105 - The new national phone line for reporting power cuts

The launch of a national three-digit telephone number, 105, which allows people across England, Scotland and Wales to call their electricity network operator if they have a power cut, is being supported by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.

The new free-to-dial number was developed to help avoid potential confusion or people contacting the wrong organisation, such as the company they pay their energy bill to.

If people in the north of Scotland or central southern England call 105 they will go straight through to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, the new name for the electricity network operator for central southern England, the north of the central belt of Scotland and the Scottish islands.

The number 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.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks has worked with the Energy Network Association (ENA) and the country’s other electricity network operators to launch the new 105 service.

Colin Nicol Managing Director at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, said: “We do everything we can to keep the lights on and on the rare occasions there is a power cut we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to contact us. With the introduction of 105, we believe this easy-to-remember number will make it even simpler for customers to get in touch and help us get on with the job of putting things right.

“Today’s launch of the 105 service coincides with the introduction of our new identity - Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks. By introducing this change we’re making it easier for customers to recognise us; to know who we are and what we do.”

The launch of the 105 service comes as figures reveal that 72% of people across Britain 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.

The research, commissioned by the operators’ trade body Energy Networks Association (ENA), has also 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 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.”

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.