customers who are medically dependent on electricity. We do not provide generators for businesses or personal use.  

    If you require extra assistance during a planned outage please contact our Priority Services team on 0800 294 3259 where our dedicated team can help. 

    Can you restore power sooner?

    The times given on your advanced warning letter are based on how long we think it will take to complete the work safely. Sometimes, we can complete the work sooner but it depends on the work involved and the weather conditions on the day of the planned outage.  

    Can you turn the power off earlier or later?

    We’re unable to turn the power off sooner than the time stated on your letter. These time frames are in place to allow our engineers time to safely complete our work. Sometimes, your power may go off later if there are any complications when our engineers are carrying out the work, or if they have problems getting to the area.

    I have medical equipment reliant on the electricity, can you help?

    Yes, if you rely on electricity for medical equipment, it’s important that you let us know by calling us on 0800 294 3259 and we can add you to our free Priority Services Register

    Power cuts will affect equipment such as stair lifts, bath hoists and adjustable beds. Make sure that any essential medical equipment has a battery back-up. This means you can keep using it, even if the power is out. If you have a stair lift, check it has a manual release handle, you can use this to return the lift to the ground floor if you have a power cut.

    Why did my neighbour get a generator and I didn't?

    We provide generators for our customers who are medically dependent on electricity. However, there are exceptional circumstances where we will provide a generator where possible. 

    Why do you need to turn the power off?

    We're committed to providing you with a safe and reliable supply of electricity.

    Every year we invest millions of pounds into upgrading our electricity network. We do this to make sure that the power you receive to your home is reliable, which means that it stays on. The investment we make involves carrying out maintenance to prevent our cables and equipment getting damaged.  

    Why wasn't I told about the planned outage?

    We deliver letters to each of the properties we are expecting to be affected by the planned power outage. We do this a minimum of 48 hours before the outage. Our advanced warning letters are sometimes dismissed as junk mail. If you are concerned that your address may have been missed, please send us a message and we can check our records to ensure we have the correct information for you.

  • Dealing with a power cut

    In this short video we'll give you some simple tips which we hope you'll find useful in the event of a power cut or planned outage. 

  • Register for our Priority Services

    If you are vulnerable we can give you priority updates to let you know how we are progressing and offer extra support until the power has been restored. 

    Register
  • Who we work with

    We work with a number of contractors to carry out maintenance on our electricity network.  

    Contractors