Itâ€™s inconvenient. It disrupts most things, from being able to make yourself a cup of tea to operating your central heating.
We work to minimise the risk of a power cut occurring, and then work 24/7 to switch your lights back on as soon as we can if a power cut does happen. Most people can appreciate that they do still happen from time to time. But criminals cause power cuts and disruption too, by vandalising and stealing metal from the electricity network.
But what if a power cut is more than just an inconvenience?
As well as the Â£8 million a year it costs us to repair the damage they leave behind them, the culprits can have an impact upon some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
For some of our customers, a power cut can have a huge effect on their health and well-being. Around 10% of our customers are registered on our Priority Services Register.
These customers need extra help and support during a power cut. They could be elderly, disabled, or have a critical medical condition. Some of these customers rely on electricity to power home medical equipment, such as kidney dialysis machines or oxygen concentrators. The effect of a power cut for them is substantial.
We dealt with 566 incidents last year. The criminals behind power cuts can cause destruction of property and serious environmental damage. They can even put lives at risk, and not just because of people being unable to use medical equipment. Criminals have left live overhead power lines hanging close to the ground near roads, public paths and even schools.
Whether itâ€™s a family member or friend, we all know people who are vulnerable; elderly, have young children, or have a serious medical condition. Imagine how metal theft might affect them. Wouldnâ€™t you want to put a stop to those risks if you could?
If you have any information about people in your community who may be involved in metal theft, please contact Crimestoppers anonymously and help us pull the plug on metal theft from your local electricity network.
Click to find out more about our Priority Services Register or call 0800 169 2996. Or click here for advice on what to do if you experience a power cut.