Power cut: what to do and how to fix it?

Power or electricity outages can happen for different reasons, in this post we will detail them and explain what to do in each case.

The reasons why the electricity supply can suffer cuts are the following:

  • Cut-off due to non-payment: after the non-payment of invoices, the supply may experience a cut-off.
  • Cut-off due to breakdown in your house or building: sometimes an accident or incident may have occurred in your home that directly affects you or your neighbours in the building.
  • Outage scheduled by the distributor: this type of outage can occur when the distribution company plans to make changes or improvements to the networks.
  • Outage due to breakdown in the transportation network: sometimes due to weather conditions or overloads there may be cuts that will be solved by the distributor.

Malfunctions are unpredictable situations -always beyond control- that can occur in your installation (in your home, office, in the community where you live…) or in the Distribution network itself.

The most common are due to:

  • Accidents: breakage or damage to cables caused by excavators, lorries touching overhead lines when lifting trailers…
  • Meteorological causes: storms and floods, heavy snowfalls, windstorms… are responsible for faults in the network.
  • Fires. Fire is often the cause of network failures or may force the disconnection of networks for safety reasons.
  • Fauna and vegetation: animals (especially birds) or tree branches impact with our lines or installations, causing the action of network protection automatisms that interrupt the supply.
  • Breakage of elements: failure or breakage of some element of the grid, for example, a transformer, insulators…
  • Failures in the supply chain. Apart from the distribution grid, incidents may occur in the transmission grid or in generation plants.

What to do:

If you have no power supply, first check whether other users are affected. If the staircase, the lift or the adjoining dwellings have electricity, the problem is probably in your installation. In this case, go to the “electrical panel” to make sure that all the control elements are connected, i.e. that the circuit breakers or differentials have not tripped.

Often, as a result of exceeding the contracted power, the power control of the smart meter (or the old ICP if you still have it installed) will trip.

In these cases, all you need to do is disconnect some of the electrical appliances you were using, turn the main switch down, wait about 3 seconds and turn it back on (turn it up). If the supply is not restored, you should call an approved installer to check your installation.

If the fault is not located in your installation, but in the network, call your distributor or during working hours you can call Energy Nordic and we will contact your distributor.

If your power goes out today you should do the following

The first thing you should do is find out the reason for the power cut. If it is a technical incident, you must make sure that you get the power back safely. That is, if there is a fault in your house or in your building, try to locate the reason and call in the professionals to repair it if necessary.

You can read some recommendations below:

  • Always store torches and spare batteries in an easy to access place.
  • Avoid using candles.
  • Keep the fridge closed so that it doesn’t lose its cold temperature and prevent your food from spoiling.
  • Try to disconnect appliances that were connected to the mains when the power went out.

Determine the reason for the power cut

To determine the reason for the power cut, we recommend that you follow these steps:

  1. Check whether the fault comes from your home by trying to raise the circuit breakers in the fuse box. If that doesn’t work, the fault is in your installation or your electricity has been cut off due to non-payment.
  2. Check that your other neighbours and the common areas of your building have power. If they do, it is an incident of your home (fault or non-payment). If they do not have power, the problem is the building.

If it affects more areas of your neighbourhood, it is a power cut that could be due to maintenance work being carried out by the distribution company or due to a problem with the grid. Distribution companies are obliged to inform of scheduled power cuts in advance (a minimum of 24 hours).

  • Power cut due to a fault: Most faults are due to accidents on construction sites, storms or strong winds, fires, birds or tree branches that damage high voltage cables, or faults in parts.
  • Power cut due to notice of maintenance work: These types of supply interruptions are frequent and are done to upgrade or improve the distribution gridYou will be notified about them in advance and given information on the areas that will be affected, the time of the power cut and the approximate duration. This notice can help you to organise yourself, knowing that you will be without electricity for a few hours.

To solve this problem, you will have to contact your DISTRIBUTOR company. You will find it at the bottom of all your Energy Nordic bills, it is likely that you have Iberdrola‘s distribution services or Endesa and from these links you can access the information about powercuts of each company, as well as their telephone numbers. They will be in charge of solving power outages, either due to a breakdown or previously scheduled.

Power cut due to non-payment

There are several cases for which your power may be cut off due to non-payment:

  • Not paying your electricity bills. Your supplier must have warned you of this situation and its intention to cut off your electricity in advance.
  • Making an illegal connection without having a contract with a supplier. In this case, your supplier does not have to notify you that it will be cutting off the power.
  • Illegally tampering with your electric meter. As in the previous case, no notice will be given.
  • Your electrical installation does not comply with safety standards and poses a risk. In this case, the supplier is not obliged to notify you of its intention to cut the power in advance.

Notifications that your power will be cut off due to non-payment

If you do not pay your electricity bill, your supplier will send you a notification after the deadline for paying your bill. In our case, Energy Nordic sends various amounts of emails to remind the client about the non-payment on a sequence of emails and then a notification email of disconnection. 

This notification warns of the company’s intention to cut off the supply on a certain date. If the bill is not paid upon receipt of this mail, a third email will be sent announcing the power cut and the supply will be turned off.

The times will depend on which kind of market your contract is in:

  • Deregulated market: the payment terms with respect to the date of issuance of your bill will be reflected in your contract. The cut-off period is also included in the contract.
  • Voluntary price for small consumers: the payment period is 20 days from the date of issuance of the bill. Your power supply will be cut off 2 months after you receive the first notification.

There are specific consumers and certain situations in which your electricity cannot be cut off, for example, those who receive the Social Bonus.

Can I get compensation for a power outage that is due to a fault?

The Law includes a series of cases in which power cuts are justified, but if your supply is unexpectedly cut off and without cause, you can claim compensation from your distributor. You can also claim through your home insurance company, the Consumer Service Office (in person or via electronic means) or the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge. You can also claim for possible damages to your appliances through your home insurance company.

You can claim your compensation based on where you live, the number of power cuts and how long they last. This box has all the details:

Distributor Areas covered Phone number
Endesa Distribución Andalusia, Extremadura, Murcia, Castile-La Mancha, Aragon, Castilla y León, Navarra, La Rioja, C. Valenciana 900 85 08 40
Balearic Islands 900 84 99 00
Canary Islands, Catalonia 900 85 58 85
I-DE (Iberdrola Distributión) Basque Country, Navarre, La Rioja, Castile, León 900 171 171
Unión Fenosa Distribución Galicia 900 333 999
E-Rede Asturias 900 907 003
Viesgo Distribución Cantabria 900 101 051

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