How to Survive a Powercut

11 Feb 2020


Power cuts can be worrying and scary, especially in the dark winter months. For this reason, we have put together a guide to the key challenges:

What do I do?

First, it’s best to check & make sure that it is actually a power cut and not just a problem with your own wiring. A few ways to check would be:

  1. Look outside the window – Are the streetlights on outside? If the answer is yes, then it’s probably a problem with something in your house
  2. Have any of your neighbors had a power cut? If not, then it is also probably a problem with something in your house.
  3. Has everything been turned off or is it just the lights & appliances?
    If it’s just one of these, then it might be an issue with your trip switches.

If you are sure that there has been a power cut, you will need to get in touch with the network distributor for your area. They will be able to give you more information about the power cut and give you an estimation of when it will come back on.


How do I contact the network distributor?

You can contact the network distributor by calling 105 on your mobile or landline. The telephone service will direct you automatically to the network distributors emergency number for your area.

How do I find out who the network distributor is?

You are able to find this out by searching your postcode on the Energy Network website.

You can also find out how to identify your provide on our Emergencies and Personal Safety page. You will need a copy of your bill to be able to find your supply number.


If you are still having difficulties and none of the above helps, please call us on 0800 103 2702.

Alternatively, you are able to follow the National Grid on Twitter for the latest updates on power cuts in your area.

Staying safe in a power cut

First and foremost, it is important to stay calm if you have a power cut. Most power cuts don’t last very long, and your network distributor will work quickly to get things working again.

Here are some steps you can take during a power cut:

Keep fridge & freezer doors closed and place a blanket over the appliance to keep the contents cooler for longer. Keep an eye on your frozen food – if it has defrosted, bin it. Eating foods that have thawed and then refrozen can be dangerous.

If it is safe to do so, turn off electronic appliances and gadgets at the plug or unplug them entirely. Leaving the appliances plugged in can cause surges, overloading and can fry electronics when the power resumes after the power cut.

Stay away from downed power lines. They could still be energised and you could get a nasty shock!

If you are using candles inside, be careful. Always keep your candles lit within sight and away from anything that could be deemed flammable including bedding, carpets, curtains, furniture & books. Make sure you are also keeping the candles out of the reach of children and pets.

Check on your neighbours. Make sure they are safe, especially elderly or vulnerable ones.

Your network distributor will be able to give you extra advice when you give them a call.