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Get ready for winter - power cut advice

Do you know what to do in a power cut?

When it comes to a power cut, many people don't know what to do or who to contact.

Many wrongly turn to their supplier (the company they pay their bill to) instead of getting in touch with their local electricity distributor - the people responsible for their local electricity network.

It's the job of your local electricity distributor to deliver a safe and reliable supply of electricity to your home 24 hours a day. They do this through their extensive network of overhead lines, underground cables and substations.

With winter under way, bringing with it the increased risk of severe weather that can cause damage to the electricity network, the ongoing rising energy prices and reduction in supply due to the conflict in Ukraine, we have produced this advice to help ensure local people know who to contact and are prepared if they do have a power cut.

Electricity Northwest Limited and SP Energy Networks are recommending that people take five minutes to make sure they know who operates their local electricity network. You can check out the map below or find your operator using your postcode.

Energy network operator map

If you ever have a power cut, your local electricity distributor will be there for you 24/7. Whether you prefer going online, using social media or speaking to someone in person, they are ready to ensure that you get the information and support you need.

To ensure you're ready, it's worth taking the time to bookmark your electricity distributor's website details to your mobile device, follow them on social media and note down or save their contact details to your phone.

It's also worth a quick visit to your local electricity distributor's website, where you'll find a range of helpful advice - including videos and leaflets - explaining what to do in a power cut, how to report and get updates about a power cut and what to do if your property is at risk or has been flooded.

Electricity North West logo

Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and parts of North Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire

Northern Powergrid logo

North East, Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire

SP Energy Networks logo

Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire

0800 195 4141North East: 0800 66 88 77
Yorkshire and N Lincs: 0800 375 675
0800 001 5400
Twitter: @electricitynwTwitter: @northpowergridTwitter: @spenergynetwork
Postcode searchPower cut reporting and update servicePostcode lookup


A small minority of properties will be connected to the electricity network of an independent network operator. If you are unsure - check your network operator online.

How to prepare for a power cut

Here are some top tips so you can be ready if you have a power cut this winter:

  • keep a torch, preferably wind-up, handy - they're much safer than candles
  • make sure you and your vulnerable relatives/neighbours have a charged mobile phone with important numbers, including your network operator's contact details, easily accessible in case help is needed
  • bookmark your network operator's website on your mobile devices and follow them on social media
  • keep fridges and freezers closed as they will normally stay cold for many hours
  • ensure you have a good supply of warm clothing and blankets in stock
  • fill a vacuum flask and a hot water bottle
  • ensure you have food and drink in your home that does not require electricity to heat or prepare it
  • regularly back up work on your computer
  • remember many modern cordless phones won't work without electricity - have at least one which doesn't run off the mains supply, i.e. analogue telephone or mobile

Need a little extra help in a power cut?

Do you, or someone you know, need extra support during a power cut?

We understand that a power cut can be extremely inconvenient, but for some people it is so much more than that.

You may rely on medical equipment, such as a Home Kidney Dialysis Machine or Oxygen Concentrator, have a medical condition that restricts your ability to move, or perhaps are recovering from a serious operation or illness which means even a short power cut could impact on your health or well-being.

Your local electricity distributor has a Priority Services Register so it can provide additional support to customers who need it the most.

You might want to consider registering yourself, a family member, or a friend, if you feel extra support in a power cut would help:

  • You may require alternative methods of communication if you are hearing or sight impaired. There may also be other reasons that you need to be communicated with in a different way; for example, English may not be your first language.
  • You may need additional advice and support if you are elderly, have young children or customers whose household is in fuel poverty, as you may find a power cut more difficult to deal with.

When you join a Priority Services Register with your local power operator, you'll receive a range of benefits in the event of a power cut:

  • Teams will keep in contact with you throughout your power cut, to ensure that you are okay and keep you updated.
  • In some circumstances they can arrange for further help and assistance during longer power cuts. All the networks' operators have partnerships with external agencies, such as the British Red Cross, who may be able to provide extra support and an emergency pack containing some essential items to keep you comfortable.

To register yourself, or someone you know, and find out more information, please contact your local power operator using the contact details below.

Electricity North West logo

Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and parts of North Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire

Northern Powergrid logo

North East, Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire

SP Energy Networks logo

Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire

0800 195 41410800 169 29960330 10 10 444
Electricity North West Limited
Priority Service Customers
PO Box 218

Priority Services Manager
Northern Powergrid
Manor House
Station Road

Customer Contact Team
SP Energy Networks
3 Prenton Way
CH43 3ET