105 Number - Helpline for UK Power Cuts

A new telephone service offering help and advice to people suffering an electricity power cut will use the number 105

The helpline has been developed by the UK's electricity industry. It provides 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.

Energy Networks Association (ENA), the body representing the UK's energy supply industry, requested a three-digit number for the service from Ofcom, which manages the UK's telephone numbers.

Following consultation, Ofcom concluded that a three-digit number would be appropriate for the new service, and decided to make the number 105 available as requested by ENA.

Ofcom noted that electricity is regarded in UK law as one of the "essentials of life". It also notes that potential callers to the new service, who may often be in darkness and without power, may find it difficult or stressful to have to look up a number. The number for the new service therefore needed to be as memorable as possible.

Only numbers that begin 10x or 11x can be designated as three-digit numbers for new services. Some are already in use, such as 101 (police non-emergency) and NHS 111; others are set aside for use by phone companies.

Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom Group Competition Director, said: "The new helpline provides 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.