Power cuts

Would you feel prepared if a power cut suddenly took place affecting your home or business?

We know the impact of a power cut can be great, but preparation is key in managing these and can help to reduce the impact.

Power cuts can occur for any number of reasons. Whatever the reason for a power cut, you can make sure you’re prepared for sudden power cuts by following our advice.

About power supplies

Across Wigan Borough, our electricity supply is managed by Electricity North West (external link).

You can also call 105 in a power cut, or call Electricity North West on 0800 195 4141, selecting option four to speak to their general enquiries team Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm

Electricity North West have shared an FAQ (external link) on emergency power cuts. This FAQ sets out what these are, what the impact would be and how you can plan for an emergency planned power cut.

In the event of a planned power cut, each electricity meter is assigned an alphabetical ‘block letter’. In the event of an emergency power cut, different block letters are timetabled to be without power for typically around three hours once or twice a day.

You can find your block letter by entering your postcode at Power Cut (external link). It should also be printed in the top half of your electricity bill. If you can’t find it, you should contact your local network operator by calling 105.

Preparing for a power cut

If you or a member of your family have a serious health problem, we recommend the following to help you prepare for a power cut:

  • Keep a hard copy of emergency telephone numbers and torches close by
  • Ensure phones are well charged
  • Consider a battery back-up for any essential medical equipment. Most stair lifts have a battery backup fitted. If you do not have one, contact your manufacturer for support.

You can also access extra support to by signing up to Electricity North West’s Extra Care Register (external link).

More general advice includes:

  • Have a contingency plan for if a power cut takes place. Is there a family member or friend you can visit during the power outage period?
  • Adverse weather can sometimes cause power cuts. Check Met Office site for weather warnings and updates (external link).
  • Keep torches and batteries handy.
  • Make sure your mobile phone (or any other equipment you rely on) is fully charged and if you can, you might want to buy a power bank as back up.
  • Have food available which doesn’t require electricity to heat it.

During a power cut

We know that power cuts can be disorientating. Follow our tips in a power cut to keep you safe and comfortable until power is returned.

  • Notify a friend or neighbour if you are feeling anxious during a power cut. Equally, if you know of a neighbour, friend or family member who is vulnerable, make sure to check on them regularly.
  • Protect the food in your fridge or freezer by keeping your fridge/freezer door closed to protect the temperature.
  • Keep warm and safe by having blankets and thick jumpers available for the whole family.
  • Switch off electrical appliances like straighteners and stoves to ensure that, when power is back on, they don’t automatically turn on which can be dangerous.
  • Keep a light on in one room so that you know when the power is back up.

After a power cut

  • Reset the clocks on any electric timing devices.
  • Check in with someone to let them know you are okay.
  • Check your timer on your thermostat to ensure it’s correct.

Further reading and resources

© Wigan Council