Get compensation if you have a power cut
You might be able to get compensation if your electricity or gas supply goes off.
Your gas or electricity network operator is responsible for fixing power cuts and paying you compensation. This company is not your energy supplier. You can find out who your gas or electricity network operator is on the Energy Networks Association website.
If you get cut off because of a faulty energy meter, you’ll need to contact your energy supplier. Check if you can get compensation for a faulty meter.
You won't get compensation in certain situations where the power cut was caused by an emergency - for example a blackout because of a national power shortage.
If your electricity is cut off
The compensation you get depends on the reason for the power cut and how long it lasted.
Your electricity network operator should try to contact you and pay you the correct amount without you needing to make a claim.
Call 105 for help in a power cut
If you have an unplanned power cut you should call 105. This free call will put you in touch with your electricity network operator who can give you help and advice.
If a power cut is planned
Your electricity network operator must give you 2 days’ notice if they plan to cut off your supply to do work. They’ll usually send you a letter.
You can get £35 compensation if either:
they don’t give you 2 days’ notice
they cut you off on a different day from the date on the notice
If an unplanned power cut was caused by bad weather
You’ll get £80 if the power was off for 24 hours. If it was a severe storm, you’ll get £80 if the power was off for 48 hours.
You’ll get £40 for each extra 6 hours where you don’t have electricity - up to a maximum of £2,000.
If an unplanned power cut wasn’t caused by bad weather
How much you get depends on how many homes were affected.
If you want to find out how many homes were affected by a power cut, contact your local electricity network operator using the Energy Networks Association website.
If fewer than 5,000 homes were affected, you'll get £90 if your power is off for 12 hours. You'll get £40 for every 12 hours after that.
If more than 5,000 homes were affected, you’ll get £90 if the power is off for longer than 24 hours. You’ll get £40 for every 12 hours after that - up to a maximum of £360.
You can get an extra £90 if your power goes off more than 4 times in 1 financial year, for more than 3 hours each time. The financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March.
If your electricity network operator hasn’t paid compensation
If the cut was caused by bad weather, your electricity network operator should pay you in a reasonable amount of time. If you haven’t been paid within 4 weeks of the power being back on, you should contact them to make a claim.
If the cut wasn’t caused by bad weather you should be paid within 10 working days. If you haven’t been paid in that time, you should contact your electricity network operator to make a claim. You should also get an extra £35 compensation.
You must claim within:
3 months for an unplanned cut unless you are on the Priority Services Register where there is no time limit
1 month for a planned cut where your electricity network operator didn’t give you 2 days’ notice
If your gas is cut off
You must be given 7 working days’ notice if your gas network operator plans to cut off your supply to do work.
You can get £40 compensation if they don’t give you notice.
If it’s an unplanned gas cut, you might be entitled to compensation if your gas is cut off for more than 24 hours.
You’ll get £60 after the first 24 hours, and another £60 for each following 24 hour period.
Your gas network operator should try to contact you and pay you the correct amount without you needing to make a claim.
You won’t be able to get compensation if:
more than 30,000 homes were affected
you caused the gas supply to be cut off
your gas network operator took reasonable steps to prevent a power cut during bad weather
You can contact your gas network operator to find out how many homes were affected and whether they took reasonable steps to prevent a power cut. Find out who your local gas network operator is using the Energy Networks Association website.
If your gas network operator hasn’t paid compensation
Your gas network operator should pay you automatically within 10 working days. They’ll pay you directly or through your supplier. If they don’t you should get another £40 compensation.
If you don’t get your compensation payment, contact your gas network operator. You can find out who your gas network operator is on the Energy Networks Association website.
If you're on your supplier’s Priority Services Register
You should be given alternative cooking and heating facilities. If you’re not on it, you can check if you're eligible for the Priority Services Register.
How you’ll get paid
Your electricity network operator will transfer the money into your bank account or send you a cheque. They might need to contact you first to make sure they have the right details.
The gas network operator will usually send the payment to your supplier. Your supplier will then credit it to your account. They should tell you about this.
If the gas network operator has your details, they might pay you directly.
Some suppliers will send you a cheque or pay the money into your bank account. If you have a prepayment meter, they might credit the meter directly.
If you’re told you can’t get compensation
You can complain directly to your network operator if you disagree with their decision. Use their complaints procedure, which will be on their website.
If you’re not satisfied with the response to your complaint, you can contact our consumer helpline.
You can also complain to the energy ombudsman. They're responsible for settling disagreements with network operators. Find out how to complain to the energy ombudsman.