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7 million milestone reached as public urged to be winter ready

01 December 2019


Energy Networks Association (ENA) today urged everyone to be winter ready as Britain’s network companies’ registers for vulnerable energy customers exceeds 7 million people in need for the first time.

As the nights get colder and darker, the chance of experiencing severe weather becomes more likely. Storms, floods and other extreme conditions can cause damage to energy infrastructure and disrupt supplies.

That’s why the UK’s gas and electricity network companies have come together to launch the Be Winter Ready campaign. The campaign aims to help the public better-prepare for power cuts and gas emergencies.

To Be Winter Ready, Energy Networks Association is urging everyone to:

  • Know their free emergency numbers – in a power cut dial 105 or, for a gas emergency, dial 0800 111999.
  • Prepare their home – keep a torch handy, install a carbon monoxide alarm, and get appliances serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Vulnerable households can get extra support by signing up to the Priority Services Register. Contact your gas or electricity network to find out more. Visit to find out who your network operator is.
  • Keep their eyes open – keep an eye on the weather forecast and, if you have a power cut or a gas emergency, check on your neighbours.

In recent years the chances of unscheduled problems with electricity and gas supply have dropped dramatically. Since 1990, network companies have invested more than £100bn in improving the reliability of local energy networks in the UK.

As a result, on average, electricity customers experience a power cut less than once every two years and gas distribution customers will have their gas supply interrupted without advance notice just once every 140 years. However, if a power cut or gas incident occurs it is vital that people are prepared.

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, said:

The networks constantly review the resilience of infrastructure and there are robust plans in place to deal with the damage caused by extreme weather. However, we want the public to know there are things they can do to ‘Be Winter Ready’ and ensure that those customers who do have a power cut or gas emergency know exactly who to call so that they can get reconnected quickly and be as fully prepared as possible.

Over £100 billion has been invested by network companies since 1990 and we now have some of the safest and most reliable networks in the world. While the chance of severe weather remains, I would urge all those eligible to be prepared and sign up for additional support in case of emergency.

Press contacts for journalists

ENA Press Office


Notes to editor

ENA represents the companies that operate and maintain the gas and electricity grid network in the UK and Ireland. Serving over 30 million customers, they are responsible for the transmission and distribution network of “wires and pipes” that keep our lights on, our homes warm and our businesses running. More information can be found on

The Priority Services Register is a free service provided by suppliers and network operators to customers in need. You can receive the services available if you:

  • are of pensionable age
  • live with a child under five
  • are disabled or chronically sick
  • have a long-term medical condition
  • have a hearing or visual impairment or additional communication needs
  • are in a vulnerable situation.

More information on the Priority Services Register is available here.

About Energy Networks Association

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.

ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.

Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.

What are energy network operators?

Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 40,000 people in Great Britain.

More information