The Energy Blog What to do in the event of a power cut

If you had a power cut would you know what to do? Be prepared in the event of an outage with this step-by step guide. You might like to print it off and keep it by your fuse board along with a torch and spare batteries.

If your lights go out and your sockets fail, there could be a number of reasons:

  • Your trip switch may have operated
  • Jersey Electricity's main service fuse in your home may have operated
  • If you have a Pay As You Go Meter, you may have run out of credit
  • You may have exceeded your service capacity
  • There may be a power cut or network fault in your area

FIRST: check the loss of power is total; that is all lights and power sockets are affected. If it is not a total loss of power, the problem will be within your home and you will need an electrician to attend.

SECOND: If is a total loss of power, check your trip switch, which in the majority of cases is located next to your main fuse box or the electricity meter.

Remember on this type of device:

  • UP position is ON
  • DOWN position is OFF

If the trip switch is OFF (usually down)

  1. Try to switch it back on. If the switch trips immediately you have a fault in an appliance or in the wiring of your property.
  2. Leave the trip switch off, unplug all appliances and turn off your immersion heater, oven and hob.
  3. Try the trip switch again.
  4. If it stays on, one by one begin to switch your appliances back on. By this process of elimination, you should find the faulty appliance. Leave that appliance unplugged or switched off and call the service agent.
  5. If the switch still refuses to re-set, double check that all equipment has been switched off. If everything has been unplugged or switched off and the switch will not re-set you may have a fault in the wiring.

Do not attempt to trace the fault yourself, call us on 505460 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, or 505050 24-hour emergency call out and we will send out an electrician to your property. If the fault is found to be on our wiring, the service is free; if the fault is on your wiring a call-out charge applies.

If the trip switch is ON (usually up)

  1. Check to see if your neighbours still have their electricity supply. At night look outside to see if the street lights are on. If everywhere is off, call our emergency number 505050. Do not assume we are aware that you have lost supply.
  2. If your neighbours still have their electricity supply and you appear to be the only house without supply first check that (if installed) your main isolator fuse has not tripped. This could be located in an outside cupboard or in a communal switch room.
  3. If your isolator fuse has NOT tripped, our JE main service fuse to your home may have operated. Call our emergency number 505050.

Advice if you have an electronic meter

  1. Check if you can you see a display on the meter. Be aware that modern meters have a sleep function on the display. This can be checked by pressing ANY button on the screen to check if there is still a supply going to the meter. If you can see a display, then the main JE fuse has not operated and your loss of power could be a fault with your main isolator fuse / installation. This is your responsibility and though JE electricians will be happy to attend, you will be charged for the call-out.
  2. Modern meters also have an overload functionality to safeguard the fuse / services in certain situations. If the display reads ‘Overload’ follow the on-screen instructions to re-enable the meter and restore power. If the situation continues, you will need to reduce your load by turning off appliances and report the matter to JE on 505460, 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday

Advice for Pay As You Go (PAYG) customers:

  1. If you run out of credit you will have to invoke emergency credit on your meter. This will put your meter in debt and you will have to charge your key at a retail outlet next day sufficiently to return the meter to credit before the emergency credit runs out and the power disconnects.

The majority of our PAYG meters will not disconnect during the night between the hours of 9pm and 7.30am.

  1. If you run out of credit during these hours your meter will go into debt. You will need to invoke the £5 emergency credit at 7.30am. Any debt accrued overnight will be deducted and you will need to charge your key before the emergency credit runs out and by a sufficient amount to cover the debt and your usage.
  2. If you allow the meter to run out of emergency credit outside the hours 9pm-7.30am, the power will automatically disconnect until you re-charge it.

If your lights and power go off outside these times:

  1. Check that you have unused credit on the meter. If you DON’T, top up at one of the many Island-wide outlets listed on our website
  2. If there IS unused credit on your meter, there may be a fault and you should call 505460, 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, or 505050 in an out-of-hours emergency.

Our engineers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If the fault is due to a failure of our own equipment, the service is free. If, however, the fault proves to be within the customer’s own property or equipment, unfortunately we will make a call-out charge.

Jersey benefits from a very reliable electricity supply, however, we do not guarantee that we will deliver electricity through our network at all times or that electricity delivered through our network will be free of brief variations in voltage or frequency. Where necessary, customers should protect their installations and sensitive appliances from full or partial supply interruptions and variations in voltage or frequency. If you have to claim from your insurance company for damage to any equipment, we will provide a letter confirming details of any incident which resulted in loss of power. Please contact our Customer Care Team on 505460.

In the event of a large scale or Island-wide power cut, whether you are a residential or business customer, you can obtain the latest information by following Jersey Electricity on Twitter @electric jersey.