POWER companies have worked together to launch a new national power cut phone line – 105 – to help people contact their local electricity network company.
UK Power Networks which delivers electricity across the East, South East and London, has joined forces with other regional networks to provide a single national number for power cut queries.
Callers dialling 105, which is free to use, will be put straight through to their local electricity network operator, helping avoid potential confusion or people contacting the wrong organisation.
The number, which is available to electricity customers in England, Scotland and Wales, will enable people to report or get information about power cuts as well as report damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put themselves, or someone else, in danger. 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[i]. 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.
David Smith, Chief Executive of ENA, said: “Significant network investment means power cuts are not a regular or widespread occurrence for people, however, our research makes it clear that there’s still a need to provide a simple, memorable number they can call should they experience one. 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.
“ENA and electricity network operators across England, Scotland and Wales have worked in partnership to launch 105. We hope people in the East, South East and London will welcome it as an important step forward in helping electricity customers know exactly what to do and who to contact if they have a power cut.”
Director of Customer Services at UK Power Networks, Matt Rudling, said: “While power cuts are rare it’s essential that a customer wishing to call us can do easily and quickly, and this new service really helps that. We do all we can to notify our customers and keep them updated via a variety of channels including social media. However there are times we simply don’t know that a property is affected and this is where the new number really adds value, plus it’s easy for people to remember.”
People can also call 105 from most landlines and mobile phones, no matter who they choose to buy electricity from, if they spot damage to electricity power lines and substations. It is a free service, available to people in England, Scotland and Wales.
More information about 105 and electricity network operators can be found at www.powercut105.com. The new website also provides direct links and details of how to contact network operators online and via social media to get information and updates about a power cut.