Electricity customers across the UK are set to get a new, easy to remember, three-digit phone number to report power cuts and safety concerns.
The UK’s electricity firms are working together to launch a new public electricity industry next year which will also be able to provide callers with reassurance during a blackout.
According to research commissioned by the Energy Networks Association, most people are unaware that power supply problems should be reported to the firms which run the electricity networks and not to their own domestic electricity supplier.
The Government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change is working with ENA and the electricity network operators on plans for an awareness campaign that would promote the new helpline.
The planned new helpline would use one telephone number to connect callers, wherever they are based, to their local operator.
Subject to consultation, telecoms regulator Ofcom plans to allocate the helpline the number 105, ensuring it’s easy for householders to remember in an emergency.
Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom Group Competition Director, said: “Three-digit numbers are memorable and quick to dial, but they are also in short supply. Before we allocate a new one, we need to consider consumers’ interests and ensure we’re making the best use of telephone numbers.
“The new power cut and safety helpline would provide clear public value, and we are proposing to assign it the number 105.”
Ofcom’s consultation closes on 27 March 2015 and the body expects to publish its decision on the number application in May, around a year before the service is due to launch.