11th December 2019

What to do in a power cut

Jackson Howarth, In-house Writer

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If your meter is sparking or on fire, call 999 immediately.

If there is a gas leak/or you think you can smell gas, call the Gas Emergency Line on 0800 111 999 as soon as possible, even if you aren't 100% sure, and then follow the steps on this checklist.

We’re only able to resolve gas or power outages that result from a faulty meter – but we do want to point you in the right direction to easily fix your problem.

If you’re left without power, here’s what to do:

No Electricity?

  • Call 105 to speak to your local electricity network operator. Tell them where you live and they will tell you if there is a problem in your area.

    They also can check whether there has been any planned local power cuts (to do repairs, for example), and they should let you know when you’ll be back on supply. You can call this number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    No scheduled power cut? If that’s the case...

  • There’s a chance the problem is with your meter. Contact us to make sure. If this is the case, we can book an emergency appointment to exchange your electricity meter.

    Call us for help on our freephone number 0808 164 1088, 9am to 5pm Monday-Friday.
    Email us to emergency@octopus.energy or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter between 8am and 10pm, Monday - Sunday.

    Contacting us via email or social media outside of phone hours? Don’t worry. Any emergency-related messages you send us will be picked up as a priority, so someone will be there to help you soon. If you include the word 'emergency', your message is guaranteed to be marked as priority.

No Gas, heating or hot water?

If you can smell gas, call the Gas Emergency Line on 0800 111 999 as soon as possible, even if you aren't 100% sure, and then follow the steps on this checklist.

  • Try turning on a gas hob.

    If this doesn't work, check whether your gas meter is displaying ‘ON’ rather than ‘OFF’. If your meter is displaying ‘ON’ but your appliances are still not receiving a gas supply, please call the Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.

    If your hob works, but you are still having problems with heating and hot water, it could be a problem with your boiler…
  • See if it’s a problem with the boiler.

    It’s worth checking whether you can solve a boiler issue yourself before calling an engineer. Below is a checklist, designed to help you solve smaller problems, and work out when you really do need to get an expert involved.

Things to try if your boiler's not working

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  • Check the fuse box.

    If your boiler isn’t working but other gas and electrical appliances are, you should check your fuse box to make sure a switch hasn’t tripped and cut the power to your boiler.
  • Is the pilot light on?

    Check whether your boiler’s pilot light is still on. If it has blown out, you can try relighting it by following your manufacturer's instructions, if it keeps blowing out you will need to call an engineer. You can call a gas safety engineer on 0800 408 5500. If you think you can smell gas, don’t attempt to relight the pilot light, contact the Gas Emergency Line on 0800 111 999.
  • Could it be a water pressure issue?

    Your boiler works best when the water pressure is between 1 and 1.5 on the bar. If the pressure’s not quite high enough, you can adjust it carefully using the filling loop.
  • Is your boiler’s timer correct?

    Your boiler’s timer can be thrown off by power cuts or accidental knocks, so you should double check that yours is set correctly. If you’re unsure about how to reset your boiler’s timer, check your boiler manual.
  • Do you have a water tank or cylinder?

    If you do, the problem might lie with the thermostat/programmer a tank or cylinder. Check to make sure it’s displaying the right settings and if not, change them accordingly.
  • Do you need to reset your boiler?
    Boilers require the occasional reset for all sorts of reasons, and not all of them are serious. Once you’ve located your reset button, try resetting it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If your reset button is inside the boiler’s casing, you’ll have to leave this to a Gas Safe engineer.
  • Have you tried turning it off and on again?

    If you still don’t have hot water, try turning the boiler off at the mains for a few seconds, before turning it back on again.
  • Could you have a frozen pipe?

    If it’s very cold outside, it’s not uncommon for a boiler’s condensate pipe to freeze. You can try to thaw it by pouring hot (but never boiling) water over it, or by a hot water bottle.

If you’ve given all that a go and you still have no heating…

  • Call a gas safety engineer on 0800 408 5500.

    If an engineer confirms that the problem is not with the boiler, it’s probably your meter.
  • Contact us to book an emergency appointment to exchange your gas meter.
    Call us for help on our freephone number 0808 164 1088, 9am to 5pm Monday-Friday.

    Email us to emergency@octopus.energy or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter between 8am and 10pm, Monday - Sunday.

    Contacting us via email or social media outside of phone hours? Don’t worry. Any emergency-related messages you send us will be picked up as a priority, so someone will be there to help you soon. If you include the word 'emergency', your message is guaranteed to be marked as priority.

Do you have a smart prepayment meter?

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If you’ve recently switched and you have a smart meter in prepayment mode, there’s a chance your old supplier didn’t changed your meter to the right ‘mode’ during the switch (or your meter’s ‘prepayment’ type wasn’t registered properly during the switch).

Just get in touch and we should be able to fix it.

Call us for help on our freephone number 0808 164 1088, 9am to 5pm Monday-Friday.

Email us to emergency@octopus.energy or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter between 8am and 10pm, Monday - Sunday. If you include the word 'emergency', your message is guaranteed to be marked as priority.

In a power cut, your energy supplier shouldn't be first port of call. The network of pipes and wires that carry your gas and electricity to your home are owned by District Network Operators. We pay these companies to maintain their networks – if there is a problem with your supply, there is usually a problem with these networks, and the fastest way to find out is to ask them directly.

image of Jackson Howarth

Jackson Howarth

In-house Writer

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!

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