These are the standards of service you can expect from the electricity distributors who operate the electricity network
If your main fuse stops working
If your main fuse fails and cuts off your electricity, your distribution company will be with you within a set number of hours. These are:
- Weekdays: call between 7am and 7pm, and they’ll be there within 3 hours
- Weekends and bank holidays: call between 9am and 5pm, and they’ll be there within 4 hours.
If they take any longer, they’ll pay you £30. If you contact them outside of these hours, they will start to handle your query from the start of the next working day.
If your electricity keeps cutting out
If your supply cuts out for more than 3 hours on 4 or more separate occasions over the course of a year (from 1 April), you can claim £75. You’ll have to make your claim by the end of June – that’s 3 months after the year ends.
When you make your claim, you’ll need to give the address of the house or building that’s been affected, and the dates of the power cut. You won’t be able to claim for any incidents you’ve already had compensation for.
If your distribution company is planning to interrupt your electricity
If your local distribution company needs to interrupt your electricity, they’ll give you at least 2 days’ notice. If they don’t, you can claim by getting in touch with them within a month of the interruption. They’ll pay £30 to domestic customers and £60 for businesses.
If your power cuts out for any other reason
During normal weather
Your distribution company will get your power back on within 12 hours of being told about a fault. If they don’t, you can make a claim up to 3 months after the power comes back. They’ll pay £75 for domestic customers and £150 for business customers. On top of that, they’ll give you £35 for every extra 12 hours you don’t have electricity, up to £300.
If the problem has affected more than 5,000 buildings, your distribution company will get the power back on within 24 hours of finding out about the problem. If they don’t, and you make a valid claim up to 3 months after the power comes back, they’ll pay £75 if you’re a domestic customer or £150 for business customers.
On top of that, they’ll give you £35 for every extra 12 hours you don’t have electricity, up to £300.
During severe weather
During particularly bad weather, it might take longer to get your power back on. You might be able to claim compensation if your power isn’t back in 24 to 48 hours, depending on how many faults there are and how many people are affected. You can claim by getting in touch with your distributor within 3 months after the power comes back.
If your claim is accepted, they’ll pay £70 (to domestic customers and business customers) and £70 on top of that for every extra 12 hours you don’t have electricity, up to £700.
How we define severe weather
Category 1 – medium events
Between 8 and 13 times the normal amount of faults in 1 day for events where lightning is not involved.
At least 8 times the normal amount of faults in 1 day – if the problem has been caused by lightning.
Your distributor will reconnect you within 24 hours.
Category 2 – large events
At least 13 times the normal amount of faults in 1 day (as long as the problem has not been caused by lightning).
Your distributor will reconnect you within 48 hours.
Category 3 – very large events
Any severe weather events that affect at least 35% of exposed customers.
In these cases, your distributor will reconnect you in a specific period, which they’ll work out using a formula based on the number of premises affected, as set out in the regulations.
If you're having problems with your voltage
If you tell your distributor about a problem with your voltage, they’ll either give you an explanation in writing within 5 working days or offer to come and investigate within 7 working days.
If they don’t, they’ll pay you £30.
If you need an estimate to set up a new supply and connection
Once you’ve given your local distributor the information they need, they’ll give you an estimate for a new connection. For details on quotes, how long it will take to get connected and compensation payments, please go to your local distributor’s website.
Making and keeping appointments
When they need to visit your domestic or business property, your distributor will make and keep appointments. They’ll offer to come in the morning, afternoon or in a 2-hour time slot. (This doesn’t apply to visits about connections work).
If they don’t show up when they say they will, they’ll pay you £30.
When you can expect your compensation
There are some cases where you’ll get your compensation automatically – if these are due we (or your distribution company) will send it to you within 10 working days of finding out about the problem.
The only exception is if we’re dealing with payments to do with problems during particularly severe weather. In those cases, we (or your distributor) will send your payment as soon as we can.
If we don’t, you’ll get another £30.
Who is my distribution company?
The GB electricity network is split into regions, and each region has a local distribution company (referred to as Distribution Network Operators or DNOs in the industry). The name of your distribution company should be clear on the electricity bill you receive from your supplier. Occasionally, the details may be found on your meter cabinet.
Alternatively, you can use the Electricity Distribution Map on the Energy Networks Association’s website.