Utilities failure

Who to contact 

In the event of utilities failure, your service provider is responsible for re-establishing the network. If you are suffering a power cut or any utilities outage you should contact your service provider or local electricity distribution company. The service providers have a wide range of alerts which inform them of any disruption in the network.

Registering for priority services for power

You can pre-register with UK Power Networks for extra support in the event of a power cut if you are in a vulnerable category. You will be eligible if you:

  • are dependent on medical equipment
  • are chronically sick
  • have a disability 
  • are blind or visually impaired
  • have a young baby
  • are elderly
  • live in a nursing or residential home
  • have any other condition you think UK Power Networks should consider

Register for priority services in the event of a power cut

Registering for priority services for water

Thames Water and Affinity Water offer a free Priority Service to customers who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.  

More information about Thames Water priority service

Affinity Water Priority services - Billing - Affinity Water

The Council and utilities failure

While the council will not get involved in the majority of short-duration outages, major incidents which affect a large number of properties, affect more than one utility or where the duration of the outage is prolonged, will result in the involvement of the council.

General advice

  • keep emergency contact numbers for friends, family and your service providers at hand
  • ensure you have a torch with charged batteries at hand. Be careful of using candles as they are a fire hazard, especially during gas incidents
  • is your home phone dependent on electricity? If so, perhaps invest in an older phone which just plugs straight into the phone line
  • always keep a few bottles of water for drinking on standby in the event of a water supply failure. Having a few bottles at hand avoids the need to panic buy
  • think about hygiene. How will you wash your hands or clean dishes? Perhaps think about a supply of cleansing wipes
  • in the event of a water mains failure, be careful of using the tap water just after the supply has been restored. Contaminants may have entered the system and could take time to be flushed out. Always wait for your water supplier to confirm the water is safe to use
  • how is your heating supplied? Do you have arrangements for backup heating should supplies fail during the colder months?
  • if there has been a services failure covering a wide area, has your children’s school been affected? Think about the possibility of a school closure during emergency incidents. What childcare arrangements do you have?
  • check in with elderly neighbours and explain the situation