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Energy networks prepare as red warning issued by Met Office

17 February 2022

Press contacts for journalists

ENA Press Office

press@energynetworks.org

With teams of staff in place across the country, the energy networks are preparing for Storm Eunice, which is set to hit parts of the UK from tomorrow.

The Met Office has also issued a rare red weather warning for parts of south west England and the south of Wales from Friday, an escalation from the earlier yellow and amber warnings which remain in place for other parts of the UK.

All homes affected by power outages caused by Storm Dudley have now been reconnected.

A red warning is the most severe warning the Met Office can issue and means "it is very likely that there will be a risk to life, with substantial disruption to travel, energy supplies and possibly widespread damage to property and infrastructure." The national forecaster states, "you should avoid travelling, where possible, and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities."

Ross Easton, spokesperson for Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK's energy network operators said:

"With either a yellow, amber or red 'risk to life' warning now in force across a large part of the UK tomorrow, we are reiterating our safety advice. If you come across fallen power lines or damage to the electricity network, stay well clear and call 105 for free to report it. In Northern Ireland the number is 03457 643 643. If there is an immediate risk to life or someone is in danger, dial 999.

"The energy networks are moving teams and equipment to strategic locations, ready to respond if needed. We are contacting customers in vulnerable situations to ensure they're aware of the warnings in place and informed about what to do."

What customers should do

  • You should prepare in case there is a power cut and charge up mobile devices and portable chargers.
  • If you have a power cut, use your mobile to go online for updates or call 105 for free.
  • Keep a torch handy and charged in case you are without power during the night.
  • Check on vulnerable friends, family and neighbours and make sure they're prepared too.

You should be aware that Ofcom advises your phone might not work during a power cut. You can find more information on the Ofcom website.

Safety advice issued

With high winds forecast and a 'risk to life' warning issued by the Met Office, trees and other debris may bring down power lines. If you come across a downed line:

  • Stay well clear
  • Call 105 to report it for free
  • If there is an immediate risk to life, dial 999

Staying up to date

You can follow the latest local updates from the UK energy network companies on Twitter. To find your local network operator, as well as their contact information and social media channels, you can use our postcode finder tool.

If you need extra help…

Network operators work with suppliers to maintain a free Priority Services Register to help identify vulnerable customers who may need additional support during a power cut. 

How are the energy networks preparing?

During a storm, and in particular severe weather triggering amber and red warnings, objects like trees, branches and other debris can be blown around by the wind and cause damage. If this debris collides with power lines or other infrastructure it can cause damage and result in power cuts.

Network operators are monitoring Storm Eunice and making preparations. While they can’t predict the precise location or severity of any weather damage, network operators are taking steps like arranging for extra staff to be available and moving vehicles and equipment to strategic locations. They are also in contact with local resilience partners to aid preparations and are directly contacting their Priority Service Register customers in advance.

The companies which operate our country’s energy networks invest millions of pounds every year to keep your energy flowing while sustaining the challenges faced by increased demand and adverse weather.

About Energy Networks Association

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate 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 Grid 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 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).

Press contacts for journalists

ENA Press Office

press@energynetworks.org