Utility Suppliers and Distributors
Did you know that although you choose who to pay for your utility supply, the company who brings it to your house through wires and pipes might not be the same as you pay bills to, as distribution networks are regional?
It is useful to know your regional distribution company, so it is worth checking, as Surrey has more than one distribution region for some utilities:
In the event of a utilities failure, local authorities are responsible for working with the distribution company who brings the supply to your door and health service providers to identify vulnerable people who are directly affected. You can choose to go on a list of people for electricity and water who get extra help if there is a power or water supply cut.
Electricity failure and safety
Call 105 to report a power cut.
If the power goes off you can report this and get more information by calling 105 or visiting the Power Cut website to get more information including how to be prepared for power cuts, and what to do if you have one.
- Find out all you might need to know about staying safe around electricity
- Information on electricity and safety for young people, teachers and parents
In Surrey, electricity is distributed by one of two companies dependant on location. Check their websites for real time information on power supply, areas covered, and to sign up to the Priority Service Register for those who are most likely to suffer in a power cut if you're eligible. You can also sign up friends, relatives and neighbours who are older, have new babies or a permanent or temporary illness or sensory or physical limitation – make sure that they are happy for you to do this first of course.
- Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks – covering areas in the extreme west and south of Surrey
- Sign up to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Priority Service Register
- UK Power Networks – covering the remainder of Surrey
- Sign up to UK Power Network's Priority Service Register
Gas failure and safety
- For all gas emergencies call the National Grid Emergency Call Centre on 0800 111999 - including if you smell gas.
SGN is the gas distributor for Surrey, see their safety advice on their website including what to do in case of:
- If you smell gas
- Carbon monoxide risk and how to stay safe from it with safety videos
- Safety while doing home improvements or for contractors
- What to do if your home floods
- The gas safe register for contractors
- Gas safety for those more vulnerable
In the event of loss of water supply, you're advised to telephone the number on your water bill or check on your water company’s website. Your water company will have an Extra Care register, which you can sign up to if you're eligible.
All water companies must:
- Warn and inform their customers of problems that may affect their supply.
- Share their vulnerable persons register with local authorities in times of crisis.
- Provide alternative supplies.
Alternative supplies include:
- Bottled water, which is held for customers during planned interruptions and incident response.
- Arrangements to make bottled water available for customers to collect from stockpiles and for doorstep delivery.
- Static tanks and mobile bowsers for major incidents.
- Arrangements for emergency tankers to fill static tanks and bowsers.
- Other options including standpipes, over-ground mains and emergency drought orders.
Handy tips during a power cut
- Report it by calling 105 or visiting the Power Cut website
- Switch off all your electrical equipment, except one light visible from the street which will let you and the engineers know when the power comes back on.
- Keep a torch close to hand.
- Have an old fashioned analogue land line phone, as electronic digital phones (with a base unit that plugs in) won't work without power.
- Try not to use candles, glow sticks are much safer, and keep candles away from flammable materials like curtains. Never leave lit candles in unoccupied rooms.
- In winter keep warm by staying in one room or even in bed. Remember, your central heating boiler will not work without electricity. If you use another form of heating, use it safely.
- Never move a bottled gas or oil heater when it's lit, and make sure rooms are well ventilated.
- Keep safe and don't open your door to strangers. Power distribution company staff always have an identity card. Make sure you see it, and if you're in doubt, phone the police right away. Power distribution company staff will always be happy for you to check their identity. If you've registered a password with the power distribution company, ask the member of staff to ring and get the password. Be aware that this company will be different to the company you pay your bills to.
- Remember, the street lights may also be off so take care if you go out.
- Please keep an eye on any elderly or ill people who live nearby. If you have a gas cooker, try to make sure they have some hot food or drink, even if it's just a flask of hot water.
- If you spot damaged or dangerous electrical equipment, including during or after a power cut, report the problem, but call 999 in an emergency.