MPs celebrate unsung heroes who keep our lights on

For immediate release - Wednesday 9 July 2014

At a Parliamentary Reception on 9 July, MPs joined the Rt Hon Mike Penning MP, Minister with responsibility for Health and Safety, to recognise the dedication and efforts of those who worked over the winter to restore electricity supplies.

The Reception acknowledged the safe working practices displayed by staff of the electricity network companies which saw only one minor health and safety incident over the St Jude’s, Christmas and Valentine’s storms.

Speaking at the event Mike Penning was able to thank the workforce directly:

"At an extremely challenging time and in dangerous conditions, these men and women worked round the clock to restore power. They deserve to be recognised for their bravery and dedication."

Speaking on behalf of the networks, Energy Networks Association Chief Executive David Smith said:

“The severe weather over winter saw some of the most substantial damage to the networks in decades and the men and women working to restore supplies faced extremely challenging conditions.

“It is a testament to their dedication and service that supplies were reconnected to 95% of those affected within 24 hours. We often don’t hear about the efforts of these unsung heroes who, when the rest of us are told to stay home, are out getting their communities reconnected.”

The winter storms brought national attention to the professionalism and dedication which is displayed by the networks workforce 365 days a year. Just one example is the team of linesmen, jointers, line patrollers and field staff supervisors at UK Power Networks who were recently named operational Team of the Year at the Utility Week Stars Awards. They were singled out for their contribution to the relief effort in the village of Walcott, in Norfolk, after the huge tidal surge on December 5, which left a trail of destruction. In addition to their core role on the electrical works staff helped residents clear their homes, set up a blanket, clothes and toy collection in the Ipswich and Bury offices, became a hub of the village with their mobile command vehicle.

Those at the event were able to pay tribute to these efforts and countless other examples of operational staff around the country going above and beyond the call of duty during the storms and throughout the year

ENDS

Notes to editors

ENA is the voice of the networks representing the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.

For more information contact:

Matthew Pringle
Press and Public Affairs Officer
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