Storm Otto is forecast to bring unsettled weather to the UK tomorrow. Here’s how our energy networks are preparing and what customers can do.
Energy networks are preparing
The networks in the UK are very resilient and built to withstand strong winds and heavy rain. However, during a storm objects such as trees and airborne debris can pose a risk to infrastructure, increasing the risk of a power cut.
The companies which manage the power lines (network operators) have been monitoring the weather system closely and are making preparations, such as:
- arranging for extra emergency teams to be on standby
- placing vehicles and equipment in strategic locations to help if any repair work is needed
- proactively contacting over 100,000 customers who are registered for the Priority Services Register
- proactively calling customers in high categories of vulnerability
Network operators invest millions of pounds to build a resilient electricity network capable of securing electricity supplies and sustaining the challenges faced by increased demand and adverse weather. Year-round tree trimming programmes help reduce the impact storm debris can have on the overhead line network.
Joshua Atkins, Head of Communications at Energy Networks Association, said:
"As the bad weather approaches, our advice is Prepare, Care and Share. Prepare by making a plan. Know what to do if storm damage causes a power cut. Care by checking in on people who might need extra help. And finally, share this information so others know what to do too.
"The network operators have already contacted over 100,000 customers who are registered for the Priority Services Register, to provide them with advice and support. They're also calling those who are especially vulnerable, such as those medically dependent on power."
Advice for customers
Make a plan. Know what to do if you have a power cut. Remember, gas boilers and hobs, heat pumps, internet and landline phones won’t work without power. Depending on where you are, you may also lose mobile phone signal.
- Keep a mobile phone fully charged
- Bookmark powercut105.com in your phone and add the free Power Cut? Call 105 number to your contacts
- Keep a torch handy in case you are without power during the night
- Have warm clothes, blankets and food which does not require heating accessible
- Leave a light on so you know when power is restored
Check in with people who might need extra help. Help them sign up to the free Priority Services Register which can provide support. Make sure they know what to do if there's a power cut.
Share this information so friends and family can make a plan too.
Important safety advice
Do not approach any fallen power lines or any other damaged electrical equipment, keep as far away as possible, warn anyone in the area to stay clear and call 105 to report it.
Calling 105 will connect callers to their local network operator. This is also who you should call if you have a power cut. The Power Cut? 105 website also provides direct links and details of how to contact network operators online and via social media to get information and updates about a power cut.
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.