Electricity networks companies have introduced a single emergency number – 105 – that anyone in England, Scotland and Wales can call in the event of a power cut.
The Energy Networks Association said most people did not know they should contact their local electricity network operator if they have a power cut and instead often mistakenly call their electricity supplier.
The electricity network operators hope that 105 will be easy to remember, and as a three-digit emergency number the caller’s location will be automatically registered (0800 numbers cannot necessarily be traced to a location). Callers will be automatically transferred to the appropriate local network operators. The system can be used from landlines or mobiles – except for customers of Three, as that network does not yet support the number.
Importantly, the system will automatically identify callers who are on network operators’ Priority Service Register – which may include the elderly, vulnerable and others who are especially dependent on their power supply – and route the call to the relevant specialist team.
The emergency number has been in test operation for several months. UK Power Network said it had been receiving up to 12% of calls via the emergency number. On Tuesday, the day of the launch, 40% of calls came via 105.