We all use more energy during the winter months. However, there can be times when things do not go to plan. Whilst most issues can be resolved by speaking to your energy supplier, other more serious situations will require emergency support.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to do if you are faced with a power-cut, installations problems and how to get your power back safely and speedily.
What to do if there is a power cut?
If you are experiencing a power-cut and have no electricity to your home, you should dial your local electricity Distribution Network Company on 105. This is a 24-hour, free of charge hotline that redirects you to the electricity Distribution Company supplying your area.
Alternatively, you can use this website to find your local Distribution Company so you can contact them directly.
You can keep your home safe by following these instructions:
- If you see sparks or smoke coming from your meter or any other associated electrical equipment, call 999 immediately and then vacate the property ensuring you are a safe distance away.
- Call 105 to notify your local distribution network about the power-cut as explained above.
- Turn off any electrical appliances if you experience any of the following:
Signs of arching
Signs of sparking
Smells of burning plastic
- If you are not experiencing any of these issues, you can stay in the property, maintaining a safe distance from your meter and any other electrical appliances.
- Switch off your consumer unit to prevent electricity flowing from your meter into your property when it is safe to do so.
- If you notice any signs of sparking or smoking, it is imperative you leave the property, get to a safe location, and notify the relevant authorities as stated in steps 1 and 2.
What not to do:
- Do NOT switch off or turn on any electrical appliances if it is not safe to do so.
- Do NOT switch off at your consumer unit if it is not safe to do so.
- Do NOT get the area concerned wet or go near it with any liquid substances.
- If you need to vacate the property, do NOT re-enter until the relevant authorities have advised you it is safe to do so.
It is incredibly important to know exactly where your consumer unit is and how to switch it off in an emergency to ensure electricity is not flowing from your meter and into your property.
What to do if there is no electricity to power my light switches?
There are multiple reasons this issue may occur, below we will cover what may have potentially caused them to stop working and how to combat this to get power back to your property.
- Firstly, you should always contact your local Distribution Network Company if you are area does not have electricity supply. If you are not the only person experiencing this, it is likely that this is an issue with your local Distribution Network Company who will be on with fixing the problem ASAP.
- You can check if a faulty appliance has caused a switch to trip on your consumer unit. If you see any switches that are OFF, returning these switches to ON should restore your power.
- If you have an isolator switch, return this to an ON position as this could potentially restore your electricity supply.
- If you believe it is due to the condition of your meters, contact us on 0800 103 2702 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to notify us about the situation and provide photos of your meter. We will assess the situation and be back in touch to offer recommendations on steps going forward.
- If you see an error code on the screen of your meter and you have installed electricity generation technology that can export electricity back to the grid, the error code on your meter may indicate it is not designed to redeliver electricity back to the grid. Disconnecting from the generation equipment may get you back on supply however, it is important to contact your installer prior to doing this.
- If none of the previous steps have solved your issue, turn off all electrical appliances in your property for 30 minutes. After this time, you should turn them back on one at a time. If the individual appliances are operational but there is a loss of electricity once all electrical devices are plugged in, this may be an indication that your meter cannot support your current electricity usage. If this is the case, you will need to contact your local Distribution Network Company.
If you have called 105 and your local Distribution Network Company has advised that there is a fault in your area, they will inform you of their next action to get you back on supply.
Please contact us with this information. You may qualify for Guarantee of Service (GoS). This is payable from your local Distribution Network Company into your energy account with OFTM.
If you are concerned that there may be a health and safety risk or possible cause of your power cut is related to the wiring of your property, please contact a registered electrician for advice.
How do I get power back into my property?
Once your local Distribution Network Company have ensured your property is safe to re-enter and confirmed that your electricity meter must be replaced, call us on the number above so we can get this issue resolved.
In this situation, OFTM will aim to get you back on supply within the next 72 hours.
When you report this fault to OFTM, our Customer Service agents will ask for the following information to be provided, to ensure that engineers sent out to your property will be able to get you back on supply quickly:
- Picture of the Electricity meter so that OFTM can see the entire meter board and connectors,
- Picture of the Electricity meter location and box,
- Picture of any paperwork your local Distribution Network Company has left/shared with you,
- Advice from your local Distribution Network Company of your metering faults,
- Your address and contact details,
- Confirm you or an authorised person aged 18 years or above will be available and present at your property in the next 4 – 5 hours to provide engineer access to your property.
What happens next:
- The customer service agent will pass this information to our emergency team who will assess and book an engineer to attend.
- Once the appointment is confirmed, you will be sent the following information:
Your booking Reference Number
Expected Arrival date and time of our Metering Engineer, within a 5 hours’ time slot.
- Please ensure you or an authorised person aged 18 years or above are at the property to provide engineer access to carry out this metering job.
- Before the engineer leaves your property, confirm you have checked that you can switch on lights and that electricity is coming through from the meter to your property.
- Sign the engineers’ paperwork to confirm job has been completed to your satisfaction and you now have electricity being supplied to your property.
How do I raise concerns with work carried out by the electricity metering engineer?
Please contact OFTM if you have any concerns regarding the work that has been carried out at your property.
To ensure we can get this issue rectified, please do take photos of the problems you see and share these with OFTM with a detailed explanation.
Our Customer Service agents will take the information you have provided and raise your concerns with SMS plc, our national metering engineer partner, so we can reach a positive outcome for you.
It is not possible to give a timescale for a resolution until the information has been shared with SMS plc as this depends on the severity of your matters. However, OFTM commits to providing regular updates and working in partnership with you and SMS plc, to guarantee the concerns you have get resolved as soon as possible.
As OFTM have always done, we will be working in compliance with our existing complaint process and procedures so that, if you feel the situation has not been resolved as it should have been, our complaints team can investigate this for you.