Power cut? National hotline to be launched

Ofcom to launch contact number for power cuts
Ofcom to launch contact number for power cuts

Homes left in the dark as a result of power cuts will soon be able to get in touch with their electricity supplier more easily.

Ofcom have announced that people will be able to call the number 105 to get more information on who to contact.

The service, which will come into force in April 2016, is to be used by those wishing to report a power cut in their local area, the Guardian reports.

Lack of information means people often call their energy supplier in the case of a blackout instead of their local electricity operator, which is who they should be contacting.

Currently each electricity operator has their own 11-digit number which can make it difficult for those searching for a quick contact.

According to Ofcom the new number will "Provide a single telephone number for people anywhere in Britain to contact their electricity network operator to report a power cut or safety concern, or receive reassurance during a blackout."

Ofcom have said they thought it was important to use a number that was easy for the public to remember and only numbers starting with 10 or 11 can be designated to new services.

The NHS and the police both already have three-digit numbers in use for their non-emergency services, 101 and 111 respectively.

However there have been calls for the 111 number to be scrapped recently after rising GP appointments and A&E visits thanks to the poor advice given by the non-clinical advisors, GP Online reports.

There are now only 14 other three-digit numbers left to be used for future services.

Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom's group competition director, said: "The new helpline will provide clear value to members of the public, often in difficult and stressful situations where it may be hard for a caller to look up a long number."

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