BEING left without power can be a big inconvenience – so can you claim compensation for it?
We explain how the rules work and when you might be entitled to money back.
Whether you get an money back or not will depend on how long your without power and if you were given any warning.
For planned outages your local electricity network operator must let you know.
Electricity network operators are the companies which manage the network rather than your energy supplier you pay your energy bill with.
You can find out who your local network operator is online by searching your postcode.
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The operator must give you at least two days notice of any interruption to supply.
If they don't do this, or cut you off on a different day than they said, you can get compensation of £30, according to Citizens Advice.
Planned power cuts could hit Brits this winter if energy supplies fall low and the winter is especially cold this year.
Rolling blackouts could hit households as the National Grid, which runs the network, tries to manage the demand.
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Three-hour blackouts would ensure that the network can cope.
As these will be planned and households told beforehand, it's unlikely there will be compensation.
How much compensation can I get for unplanned power cuts?
If your power goes off and it wasn't planned you might also get compensation.
If it's due to bad weather an you are without power for 24 hours you'll get £70.
For each subsequent 12 hours without electricity you'll get £70.
The maximum amount you'll get is £700.
Unfortunately for periods of less than 24 hours you won't be entitled to any compensation during bad weather.
For power outages that are not caused by bad weather, you could get some compensation too.
This could be if there's a fault or other unexpected reason for the power supply being cut off.
How much you get will depend on how widespread the issues is.
If it's 5,000 homes or fewer, you can get £75 if the power is off for 12 hours or more.
Then it's £35 per 12 hour period after that.
If more than £5,000 homes are affected you'll get £75 after 24 hours of being without power, and then £35 for each 12 hour period after that.
There's a maximum amount you can get of £300.
If you suffer several outages that are unplanned you could get extra cash too.
If you have more than four power cuts each year, between April 1 and March 31, and they are for more than three hours, you can get an extra £75.
How do I get the compensation?
You'll need to claim the compensation from your network operator in most cases.
You can find your local one online by searching your postcode.
You need to make a claim within three months if the power cut was unplanned.
And for those that did give notice, but not enough, you have one month.
You should get the cash within 10 working days of claiming, and it should come via your energy supplier.
This will be as credit to your account or meter if you're a prepayment customer, or as a cheque in the post.
If this doesn't happen, you could get £30 compensation on top.
The only case when you will get the cash automatically without having to make a claim is if you are on the priority services register.
You can sign up to this service with your supplier if you’re a pensioner, disabled, sick or vulnerable.
Doing this can also get extra help like:
- reading your energy meter
- moving your energy meter free of charge
- getting your bills sent or copied to someone else, eg a carer
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