Free power cut ‘hotline’ goes live

Western Power Distribution has joined forces with other regional electricity networks to provide a new national power cut phone line.

The number is free and available to electricity customers in England, Scotland and Wales. Callers in the Midlands, South West England or South Wales who dial 105 will be put straight through to WPD. This helps to avoid potential confusion or people contacting the wrong company.

Calling 105 will enable people to report or get information about power cuts, no matter who they choose to buy electricity from. People can also call 105 from most landlines and mobile phones, if they spot damage to electricity power lines and substations. 105 is funded and delivered by the electricity network operators, and is a first for the UK’s energy industry.

The launch comes as figures reveal that 72% of people don’t know who to contact if they have a power cut, with a further 43% indicating that they would incorrectly call the electricity supplier they pay their bill to, when in fact they should contact their local electricity network operator.

Electricity network operators are the companies that manage and maintain the power lines and substations that bring electricity into homes and businesses. The research, commissioned by the operators’ trade body Energy Networks Association (ENA) found that 21% of people would contact their electricity network operator in a power cut, yet, of these, only 11% could correctly name their local operator.

Robert Symons, Chief Executive of WPD, said: “Significant network investment means power cuts are not a regular or widespread occurrence for people, however, if a power cut does happen, we want our customers to be able to contact us easily with a simple, memorable number. This is particularly important when there’s bad weather, as severe storms can cause damage to power networks and disrupt the electricity supply into people’s homes. This new, free number will make life easier for electricity customers.

More information about 105 and electricity network operators can be found at www.powercut105.com.