BRITS are being told to keep torches and warm clothing nearby in case of blackouts during the coronavirus lockdown.

The warning comes as energy firms across the UK put a pause on non-essential work, in line with latest government advice.

In a letter to customers, UK Power Networks is advising households on how to stay warm in the event of a blackout.

The advice includes keeping “a torch handy” as well as dressing warmly in several layers, including a hat, gloves and blanket.


Homes are also told to keep doors closed in unused rooms to help reduce heat loss inside.

The letter adds: "It's especially important to keep warm if you are unwell, less mobile or very young."

UK Power Networks, which owns and maintains the electricity cables to three million homes in the South East, the East of England and London, has written to homes on its vulnerable register.

This includes pensioners, those with children under five in the house, and people with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

In an update to customers on its website, UK Power Networks says it's continuing all essential work, including fixing electrical faults.

But it's postponing lower priority work on electricity cables and substations.

Ofgem, the Government regulator for gas and electricity markets, has outlined essential work as maintaining heating and electricity in homes and keeping power in key institutions like the NHS.

A spokesperson for UK Power Networks said: "We regularly contact customers on our Priority Services Register, to ensure we meet their needs and it’s never more important than in the current circumstances. This is to ensure we continue to provide them with the best possible support.

"We are continuing to fix power cuts and maintain the electricity network to ensure its continued reliability. Across our networks, power supplies are 99.9 per cent reliable, and our dedicated teams are keeping the power flowing.

"We will continue to provide the best possible service to all the homes and businesses we serve, and take particular care of any customers living in vulnerable circumstances."

Meanwhile, The National Grid, which covers the majority of Great Britain, says it has contingency plans in place to keep electricity working across the country during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. To donate visit