Making plans if there are power cuts this winter

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Blog from Emma Smith, Policy Lead at Learning Disability England.

It is really important to look after yourself and others this winter.

Some people are worried about energy.

Not just about how much it costs but also what to do if there is a shortage or no power at all.  

Energy providers want to make people aware that is very unlikely that will be power cuts this winter.

But they are also giving the public information on what they can do, just in case.  

There are a few ways to help yourself, family members, friends and neighbours and people you support.  

Eligible vulnerable consumers can be signed up to the Priority Services Register

Being on this register means you can get some extra support if power supply is short or is stopped.

You need to register by contacting your energy supplier.  

If there are power cuts they may be planned or unplanned (emergency) power cuts.

Energy suppliers will always try to tell people before it happens.

You can find out about planned and unplanned power cuts in your area on the website

Or you can call 105 from your phone. This is a free emergency power cut number

A key message from energy providers is to be prepared.

Make a plan for what to do if the energy supply in your area is stopped.

The Energy Networks Association has launched its Be Winter Ready campaign that provides information to help you get organised.  

An understandable worry is for those who rely on powered medical equipment.

Advice from EDF is to make sure you are on the Priority Services Register.

If possible, make sure you have backup power sources.

And make an advanced plan with your GP or carer for what do in an emergency situation.

Find out more from EDF here


The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) has a useful checklist for paid supporter organisations about what to consider in preparation for a power cut.

See the CPA checklist here

There is also some general advice for everyone if there is a power cut:  

  • Turn off electrical items at the plug if it is safe to do so 
  • Keep a torch and batteries. These are safer than using candles or paraffin lamps 
  • Keep mobile phones and other devices charged so you are still able to use these during a power cut.  

You can find out more and see resources from members and partners on the Cost of Living Hub here.

This includes some easy read resources.

Have you got any further advice or information we can share?

In particular, if you are a self advocacy group that has done some work on this issue, we’d like to hear from you.

Contact us on or phone 0300 111 0444.