If your gas or electricity goes out because of a power cut, you may be able to claim compensation.
The cost of our energy has been a significant concern for all of us in recent years. While energy prices have started to fall, alongside the energy price cap, the reality is that the cost of our energy is still much higher than it was.
That has boosted the appeal of finding a new tariff through energy comparison. However, just as important as ensuring you’re on the most competitive energy deal is establishing where you stand in the event of a power cut.
Especially with Storm Ciaran sweeping across the country, power cuts and broadband outages are causing severe disruption to households.
While there are rules in place covering the compensation available should your gas or electricity be cut off, they vary based on a host of different circumstances such as the cause of the power cut and whether or not you had any warning.
Can I claim compensation for a power cut?
You may be able to claim compensation from an energy network company in the event of a power cut leaving you without gas and electricity.
The amount of compensation you’ll be entitled to will vary on a few different factors:
- Whether the cut was planned
- How long the power cut lasted for
- Whether it was the network company’s fault
Compensation for electricity being cut off in power cut
Energy networks must give at least two days’ notice before cutting off your supply to carry out planned maintenance work. If this does not happen, or if they cut your power on a different day from the date on the notice, you will be entitled to £35 compensation.
If you suffer an unplanned power cut to your electricity supply as a result of bad weather, the amount of compensation you can claim will vary depending on the storm category.
For storms placed in storm category one, you can get £80 if your power is cut off for 24 hours. There is then a further £40 for every six hours you are without power after that, up to a maximum of £2,000.
For storms placed in storm category two, the initial £80 compensation is payable if your power has been cut off for 48 hours. There is then an additional £40 compensation payable for every six hours afterwards, again up to a maximum of £2,000.
Importantly, if the power cut is due to disruption to the national energy supply, you won’t be able to claim compensation, since this is not due to a fault on the part of the network.
Should the electricity power cut not be down to bad weather, the compensation you can get will come down to how many homes are impacted. If it’s fewer than 5,000 homes, you get £90 if the power is off for 12 hours. You’ll then be entitled to a further £40 for every 12 hours thereafter.
If a greater number of homes were affected, you can get £90 if the power is off for at least 24 hours. There is then a further £40 for every 12 hours after that, up to a cap of £360.
In addition, another £90 compensation payment is available if your power goes off more than four times in a single financial year, should each of those power cuts last more than three hours.
Who is my energy network?
Compensation for gas being cut off in power cut
There are slightly different rules in place covering the compensation you can receive in the event that your gas supply goes off in a power cut.
If your gas network operator is planning to do some maintenance work and needs to turn off your gas supply, it has to provide you with at least seven days’ notice. If you do not receive this, you can claim at least £40 in compensation.
In the event of unplanned interruptions to your gas supply, you can claim at least £60 in compensation for every 24 hours in which the gas supply is turned off. You may also be able to claim additional payments to help with costs incurred as a result of the power cut if you are on the Priority Services Register.
You won’t be able to claim compensation if your gas supply is cut off due to an issue with the national energy supply. So, for example, if more than 30,000 homes are affected by the issue, you won’t be eligible for a payoff.
Similarly, there won’t be any compensation if you cause the gas supply to be cut off, or if the gas network took what Ofgem describes as “reasonable steps” to prevent a power cut occurring during bad weather.
Who is my gas network?
How do I claim compensation for a power cut?
Generally, it’s up to you to make a claim for compensation if you suffer a power cut.
You will need to make a claim through your energy network within three months for unplanned cuts to your supply, or within a month for planned cuts where you did not receive sufficient notice.
Networks are bound by rules that state they should make these compensation payments within 10 days. Although in the event of power cuts due to severe weather, they are only required to make the payments within a reasonable timeframe.
If the energy network fails to do so, you may be able to claim a further £30 in compensation.
What to do in the event of a power cut?
Claiming compensation for a power cut is an important step after the fact, but there are more pressing issues if you are in the midst of a power outage.
For example, you will want to report the power cut, which you can do by calling 105 from your landline or most mobile phones.
It’s also important to turn off any electrical items which you had on before the power outage, which cannot be left unattended when the power returns, such as an iron or hob. But leave a light on so that you’re aware of when the power supply is restored.
Check out our step-by-step guide to what to do if you suffer a power cut.