Dealing with power cuts

At Last Mile Electricity we work hard every day to minimise disruptions to your power supply.

However, they do inevitably happen from time to time, either through essential planned work on the broader network, or through unplanned incidents such as faults, damages to cables and equipment, or extreme weather. There is also a very low likelihood of so-called ‘rolling blackouts’ during the winter months What is a ‘Rolling Blackout’?

For our customers who would find an electricity supply interruption especially difficult to deal with, you may be able to sign up for free to our Priority Services Register for access to additional assistance in these situations.

To assist all our customers in keeping comfortable when experiencing a supply interruption, here are some suggestions.

Confirming a loss of supply
Before contacting us, please follow the simple checks outlined on our Confirming loss of supply page.

How to report a power cut
You can call Last Mile Electricity directly on 0800 804 8688.

Alternatively, you can call the National Emergency Number, which is 105.

Both numbers are FREE from both landline and mobile phones.

Cold food storage

  • Planned interruptions – Set freezers to the coldest setting for 12-24 hours prior to the supply interruption. Set fridges to 1 or 2 settings lower than you would normally use. Avoid opening fridges and freezers for longer than necessary, to keep that cold air inside.
  • Unplanned interruptions – Avoid opening fridges and freezers for longer than necessary, to keep that cold air inside.

Keeping warm
Always keep a suitable thick blanket or emergency space blanket and set of warm clothes stored somewhere accessible. These can be used to keep warm during colder periods. Remember, gas boilers will not work without an electricity supply. You can keep warmer by staying in one room, or even in bed. Alternatively sit in your car and warm up with the heater.

Hot drinks

  • Planned interruptions – Prepare a flask of hot drink before the start of the supply interruption.
  • Unplanned interruptions – Ask if unaffected neighbours, family, or friends can help provide a flask of hot water, coffee or tea.

Lighting
Keep torch/lamps and batteries in an accessible place. Most mobile phones have a ‘torch’ function. We do not advise the use of candles due to fire risks. Remember, light fades quickly in the late afternoon during winter months.

Phones
If you still have a ‘copper wire’ phone line to your property then keep an analogue phone where possible, as these will still work in the event of a supply interruption. Newer ‘digital’ phone lines, such as ‘fibre to the premises’ (FTTP), cordless phones and mobile phones may not.

Chargers
Keep a phone battery ‘power bank’ charged and handy. This can be used to keep a mobile phone charged throughout a supply interruption if the mobile service is working. Alternatively, use your in-car charger to re-charge your phone.

Radios
Keep a battery radio available, with spare batteries, so you can listen to any updates that may be available via local or national radio in the event of supply interruptions due to emergencies or extreme weather. Alternatively use your car radio for updates.

Cooking
Gas hobs may still work during a supply interruption, but the self-lighting function may not. You will need matches or a ‘clicker’ style igniter to manually light rings. If you have all electric cooking then consider purchasing a small camping type stove, which can be used to heat food or boil water even when there is no power.

  • Planned interruptions – Pre-prepare cooked food the day prior to the supply interruption and store accordingly.
  • Unplanned interruptions – Take the opportunity to visit friends or family, who may be able to provide a hot meal, or may come to visit you with one.

Baby milk & food

  • Planned interruptions – Use a gas hob or camping gas stove to heat water if you have one. Alternatively boil water before the supply interruption and store in flasks. You can then use the hot water from the flask to heat babies’ bottles and food.
  • Unplanned interruptions – Use a gas hob or camping gas stove to heat water if you have one. Alternatively see if family or friends can provide a flask of hot water that can be used to heat babies’ bottles and food or allow you to use their facilities to do so.

Portable generators
If you intend to connect a portable generator to your property, as opposed to just power individual appliances, then this MUST be connected by a QUALIFIED PERSON to prevent risk of serious injury to electricity workers.

Solar panels, wind turbines or battery backup systems
These should automatically disconnect when the power goes off and automatically reconnect when it is restored. If this does not happen, then switch off your system and refer the manufacturers guidelines on how to reconnect.

Computers

  • Planned interruptions – Ensure you save your work and switch off your computer before the notified start time of any supply interruption.
  • Unplanned interruptions – Get into the habit of saving your work regularly, so that in the event of an unplanned supply interruption you minimise any loss of work. A laptop with a good battery may also give you a chance to save your work after the mains power has failed.

Stair lifts, internal lifts or hoists

  • Planned interruptions – Ensure that you are downstairs, or back in a suitable position, in plenty of time before the notified start time of a planned supply interruption, and that you have everything you need from upstairs.
  • Unplanned interruptions – Make sure that you are aware of any manual release facilities on your equipment, that would enable you to return to ground level in the event of an unplanned supply interruption.

Neighbours, friends & family
Let any unaffected neighbours, friends or family know about a supply interruption to your property so that they can help you through it. If you know of someone who will have no power, then check in on them and see what you can do to help keep them warm and provide a hot meal and drinks.

  • After power is restored
    Remember to reset fridges and freezers to their normal settings. Reset any clocks or timers. Switch back on any equipment that was switched off prior to the supply interruption.
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