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Get compensation if you have a power cut

This advice applies to Wales

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.

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.

If your electricity is cut off

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 £30 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 it’s an unplanned electricity cut, the amount of compensation you can get depends on whether it was caused by bad weather. An example of bad weather is when a storm damages power lines.

If the power cut was caused by bad weather

You’ll get £70 if the power was off for 24 hours. If it was a severe storm, you’ll get £70 if the power was off for 48 hours.

You’ll get £70 for each extra 12 hours where you don’t have electricity - up to a maximum of £700.

If you’ve had a power cut caused by Storm Arwen

The £700 cap won’t apply. You’ll get compensation for the full period where you haven’t had electricity.

If the 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 £75 if your power is off for 12 hours. You'll get £35 for every 12 hours after that.

If more than 5,000 homes were affected, you’ll get £75 if the power is off for longer than 24 hours. You’ll get £35 for every 12 hours after that - up to a maximum of £300.

You can get an extra £75 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 you're on your supplier’s Priority Services Register, you’ll be paid compensation automatically. Contact your supplier if you’re not heard about compensation within 3 weeks. Check if you're eligible for the Priority Services Register if you’re not on it already.

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.

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 you’re on the 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 to claim compensation

How you get compensation depends on whether you’re claiming for cuts to your electricity or gas.

If your electricity was cut

You’ll need to claim compensation by contacting your electricity network operator. This company is not your supplier. You can find out who your electricity network operator is on the Energy Networks Association website.

You must claim within:

  • 3 months for an unplanned cut
  • 1 month for a planned cut where your electricity network operator didn’t give you 2 days’ notice

If your electricity was cut because of bad weather, you should be paid as soon as possible.

If you’re eligible for compensation, your electricity network operator should make payment within 10 working days. They’ll pay you directly or via your supplier. If you’re not paid by then, you should get another £30 compensation.

If your gas was cut

If you’re eligible for compensation, your gas network operator should make payment automatically within 10 working days. They’ll pay you directly or via your supplier.

If they don’t pay you or your supplier within 10 working days, you should get another £40 compensation.

If you don’t get your automatic payment, contact your gas network operator. You can find out who your gas network operator is on the Energy Networks Association website.

How you’ll get paid

The gas or electricity 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 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.

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