Rota Load Disconnection
What is Rota Load Disconnection?
Rota Load Disconnection is implemented to make sure that during an energy emergency, the nation's electricity is distributed as equally and fairly as possible.
The electricity is turned off area by area for about three hours, based on a rota. The purpose of Rota Load Disconnection is to reduce the demand for electricity to match the level of electricity generation that is available.This means that you may not have electricity all of the time, until there is sufficient power available again.
To control the use of electricity during these emergency periods, the country is divided into 'blocks' which are switched off in turn according to the rota.
Helpful hints if the power goes out
When the power goes off, switch off electric heaters and cookers to avoid a fire risk when the power is restored.
Its always best to switch off and unplug equipment, including satellite receivers, video and dvd recorders, televisions and computer equipment etc, but leave a light on to tell when the power is restored. It may help if you can turn off your central heating time switch while the electricity supply is off.
- Fill a vacuum flask with hot water boiled in the kettle and recharge mobile phones and rechargeable batteries for torches before the supply goes off.
- Cordless phones don’t work without electricity, so consider having a basic telephone in case of emergencies.
- Keep fridge and freezer doors closed. Contents should be safe for many hours but, if in any doubt, dispose of the food if it appears to have defrosted.
- Check on elderly or infirm neighbours and make them aware of the electricity supply interruption situation.
- To keep warm, stay in one room, or even in bed, and remember gas and oil central heating boilers generally won’t work without electricity to power their pumps.
- When using an alternative form of heating or lighting - use it safely.
- Listen out for information on local radio – use your car radio if you don’t have a battery radio.
- It may be necessary to adjust time switches and clocks when your power returns.Back up your computer work before the power is expected to go off.
- A battery back up alarm clock may be useful for any overnight or early morning power interruptions.
More about Rota Load Disconnection
How is the Rota devised?
The country is split into 18 BLOCKS which are each made up of a number of discrete geographical areas. Each of these blocks are assigned an alphabetic letter between A and U; the letters F, I and O are not used.
Each day of the week is split into 8 three hour SLOTS. The first slot of a day starts at 00:30.
The blocks are allocated to the slots in such a way as to allow businesses in any given block to operate as normally as possible for 3 days in succession. This means that power cuts will either be concentrated between Monday and Wednesday or Thursday and Saturday with Sunday being shared between all blocks.
The more severe the emergency, the greater the number of blocks that will be switched off at the same time.
How often will I be switched off?
The electricity supply will be turned off block by block for a 3 hour slot at a time, depending on the shortfall of electricity. The shortfall can change throughout the day and is dependent on the weather, the time of day, the time of year and the demand for electricity.
At the lowest level of emergency, you could expect to be without electricity for just three slots in a week. However, if there is a severe shortage of electricity, you may be without supply for several slots in a week.
How will you know when you will be without electricity?
There are two pieces of information that you need to be aware of. Firstly, your Rota Load Disconnection Block letter, and secondly, the slots which show when you will be affected.
Your Rota Load Disconnection Block letter is static and will not change during an emergency. It is based on where you live and how your electricity is supplied. You can find out your Rota Load Disconnection Block letter by looking on the front of the bill or checking out the map here. Alternatively, call us on 0345 034 7474 for confirmation.
Once you have your Rota Block letter, you then need to know when that letter will be switched off and on. The Schedule of Rota Load Disconnections will be published through National & Local TV and/or Radio Stations.