What can you do when the power goes off?
- If you rent your home the electrics should be tested every five years
- You should be given a copy of the electrical report within 14 days of your occupation contract starting
The electricity in your home can go off for a variety of reasons. It may be because of an electrical fault in your property, a supply problem in the area, or because it has been cut off.
If you are experiencing a power cut you can call 105. This is a free nationwide number that will put you through to your local electricity network operator.
If you have a prepayment meter, it’s worth checking that you haven’t run out of credit. If your meter displays DEBT this means that you are out of credit and will need to top it up.
If the supply is off and you have credit, it could be an internal fault. Check that your trip switches are set to ON. If the trip switch fails to re-set you should contact a qualified electrician to take a look.
If there has been a power cut, switch off and unplug any expensive electrical items such as your laptop, TV and smart devices – this will prevent them getting damaged when the power returns. If you need to use candles for light, never leave them unattended.
You might be able to claim compensation for power cuts. Whether you can claim will depend on:
- how long the power was cut for
- if the power cut was planned.
For more information on claiming compensation see Citizens Advice.
Due to unpaid bills
If you have not paid your electricity bill, it’s possible that your supplier may have disconnected your energy supply. However, this should only be a last resort for your supplier, and you should always be given plenty of warning. There are steps you can take if you are having problems paying your bills. You should contact your supplier as soon as possible to discuss the options you might have or speak to a Shelter Cymru debt adviser.
By your landlord
Your landlord may be guilty of harassment if s/he removes or restricts your access to essential services such as gas, electricity or water, or fails to pay the bills so that these services are cut off. Harassment by a landlord is a serious criminal offence. You may be able to get help from the council, or take your landlord to court.
If you are in this situation you should get help.
Making a complaint about an energy supplier
If you are not happy with the service you receive from your supplier you can make a complaint. If you are not satisfied with their response, you may be able to take your complaint further. Visit the Energy Ombudsman website for more information.